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

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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Aug 15, 2010
Young men seeking handouts are a reason to weep

Following the confirmation of a new constitution, those who were ‘Yes’ are now cock-a-hoop about fresh beginnings, renewals and new dawns for Kenya. But right there during the election process last week, something happened that should tell us the scale of the task ahead. There were press reports indicating that a large and rowdy group […]

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Aug 01, 2010
Win or lose, let’s do it with grace

Next week Kenyans go to the polls again, to say yes or no to a new constitution. On Wednesday, some of us will lose and some of us will win. After Wednesday, we need to know HOW to lose and HOW to win. The recent football World Cup final was an ugly affair. The Dutch […]

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Jul 25, 2010
What your organisation can learn from the World Cup

I suffer from an affliction. Having spent the better part of my life studying management and organisations, I am unable to switch that part of my brain off. Even when I am enjoying myself on holiday, I find myself observing the processes, systems, leadership and strategies that underlie the excellent (or dire) experience I am […]

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Jul 18, 2010
Memories of the World Cup: sights and sounds

It’s all over, and the best team won. Spain, consistently the world’s outstanding football side over the past few years, took home the trophy. Holland came to the final playing kung-fu rather than soccer, and deservedly went home empty handed. And so it’s over. I already see many bereft people in a sorry state every […]

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Jul 04, 2010
The man at the bridge: a lonely battle against ethical collapse

We spend too much of our time on big issues and big personalities. We remain engrossed in ‘Yes-No’ politics and huge debates about governance and development. In all this grandstanding, we sometimes miss the fact that all great movements in history stem from small actions from small people. Nothing starts off as a big deal, […]

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Jun 20, 2010
Why what I think about the constitution doesn’t matter

Last Sunday Kenya changed for the worse. As we know, grenades were thrown at a rally held as part of the current constitutional review campaigns. The resulting explosions killed six Kenyans and injured scores of others. The numbers mislead us. They turn the people who died into mere statistics. Note and turn the page. But […]

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May 30, 2010
Time for Africa to stop being the dark continent

Dr Edward Mungai is Dean of Strathmore Business School. He likes to use a satellite map of the world in his presentations to current and future students of the school. The map shows the earth by night – which parts are most brightly lit up. As you would expect, North America, Europe and Japan have […]

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May 23, 2010
A great example of spontaneous giving

My fellow “Kalasingas” are not renowned for their social activity. In Kenya, the primary image of the Sikh male is of a hard-drinking, cranky, rumbustious, self-absorbed individual. There are indeed enough Sikh males of this ilk around to feed the stereotype, but the stereotype does not define the species. At London’s Heathrow International Airport a […]

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Apr 26, 2010
Five ways in which the world of work will change

1. No more 9 to 5 2. Productivity will be closely measured 3. Cogs will become redundant 4. The winners will be the linchpins 5. Work will become art SETH GODIN, Regus Business Sense (April 2010) Business guru and author Seth Godin spelled out some of the ideas in his new book, Linchpin, in Regus […]

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Apr 18, 2010
Why do we seem to attract the world’s second-raters?

I walked into an Italian restaurant in Mombasa recently, and first impressions were favourable. The ambience was pleasantly rustic, and we were greeted with smiles by a waiter, which makes a change. The Italian proprietor was hovering around benignly. But there was an immediate warning sign. During the middle of lunch hour, a worker was […]

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Mar 28, 2010
Your personal standards drive success

How were your cornflakes this Sunday morning? One of my oldest friends told me something interesting about his consumption of cereals. He asserted that the milk you add to cornflakes has to be very cold, otherwise the taste is ruined. I was about to dismiss this as individual fastidiousness, but my attention was piqued and […]

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Mar 21, 2010
Why reality usually has nothing to do with plans

Last week this column looked at two words: Event and Process. This week I want to engage you in a discussion about two more: PLAN and REALITY. The need to think about these words came to me on a recent flight. Anyone who has flown on a commercial flight will be familiar with the in-flight […]

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Mar 14, 2010
To succeed, make the crucial distinction between event and process

This Sunday I want to focus your attention on two seemingly simple words: EVENT and PROCESS. The difference between these words, I would like to argue, is that between earth and sky, between success and failure, between dream and reality. Yet we are confusing these words every day in Kenya and retarding our progress. Our […]

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Feb 28, 2010
Reflections on our roads and their users

There’s nothing like a quiet drive to aid the reflection process. Or so I thought. I embarked on a family trip to the great mountain in the heart of our country recently, and was able to think a little about the land we live in. My first set of thoughts were about our drivers. These […]

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