Safety in the Ceiling

The higher you go, the safer you are.

One survival hack that pilots know is that altitude is your friend. When you are flying a plane, the higher you are, the safer you are. Why?

One may assume that flying very near the ground is the safer option. In case of an engine failure, you will not come tumbling down from 11 km up in the sky. If you are flying 100m from the ground, you may have an opportunity to get to the ground with a smaller thud, and possibly survive. The reasoning makes sense, but it is wrong.

Pilots know that the higher you fly, the more you have time to react to unexpected situations. This is because, with speed and height, the plane can glide for long distances, giving you an opportunity to find a solution. For example, a 737 flying at 40,000 feet can glide for more than 150 km after losing both engines. While this is just slightly over 10 minutes of ‘airtime,’ there is a lot you can do during that time.

If your engine goes off, you have some 10 minutes to try to restart them before you crash. You have some time to think about where to land. There might be an airstrip, a good highway, or a lake, within your lifeline of 150 km. This is the reason why the higher you are, the safer it is for you as a pilot, and of course, as a passenger in the plane.

It is for the same reason that planes at take-off climb so steeply – pilots buying altitude.

High altitude also means lower resistance, hence lower fuel consumption. A plane at a cruising altitude consumes less fuel.

Fly High

What life lessons can we learn from this?

It is good to have options and a margin to cushion us in case of the unexpected. It is good to have savings that can take us a long time. It is good to have room for the unexpected. It is good to be ahead of the schedule, rather than barely running to beat deadlines. It is good to have a good plan  

It is also good to have a steep take off which gives you room for safety quickly. This could be working extra harder when starting a business, saving more when you are young… etc. Work to get to the cruising altitude so that you can relax a little bit.

Avoid living on the edge. Be safe.

Take Risks

But it is not every time that high altitude is desirable. In combat, fighter jets may operate at low altitudes in order to avoid detection by surveillance systems and anti-aircraft establishments. This is a special application that is used as a survival tactic. You do not want to be shot down by an enemy.

This also happens in life. At times, we must make the risky decision of flying low. It could be because we are facing an enemy such as a lack of opportunities, time constraints, lack of a fallback plan, a do-or-die situation, or even adventure. While this is acceptable, it should not be the norm. I do not think that we are supposed to be in combat all the time. Only if it is unavoidable.


The Challenge of Recruiting from a Market with a High Unemployment Rate

Posted on 3 min read

Ever wondered what recruitment looks like from the side of the employer, especially for small businesses?

Most people apply for jobs while assuming that the recruiting person will read through their applications in detail, and with the best intention in mind. They will fill in the blank spaces and will give the benefit of doubt where details are not clear.

Unfortunately, this is not usually the case.

Screening Challenge

I once did some recruitment and that is when I realized how hard it is to carry out recruitment in Kenya. With so many jobless or underemployed people in Kenya, a simple advert for an internship that is not very widely shared will result in hundreds of applications. There are reported cases of a hotel advertising for 15 positions and thousands turning up for the interview. This is where it becomes a nightmare.

How do you go through 100 CVs and application letters to get 3 candidates to interview and eventually hire one? If you are short on resources, as most SMEs are, the first step you do is to start eliminating the candidates. Remember that most small businesses do not have a dedicated recruitment person.

You ignore the CVs that you do not understand. You ignore those that lack essential information. You look for evidence that someone has relevant knowledge through what they mention in the CV.

For a developer, you want someone who says that they have created something, not the ones who say they know XYZ languages.

You are still not sure if the person you are hiring is a serial killer who has not yet been arrested. You cannot contact referees for entry-level jobs until the person has passed the interviews. In any case, referees are likely to tell you good things about the person, even when they know that the person has never woken up before 9 am.

This is why instead of advertising for jobs, small companies will just look for referrals. This is a common practice that means that those who do not have the networks may not get the jobs, even when they have all the skills. Those without networks and connections end up losing the game.

Job Scams

There are also many employment scams that seek to con people. People are asked to pay for job applications in nonexistent positions or to pay somebody who will help them secure a job position. Unknown to them, the job position does not even exist – just scammers whose end goal is to extract money from jobless people.

Others advertise jobs with the end goal of harvesting personal data. Want to get the phone and email contact of thousands of accountants? Just advertise for an entry-level/ junior accountant position with a very high salary. Data will fill your inbox in a short time. Nobody will ever be shortlisted for the position because the position did not exist in the first place.

Such factors make some people lose confidence in job recruitment systems and may not even apply.

