"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

Sep 05, 2011
Kissing at work? Leave me out, please…

“When I was your age I disliked being kissed by people at work so intensely that I developed a special anti-kissing strategy. Whenever someone approached me with intent, I would look panic-stricken and take a step backwards to discourage a lunge. This was generally effective in conveying that I didn’t wish to be kissed, but […]

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Aug 28, 2011
Why do corporate executives talk like parrots?

Corporate executives must really hate their work. I only say this because they seem to need a different language to describe what they do, liven up their meetings, dress up their mundane lives in metaphor. How else do you explain the modern disease known as corporate jargon? A recent Forbes magazine article defined jargon as […]

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Jul 24, 2011
How many of your employees take it personally?

Every once in a while, this column looks for ordinary people who exemplify the attitudes that Kenya needs. This week again, it has found one to name. Clement Githinji is a restaurant manager who runs one of Nairobi’s finer eating establishments. My wife and I are often there, and recently had an interesting encounter. After […]

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Jun 26, 2011
No, Kenyans, don’t be numb to these outrages

Whatever became of moral outrage in Kenya? “Nothing changes, no lessons are learned. Kenyans move on, and forget about the whole thing. And so buildings will continue to fall, and bombs will keep being planted. Ferries will keep sinking, and trains will be derailed. Buses will continue crashing in exactly the same places for decades. […]

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Jun 13, 2011
Do you have any idea what tomorrow might bring?

“Even after a month of demonstrations in Tunisia had brought about the downfall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on January 14th, some White House officials, along with American and Israeli intelligence experts, put the likelihood of a copycat revolution in Egypt at no more than twenty per cent. The hundred and twenty-five million […]

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May 22, 2011
Are you on a personal mission to spread the right knowledge?

Last week on this page we shouted: “enough is enough!” No more indignity for Africa. Africa must stand up for itself and stop being everyone else’s benchmark of poverty and dependence. Before we fix Africa, however, we must understand what ails it. The easy answer is always to blame the leadership we’ve had to date. […]

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May 08, 2011
A guide to peculiar Kenyan job descriptions

A job description, as every human-resource professional will tell you, is a very important thing. It specifies the nature of your role and what particular activities and responsibilities are most important for you to fulfil your remit. In Kenya, however, most of our jobs are not as straightforward as they might be in other parts […]

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May 01, 2011
Why I didn’t watch the royal wedding

Thankfully, it’s over. I refer, of course, to the royal wedding held in the United Kingdom on Friday. Since two billion people around the planet were supposed to watch it, the chances are pretty good that many of the readers of this column were also glued to their screens. Could we stop and ask ourselves, […]

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Apr 24, 2011
People of Mombasa: why is your town so dirty?

Mombasa is very dear to me. Mombasa is childhood memories; wonderful sights and sounds; spicy aromas; and, of course, the peerless Indian Ocean. Mombasa is a cradle of culture; the place where diverse languages and cuisines and songs have interlocked for centuries. Mombasa is the biggest port in the region, the place where most of […]

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Apr 17, 2011
Announcing my new line of business

I wish to announce that I am entering a new line of business. From tomorrow, I will be opening a whole new kind of advisory service. I will be known as Dr Sunny Day, and will be addressing all the common problems of humanity: love affairs gone wrong; business failures; bedroom mishaps; uncertainty about the […]

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Apr 10, 2011
Why do anything? Just make a speech

A few weeks ago India’s foreign minister, S.M. Krishna, stood before the United Nations and read a speech. Nothing peculiar in that – the UN, after all, excels in listening to speeches. But there was a problem: it was the wrong speech. What Mr. Krishna read out was actually the speech of the Portuguese foreign […]

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Mar 27, 2011
How to react to a disaster – by the people of Japan

The word “stoic” has recently re-entered the world’s consciousness, thanks to the people of a small island nation that has just faced an unimaginable disaster. First a terrible earthquake broke Japan’s spine; then a calamitous tsunami engulfed it. When the first pictures rolled across our TV screens, the events seemed unreal: buildings, cars and ships […]

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Mar 06, 2011
Leaders, pay attention to the fruit-seller who changed the world

Kenyan leaders, I know you don’t read much. Your time seems to be wholly consumed by midnight meetings, political plots and ugly utterances. So I thought I would offer you an executive summary of the story of a man who has just changed the world. Please read this as your driver overlaps through our 24/7 […]

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Feb 27, 2011
We are creating a society where anything goes and nothing grows

“The rules are the rules, and they cannot be broken.” So said the Deputy Speaker of Kenya’s house of parliament last week, and many of us applauded. He was blocking MPs from attempting an infringement of parliament’s rules, and doing so with ironclad certainty that neither he nor the Speaker would permit any laxity. Hear, […]

