Brand-new look for Kenyan athletics stars

A Kenyan company has developed a local brand of sportswear for the country’s elite, ensuring that when they compete internationally, their gear reflects a sense of national pride and commitment. Hussein Kurji, designer and head of operations for Kourage Athletics, said: “There are a lot of Kenyan athletes and you always see them wearing Nike and Adidas, and not something from their own country. We do have quite a good track record when it comes to running, so why not match that with an equally big clothing brand?”

The kit is designed, manufactured and managed in Kenya by locals at Viva Africa, a Kenyan owned and operated factory. Garments use the same type of quick-dry fabric as leading sports brands as Nike and Adidas, and are tested under extreme conditions, in snow on Mount Kenya and in the heat of the Rift Valley plains. Every purchase injects revenue back into the Kenyan economy.

From African Business

Mobius Motors: a Kenyan Social Business

Mobius aims to empower transport entrepreneurs across Africa not just with more appropriate vehicles, but with the financing and business advice needed to operate a sustainable transport centric business. As well as leveraging the existing privatised public transport model (already proven by auto rickshaws and minivans), entrepreneurial buyers can also use their modular Mobius cars to operate a range of other services such as local school buses, mail delivery or mobile medical care.

You can find more details at their site:

Evans Wadongo

Evans Wadongo, 23, is a Kenyan engineer. He invented a way for rural families in Kenya to replace smoky kerosene and firelight with solar power. Through his Use Solar, Save Lives program, he has distributed an estimated 10,000 solar lanterns for free.

On March 30, 2011, Wadongo was named one of three recipients of the inaugural Mikhail Gorbachev Awards for “people who changed the world.”

The western media can depict the people of post-colonial African nations as victims – whether of poverty, natural disaster, corruption or all three. This casts the people of those countries as perennially, even innately, passive – those to whom life happens. It accentuates the negative in a way that, for all the press's attraction to bad news, does not happen when the west discusses itself.

In relaying short stories of character this blog aims to dispel such notions of passivity, in a bid to challenge some of our mis-laid preconceptions.

To quote from Kapuscinski, however, these stories are not "about Africa, but rather about some people from there.. The continent is too large to describe. It is a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say “Africa.”

Stories will not always be good. That too would be condescending. The challenge will be to provide a whole picture – good, bad and ugly.