Recruitment Agencies

One of the people that are filling the recruitment gap is the recruitment agencies. These agencies seek to connect job seekers with employers, and charge fees for the same.

To solve the problem of costs, some of these agencies have models where the applicant pays only if they get a job placement (from their initial salary), or the employer pays for the service. This model is becoming popular and leads to a more equal society, as opposed to one where the most connected people get all the opportunities.

In all these challenges and solutions, the one elephant in the room that must be addressed is the lack of employment opportunities in Kenya.


Social Capital

Posted on 5 min read

Self-Made Myth

You have ever heard someone say that ‘I am a self-made person.’ It could be a self-made millionaire, self-made YouTuber with many followers, self-made programmer, or even self-made businessperson. The claim here is that the person is who they are due to their own effort, and did not depend on help from other people. The pride!

Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no self-made person. At least, they did not give birth to themselves. They never taught themselves how to speak. Did they invent money so that they can make a lot of it? They never became influencers by following themselves, nor did they make the gadgets that they use for social media. Even if they stole, they did not steal from themselves. All their achievement is because they live in a society with other people, who directly or indirectly, influenced who they are.

There is no self-made person.


At the center of everything we do is other people, and this is a unique gift from God that sets us apart from other animals. Human beings are able to collaborate with one another in very special ways. Take the example of taking a cup of tea; where you can walk into a café and get some ready-made tea, or you can buy the ingredients and make yourself a cup of tea. You do not need to grow your own tea, make your own sugar, blacksmith your own sufuria or model your own cups. You depend on other people to have your cup of tea.

In life you never see monkeys specializing and having some of them look for bananas while others look for berries. You do not see some of them working hard to map the forest so that they keep an up-to-date database of where all foods are. You do not see wild animals coming together to irrigate the jungle during the dry season. Neither do you see lions setting traps and hunting in bulk so that they can sell to other lions, and so that the elderly lion will not need to hunt. Specialized collaboration is the gift that human beings have.

Social Capital; Definition

Which brings us to social capital.

Social capital refers to the links and bonds people form through friendships and acquaintances. It is what allows groups of people to work together for a common purpose or goals. When you know somebody who can solve your problem, or you know somebody who knows somebody who can help you file your tax returns, you are making use of your social capital to achieve a certain goal.

Why is this important?

Herbert Smith, Nobel-prize-winning economist, estimated that 90% of what people earn in wealthy “western” societies is down to social capital. Had Bill Gates been born Yatta, Matuu, perhaps he could be a major sand supplier in Kenya. The guy pushing a handcart in Nairobi could easily have been a logistics officer with British Airways of they were born in London. This is social capital at work.

If you are born in a poor country, you will make less money for the same skills and effort compared to if you were born in a rich country.

Social Capital in the Bible

Let me put this here so that I do not forget, or lack somewhere else to say it.

‘The greatest of all networks is to know and be known by God.’

That said, we move on.

The idea of relationships and networks starts right from the beginning, where we see a Triune God setting things in action in Genesis. We see laws that help people live together as a community because this was key.

Something worth noting: While social capital is built on the idea of reciprocity, that is not expected in Christianity. The command is to reach out to those who cannot pay back. “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.” (Lk 14:12)

Some 3 examples from the bible:

  • Perhaps he was the 3rd in line to be King (After Saul and his father Jonathan)
  • All this was lost when David takes over. But,
    • David comes to his rescue, on account of his father Jonathan
    • David asked, “Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1
    • This way, he enjoys royal treatment based on the relationship that the Father had with David.

Lesson: Networks we build today could help us or our children in future.

  • Leprosy was a nagging problem for this big person. A servant girl in his house knew the solution.
  • She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 2 Kings 5:3
    • Naaman was known by the right person, who offered a solution.
      • The problems you have today, someone possibly has the answer.
        • Someone could be looking to hire someone with the skills that you have. But do you know them? Do they know you?

Lesson: Know people, or know people who know people, or be known.


  • His ministry was dependent on people, who he needed to build first
    • He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. Mark 3:14
      • This was like getting interns.
      • He trains them and they end up being his witnesses.

Lesson: Create your networks by building people.

What determines our social capital?

There are three things I can highlight:

  • People we know

Our social capital is tied to the people we know (and of course, if they know as well because I know Vladimir Putin very well). It is important that we seek to know people.

  • Depth of those relationship

It is not enough to know people; ensure that they know you in the right way. This calls for a rich and genuine relationships with other people. People may not know that you can offer a certain service or possess a certain skill unless you interact closely. If people do not know that you are looking or a job, they will not be looking out for opportunities on your behalf.

