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

Feb 19, 2012
Are you a happy-clappy optimist or a sour pessimist?

Do you get the feeling that slowly, painfully, a new Kenya is being born? So do I. The old guard are being forced to concede ground; the old ways will soon be consigned to history. A new Kenya, one fit for the young and the connected as well as the decent and the discerning, will […]

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Feb 12, 2012
A rule of life: If it’s “free”, it’s probably very expensive

People everywhere love freebies. If it’s “free,” we want it. And we want lots of it. Here’s the thing, though: nothing is really free. Resources are limited. To provide or make anything on this planet consumes resources. So if something seems free, it’s up to you to work out who’s bearing the cost. Some simple […]

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Feb 05, 2012
For things to change, policymakers must feel the pain

A drive on one of Kenya’s highways is, we can all agree, a hair-raising experience. We have one of the world’s highest road fatality rates, for one simple reason: the roads are full of what our president fondly calls “pumbavus” who have inexplicably been allowed to drive. So you will get pea-brained drivers coming at […]

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Jan 22, 2012
Organizations: prepare for online firestorms in 2012

A few weeks ago I predicted that 2012 would be the year of the “Twitter Big Stick” in Kenya: a time when both politicians and large organizations feel the force of feedback from social media. I pointed out that the reason for this is that the little people – customers, users, voters – now have […]

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Jan 15, 2012
A country of Big People and Little People

In Kenya there are Big People, and there are Little People. There are very few Big People, and very, very many Little People. The Big People call all the shots and make all the decisions, and the Little People obey. The slightly bigger Little People spend all their time and effort trying to become Big […]

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Jan 01, 2012
May these be the things you achieve in 2012

I attended a graduation ceremony recently, and was struck by something said by one the graduands, a class president. She quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, certainly one of the more quotable people who ever passed through this planet. Here is the quotation:    “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and […]

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Dec 25, 2011
Here are the Sunshine Awards 2011

It’s time for the annual Sunshine Awards from this columnist: highlighting the significant events and people of 2011. Before you proceed, please remember the selection process is opaque, peculiar and idiosyncratic, and not subject to external auditing. The Damburst of the Year was the amazing outbreak of popular uprisings. Starting from the Arab world this […]

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Dec 18, 2011
Nairobi’s traffic problem is a behaviour problem

I have been beating the traffic-gridlock tune on my drum on this page since 2003.  Every year, the situation in our capital city gets worse.  Every year, leaders yawn and look away.  But for how much longer? As Nairobians of all walks of life can testify, the situation is now at breaking point.  In recent […]

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Dec 04, 2011
A big thank-you to all the decent people out there

Let us take some time this Sunday to be thankful for certain types of people. Let us thank those who are polite and courteous, even when everyone around them is rude and obnoxious. Those who maintain etiquette and decorum even though that doesn’t get you anywhere in this increasingly ugly world. Those who say “please” […]

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Nov 28, 2011
Is business really a force for good?

“Japanese police, prosecutors and securities agencies in Japan, the United States and Britain are investigating Olympus after the firm admitted this month that it hid losses on securities investments for decades, disguising some as acquisition payments and fees. The scandal at the once-proud firm has rekindled concerns about lax corporate governance in Japan and revived […]

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Nov 20, 2011
Taxpayer, you’re footing all the bills all by yourself

I feel I need to write something this Sunday that some of you may dismiss as a statement of the bleeding obvious. But here goes anyway. A government’s only real source of revenue is taxpayers. That’s it. I said it would be obvious. Yet it needs restating nonetheless, for I fear in the modern economy […]

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Nov 13, 2011
Why I stopped watching cricket

When I was a very young boy in Nairobi, watching wrestling on TV was all the rage. Every week, whole families would sit down and be regaled by the antics of the likes of Big Daddy, Johnny Saint and Giant Haystacks. Not to mention evil incarnate, Kendo Nagasaki (those of a certain age will remember […]

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Oct 16, 2011
Make the deaths of these greats matter

So many good people are dying in quick succession. First, it was Wangari Maathai, our very own iron lady of legendary courage. Next Steve Jobs passed on, leaving an army of bereft customers in his wake. And now another man goes leaving a gaping hole in so many lives: Jagjit Singh, India’s renowned singer and […]

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Oct 09, 2011
Is any leader serious about honouring Wangari Maathai?

Wangari Maathai deservedly got a state funeral, the first ever for a woman in these parts. She warranted it, for rarely has a Kenyan received such global acclaim. But here’s the thing: once the funeral is over, and we have stopped shedding the requisite tears, how are we going to honour her memory? The fact […]

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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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