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Monday, August 9, 2010

When the Fish is Too Good... Think Twice

It’s always been said and repeated countless times that “when the deal is too good, think twice.” Unfortunately, not so many people put this adage to test. They always want to taste the deal and wait for the repercussions, if any. Why think twice anyway?

Financial analysts would give explanations like you might be running into a volatile market where share prices are tumbling down and that it wont be long before the stock market is declared bearish. Lovers would say that you are running into a love circle with a cougar who has done the best there is to hide her ‘grassroots age.’ In other words, the deal is always good for desperados who are always ready to pounce on the first opportunity.

You must be wondering why am circumventing around deals without revealing which one it is. Well, worry no more.

I introduce to you this character; let’s call her Awilo, a female Awilo, not the Congolese performer. As you read this article, she’s recovering from a life-threatening situation.

In the week that Kenyans went to vote for or against the referendum – for winning decisively in this case – Awilo encountered an unforgettable experience with one of her favourite foods.

Her day was typical. Wake up, freshen up, dress up, go for work, work, travel back home… and, wait for your table d’hôte Carte du jour. She must have worked herself off this day and what best way to amass back the energy by sitting on your favourite meal?

You don’t have to have a master’s degree in economics to be the Chancellor of Exchequer. Similarly, you don’t have to be a fisherman or in the least own a fishing net to know how to vent hunger frustrations on a meal of fish. This is a lesson that Awilo knew only too well. However, just like the Chancellor needs some handy knowledge on some market fundamentals, the person who decides to launch an attack on fish must have some experience, especially on deboning.

But Awilo must have been too hungry to put her previously picture perfect experience into practice as she worked her way into the fish. Or may be she was just being complacent.  I haven’t yet established how far she had gone into her business of the evening. But one thing that I know is that she was cut short. Or did she cut herself short?

Either way, Awilo must have underrated the strength of a predating bone in the fish that was waiting to pounce on her poor throat. May be the mouthful ride from the tail, through the middle to the head, or viceversa, had been smooth.

But all this exploration of the fish came to a dead end, almost literally, when the predating bone decided to unleash its menacing bite, spreading its tentacles across Awilo’s throat. What followed next was a desperate attempt, first by Awilo and then tablemates, to remove the prey (Awilo’s throat) from the grasp of the predator.

A floury of punches after another landed on Awilo’s poor back as a Mike Tyson tried to administer first aid. Nothing changed. Awilo tried to choke it out. Nothing changed.

Awilo in the meantime was losing her breath with every minute count.

When all had been tried but failed, the next step could only be a rush to a doctor, who apparently had gotten training on even how to remove a bone from a patient’s throat!

Cue in a few interrogations, a ride to the theater, euthanasia and the doctors say, “Awilo is back!” And back she is as she narrated this ordeal to us.

One thing that is not clear is what happened to Awilo’s sweet but chocking dish of fish. But if you thought that cruel experience would end her relationship with fish, think again. Awilo has declared war on all fish species – including Paul the octoptus? swearing that she would continue assaulting fish as a delicacy, come bone or flesh. Now that is what I call commitment. Go for it gal!

But before she embarks on fish-conquering journey again, I have a few recommendations. First, always exercise some level of patience on fish, no matter how hungry you are. Second, go to Wikihow and learn how to eat fish! And if all these sound too much, you can take a 30-second look on the video below. It will come in handy some day. 

But most important of all, when the fish is too good, think twice.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

African Innovators Join Global Experts at Online Tourism Summit in Nairobi

East African tourism industry stakeholders are set to benefit immensely from discourses on e tourism to be presented at a regional e tourism conference set for this week. The conference, which will feature global online giants such as Trip Advisor and Expedia, will focus on how East Africa’s tourism sector can harness the potential of the web, especially following the enormous interest generated in Africa from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The conference comes in the wake of increased optimism in Kenyan tourism sector following a peaceful referendum and an impending promulgation of a new constitution on Friday August 27.This, coupled with impressive results in tourist arrivals in past half compared to 2007, is set add an impetus to the already stabling growth fuelled by the  improved internet connectivity.

Speakers at the event will include Trip Advisor’s Head of Emerging Markets, Helena Egan and leading Internet innovator Jerome Touze - the company’s CEO and one of the Founders of WAYN.com – the world’s leading travel social network, which has over 16 million members, globally.

Mr. Touze spoke at last year’s E Tourism Africa Summit in Johannesburg and he has since worked with South Africa Tourism on a social media campaign called the “Face of South Africa”, which has been hugely successful, attracting over 5 million views and 20,000 applications for the competition.

“We have achieved some amazing results through social media for South Africa Tourism and I am very pleased to be traveling to Nairobi to speak at the E Tourism East Africa Conference. Its great to see much more awareness and understanding from Tourist Boards about the importance of the web and social media as a strong marketing tool”, said WAYN.com co-CEO Jerome Touze.

E tourism Frontiers CEO Damian Cook, who is the convener, said that alongside the international speakers at this year’s summit, there will also be an impressive number of Africa based companies and projects presenting new and innovative ways of promoting and selling Africa online.

“Since our first conferences in Johannesburg and Nairobi in 2008, we have seen major changes in the way African tourism companies and destinations are using the web. We have some amazing projects in our line up this year- including South African company - Wild Earth who stream game drives live to the world via vehicle mounted webcams and provide Twitter updates and interactions with viewers as they go”, said Mr. Cook.

The ETF CEO added: “African Travel companies have seen the success of tourist produced online viral videos such as the Battle of Kruger, which has been viewed by over 50 million people, and they are now creating platforms for user generated content, reviews and discussions of their products. The web has really made it easy for small players to use technology, creativity and innovation to make a big connection with global markets. It is critical that tourism companies in across East Africa take advantage of online marketing opportunities. The E Tourism East Africa Conference will show them how”

Also presenting at the summit will be ecologist and author Dr. Paula Kahumbu - CEO of Wildlife Direct who have created a blogging platform and social network for conservation projects.  Mr. Kahumbu will also be discussing how Tourism and Conservation can work together online.

Key sponsors of the conference include Kenya Commercial Bank, Safaricom and Crowne Plaza Hotel.