  • Benefits of those relationships

You could have people who know you, know your needs, but are they willing to go out of their way to help you? What are they willing to do to help you? While there is little we can do to get people to help us, we can take the first step to ensure that we help people who are within our networks.

How to Build Networks/Social Capital

 A few tips:

  1. Do good to the people that you already know. People reciprocate.
  2. Know new people. Do not sit back and blame your introvertedness or claim that you are not good at making friends.
  3. Diversify your networks
    1. Get to know people in different fields. If you are an engineer, you will need a lawyer one day.
    1. Get to know people in different locations. There many opportunities outside your locality.
  4. Create time for people. Visit if you can. Make calls. Invite people to visit you.
  5. Keep in touch with former colleagues. Here there is a goldmine of people and you already know them.

**** Notes from MUBET fellowship talk on Social Capital. Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash ***


Tips for Video Meetings

Posted on 3 min read

The age of professional video meetings is here with us. What factors do you need to consider while preparing for meetings and what should you put into mind? Here are a few tips.


Lighting affects how you will appear in the video. The best lighting considerations would require a professional to get it right, but the most important point to note is that you should not be positioned between a source of light and the camera. Let light be above you and at least in front of you.

Let lighting be sufficient and uniform. If your meeting ends late in the evening, consider switching on the lights before you run out of daylight.


Most computers have very poor cameras compared to smartphones, but they still work because you may not need HD video. However, you can consider getting a webcam if the inbuilt PC camera is not sufficient. A few apps can also be used to convert your smartphone into a webcam.

Keep the camera at eye level and at an appropriate distance from you so as to allow for a ‘mugshot view.’ If you are using a smartphone, keep the phone in landscape mode. Try to keep to the center of the screen and avoid unnecessary movements.

It may also be necessary to keep the video on unless you have a slow internet connection.


Be early for meetings and test your tools in advance. Remember that starting your computer could take time, and getting the link for that meeting could take longer. This means that you should aim to be online at least five minutes before the start of your meeting.

Be conscious of time too when online. Let meetings end on time, and if there is a need to extend beyond the stipulated time, let the people attending know.


Find a quiet environment away from physical distractions and noise. If you are working from home where space is constrained, let your housemates know when you are in a meeting so that they can give you some space. Consider using the quietest room available.

Privacy and security

Do not share meeting joining credentials publicly to avoid zoom bombers. If you have many people attending a meeting, give individualized invitation links, and control the ability of members to share screens.

Dress appropriately for the meeting as you might have to stand up. In addition, be conscious of what you do or say, as sometimes you might think you are muted when you are not, or your video is off when it is on.

Display Name

Rename your device appropriately, where necessary. Let it show your name instead of ‘Samsung Galaxy S20.’ You might also want to consider a virtual background with the company logo for identity or branding.

General Etiquette

Remember an online meeting is just the same as a physical meeting in terms of what people expect. Behave appropriately and speak in the same way you would in a physical meeting. It may not be a good idea to bring food to the meeting, although drinks seem acceptable.

Avoid multitasking and be attentive when others are speaking.


Untethering from Social Media Slavery

Posted on 5 min read

In his book Fool’s Talk, OS Guinness says that “everyone is now in the business of relentless self-promotion – presenting themselves, explaining themselves, defending themselves, selling themselves or sharing their inner thoughts and emotions as never before in human history.” This is majorly through Social Media. People are seeking the widest possible public audience in the name of followers, friends or connections, often to the detriment of authentic lives and connections.

Among the many documentaries that caused a stir in an event field 2020 is one ‘Social Dilemma’ on Netflix. This docudrama directed by Jeff Orlowski tries to shed some light on the harmful impact of social media in the world today.  They argue that platforms like Facebook are designed to be addictive and the primary goal of the people behind the platform is to use your data to make money. Consequently, they do all they can to draw and retain your attention, and they do it with lethal effectiveness to the extent that it is like a drug addiction.

People are almost running their entire lives online by being tethered to their devices all the time.  As highlighted in the documentary, the creators of those platforms have designed them in such a way that they are addictive and are always demanding for your attention. They are not just technology companies with some geeks churning out code after code, but are psychological think tanks with armies of psychologists, neuroscientists and social science experts who use their knowledge of human vulnerabilities to capture your attention and get you addicted. Social Media is addictive by design.