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Jan 16, 2011
And so we all sit back and watch as rules collapse…

Every weekday I watch hired ‘school vans’ take little children to and from their schools. Every weekday I watch these vans with their precious cargo overlap other cars, mount pavements to get a few feet ahead in the traffic, and speed recklessly when the road opens up. Every weekday I wonder: this is the example […]

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Jan 02, 2011
Kenyans, it is finally time to become a nation

I listened to a rendition of our national anthem at a school Christmas production the other day. The anthem was played, unusually, using piano and violin – and it was utterly enchanting. I am not ashamed to state here in print that it brought a tear or two to my eye. And why not, when […]

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Dec 19, 2010
The Sunshine Awards, 2010

It’s that time of year, so “A Sunny Day” announces its annual Sunshine Awards, to record the scene-changing events and organizations of 2010. This is the 3rd year of these awards; I ask you to remember, however, that they are entirely personal and not subject to any known auditing process. The Achievement of the Year […]

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Dec 12, 2010
Wikileaks fiasco shows establishment’s need to keep people in the dark

I can’t really avoid discussing Wikileaks this week, can I? It’s the big international story of the year, and has the whole world buzzing, divided, outraged, delighted – depending of your point of view. Here in Kenya we are also waiting, some with bated breath, to know what those pesky US diplomats really thought about […]

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Dec 05, 2010
What Kenyans are peculiarly good at: Forgetting

A few weeks ago, several Kenyans died in the most unnecessary manner. They were trampled underfoot by a stampeding mob. I refer to the Nyayo Stadium tragedy of October, which left many families grieving and dozens in hospital. Do you remember what I’m talking about? Is the event beginning to reappear through the mists of […]

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Nov 21, 2010
Ask Sunny all your peculiar questions…

As we all know, we live in a peculiar country. A very peculiar country. There are so many confusing questions that bedevil us every day, and precious few answers. So I have decided to occasionally become an “agony uncle” in this column, to tackle some of your more thorny conundrums. Here’s the first instalment. Q: […]

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Nov 14, 2010
Madding rain and peculiar calling habits on our roads

It rained in Nairobi last week, and so there were traffic jams everywhere. Study that statement again: it is a non sequitur. The “and so” conclusion does not follow from the first part of the sentence. Yet in Kenya it is a statement of fact, banally true: when it rains, there are traffic jams. Why […]

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Oct 24, 2010
Kenya’s true heroes are mostly invisible

And so we celebrated our first Mashujaa Day. A nice idea by the constitutional review team – de-personalize the Kenyatta and Moi days, combine them into one holiday, use it to celebrate all heroes, not just politicians whose ‘heroism’ is debatable in any case. A nice idea, but we have some way to go before […]

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Oct 17, 2010
Science vs Arts? Wrong question

William Ruto, Minister for Higher Education, did us all a favour recently. Not quite in the way he intended, but never mind. Mr Ruto penned an opinion piece questioning the investment of scarce resources in seemingly unproductive educational disciplines, specifically the arts, humanities and social sciences. There was a predictable brouhaha in the land, with […]

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Oct 04, 2010
5 signs that it’s time to quit your job

“Do you get into the office without a plan of action for the day? Are you not being rewarded for your efforts? Does your boss often pull you down and embarrass you in front of colleagues? If any or all of these ring true, it might be time to shake things up.” PRERNA SODHI, India […]

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Sep 26, 2010
Kenya’s population – biggest asset or worst nightmare?

Last week I asked you to think differently about Kenya’s population numbers and demographic profile. Half our population is aged under 18. Good or bad? Consider this: would you rather have the Japan problem? Japan’s population has peaked and is expected to decline for decades. That means fewer workers paying fewer taxes to support an […]

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Sep 19, 2010
Does Kenya have too many people?

This is an article I’ve been waiting to write for a year. We completed our population enumeration exercise a year ago, and watched the results being delayed many times due to, we are told, “data complexity.” Make of that what you will. I know you are more interested in the numbers your tribe clocked, but […]

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Sep 12, 2010
We need more art, artists and artistry

Can we please stop this Sunday to record a debt of gratitude to all the artists in our midst? Those who create original works of the imagination – be they paintings, books, music, poetry, drama, films, sculptures – make our hearts soar. They deserve all our applause. Think about it: when does your heart sing? […]

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Sep 05, 2010
It’s time to name names…

Today I’m going to name names. Last month I realised that this SIM-card registration thing is serious, and that I had a data modem that required registration. I was passing through a shopping mall, and found that Safaricom had set up a special table outside their customer-care centre to conduct SIM registrations. Just one table, […]

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