To be sure that you are using social media in the right way, look out for the following things:  

Examine yourself

In the words of Haggai, we need to do a self-examination, or ‘give careful thoughts to your ways.’ The first question to ask is whether you are using Social Media responsibly, and if you have a healthy relationship with the same. The goal is to ensure that you are in control, and not the Social Media platforms controlling you. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I spend unnecessarily long periods of time on Social Media?
  2. Do I experience time management problems due to unhealthy use of social media?
  3. Have my studies, social life, ministry activities and relationships been negatively affected due to social media?
  4. Do I have irregular sleep patterns due to use of social media?
  5. Do I feel down when I am unable to access social media, or if my posts are not getting the attention I need?
  6. Has social media led me to other vices such as pornography, greed, jealousy or masturbation?
  7. Do I have more conversations online than in person?

If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, perhaps it is time to examine if you need to apply some change or readjustment to your relationship with social media.

2. Take Corrective Measures

If you realize that social media has become your god, or it is on the verge of becoming one, or you have an unhealthy relationship with it, it is time to take action. Seek as much help available. You should also have some form of accountability with people that are close to you.

Here are a few measures for your consideration;

i) Define your Social Media use

Why are you using Social Media? Is it for entertainment, business, education, or personal development? If you figure out why, you will be in a position to know when social media is useful, or when you are becoming very hooked. If you are using it for entertainment, you should be able to tell if you are having too much entertainment, or if your entertainment channels are imbalanced.

ii) Be Self-Controlled

A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out (Proverbs 25:28).  Do not allow algorithms to control your life and lead you from one video to another, with little regard for content, values or even your time. Also, guard yourself from drifting into mindlessly into these addictive habits. Apply self-control and consciously decide to not be enslaved.

iii) Avoid the ungodly

While there are so many benefits of social media, avoid any matter that is ungodly. It may be trending or forming the base of every discussion in your circles, but if it draws you away from God, let it go.

Instead, appropriate the grace of God, which teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:11,12). Keep off the ungodly content that would corrupt you.

iv) Do not be the fool

Social media has the ability to deceive and make you think that you are in control. In your mind, you might think that you are just trying to keep up with the memes and challenges, while in real sense you are being manipulated to keep scrolling endlessly.

Learn how social media works, and the impacts it has on you. You could even use the same social media to learn about the ills of social media. It is said when the product is free, like social media, you are the product. In the words of Ephesians 5:15, ‘be careful how you use your time, not like fools, but like those who are wise.’

v) Do not Seek validation on Social Media

Have you ever found yourself taking countless photos just to find the perfect one to post on social media? Do you find yourself checking your notifications over and over just to see if someone liked, replied or retweeted your post? Many times, we seek validation on social media, which blurs the truth about ourselves. Our self-worth must be pegged on God, and not on a bunch of notifications. While you promote content online, do not be unnecessarily invested in its outcome.

In conclusion, we must draw the line and define how much intrusion is too much. As explored above, scriptures guide us on assessing our virtual spaces and redefining them in a way that fosters truth and responsibility. While there might be too much pressure to stay hooked, we must fight to overcome and live self-controlled lives to God’s glory.


Kenyans, You Can’t Eat GDP

Posted on 3 min read

Kenya is the poster child for economic growth in Eastern Africa. A democratic nation compared to Uganda where Museveni has ruled since the days of John the Baptist. A relatively peaceful nation compared to Somalia and South Sudan. A highly skilled workforce, better than Tanzania. An economy that is bigger than Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi combined.

We boast of having a relatively stable country when part of our neighbors is falling apart. Kenyans tweet about mega projects that are taking place. We consider ourselves a tech savvy nation where many international companies are setting camp.

Despite all that, something does not seem right. People are struggling to make ends meet. Young people are becoming poorer than their parents were. Inequality is on the rise and corruption has made it hard for everyone to survive, except the thieves. A look at some of the statistics below show that we are in a bad situation.

Gloomy Outlook

More Gloom

What is the point of boasting about being a middle-income country when the future of the young people is not guaranteed? Where is the hope for the youth, who form 75% of the population? Why are doctors jobless, but hospitals lack doctors? Why are engineers jobless when we are importing some from China? University degrees popular yet jobs are not. Why is betting becoming a national economic activity? Why are people working hard, paying taxes, then missing the government services? Drought and famine is a consistent theme.

Unfortunately, a political solution is not near, for at the moment, Kenyans are about to vote for the same people who have been a problem for the last many years. We will continue to boast about growth in GDP as more loans come and the books are cooked, but no one eats GDP.

Wake up, Kenyans.