Mark Kaigwa

Archive for 2010|Yearly archive page

The Daily Nation/Zuqka Interview: Mark Kaigwa “Techie Extraordinaire”

In Happenings on October 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

Thanks to Felix Mind for the story. And to the people that are the Movement that is  Follow us at & Facebook too –

Much love to the family and everyone around me.

Mark Kaigwa interview Daily Nation Zuqka 17 September 2010

Questions, Comments, Criticism welcome.

3 New GMail Apps That Will Change How You Email…Forever.

In Perspective on September 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

I’m certainly no GMail ninja. But I sure do like some of the amazing tools and people who take hours and hours to create apps and services to make e-mail simpler and a better experience. I’m constantly looking and applying hacks, tweaks and scripts to make my web experience better.b294c2a4-20c3-478f-b66e-3f52d7def141

Recently 3 “in GMail” apps, I’ve come across have completely changed email for me.


This is easily one of my favourite apps. It has completely changed the way I experience email online. Rapportive adds personality and CRM if you will, to the mundane back and forth that email can sometimes be.

What Rapportive does is display a detailed social profile of whoever emails you. Based on how frequently they’ve used that address online, it will show you that person’s presence on the social web where GMail would ordinarily serve you ads.

From an avatar, to their tweets, Facebook profile, brief LinkedIn positions/description and other social networks, Rapportive puts the personality back in email and makes it a more pleasant experience. It also helps you to annotate these profiles as they display to allow you to keep personal notes on each of your peers or friends profiles.

I find it saves me time and allows me to see my connections

They’ve also got a great API and Raplets (add-ons to increase the experience)

You can install it here for Firefox & Chrome.


Email signatures have always challenged me. Different contexts means you’re trying to pass along a different message and I use multiple email addresses from one GMail inbox, so sometimes you want to include links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog, Delicious, and you end up with an email signature about half the size of your email.

WiseStamp solves this problem. Aggregating your social profile (that you’d like to share at least) and letting you create better looking and easier to manage email signatures.

Adding social profiles and making your email signature more dynamic, while not overwhelming at all, is what I appreciate about this app.

You can install it here for Firefox & Chrome.



I use multiple email addresses from one GMail inbox. So I’m constantly sending and receiving different emails with from different inboxes. Naturally, I use GMail’s Search function. But sadly, this like many other small things in life, takes time and is valuable clicks away.

CloudMagic solves this problem by indexing your entire inbox and allowing real-time search of your inbox. From contacts, to quotes from email threads to searching for strings in simpler ways that GMail’s regular Search function would (in a fraction of the time.) This proves it’s worth minutes after installing.


You can install it here for Firefox & Chrome.

I probably ought to state, that I’m using Google Chrome for all this. Chrome’s got some way to go, but I tip it over Firefox at least for now.

And as a matter of principle, if you’ve never had a GMail address or haven’t transferred your email over to Google Apps (Mail, Docs, Calendar for your domain) I suggest you do it now…or at least think about it. You won’t regret it.

Or ask someone like @TheMacharia to help you.

Words by Radiolab

In Perspective on September 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm

One of my favourite podcast series,  NPR & WNYC’s RadioLab commissioned this video by Everynone. Be inspired.

It was for their Words podcast you can download here.


In Perspective on September 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Why I’m running for the Safaricom Innovation Board

In Perspective on August 10, 2010 at 8:54 am


Al Kags played a key role in putting Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom to task regarding their approach towards innovation when they first released their Terms & Conditions for all wishing to submit proposals for innovative products and services to Safaricom. It elicited quite the response from the community and gave the mobile service provider much to think about.

Safaricom responded and the outcome was an Innovation Board. They are looking to assemble a board of members who will oversee their innovation interests. Following consultation period with mentors and peers I made the decision to announce my intentions to be a part of that Board and now, I look to the people I have come to know, admire and respect: the crowd.

A gamble? Sure. But without a shadow of a doubt, the reward certainly is more promising and in my opinion an achievable one. The reputation and respect I’ve earned among online communities and the example of the success of my short film, Dawa, reassure me that this effort is certainly not wasted. The network of social capital, as well as the nature of this online environment I’ve become a part of forms the basis for my decision.

The challenge, the expectation and the sheer audacity of applying for this position may raise some questions. I’m prepared to engage in debate, dialogue and discourse online and offline.

Online, the platform I’m using to pursue my campaign is Formspring at

There I have all the “Frequently Asked Questions” including my interests, motivation and expertise as well as what I plan to bring on the table for the position. In addition I’m keeping things open by asking you for your questions, all of which I plan to answer.

The 3 standard questions I’ve included at the bottom of this post (to save you one click), as for the others it’s up to you to get reassurance or answer any doubts you might have regarding this effort. The rest of the useful information for the nomination is below.

Name: Mark Kaigwa
Phone number: +27-76-884-9931
Motivation: Here’s where you give input to why you’re recommending me (Max: 1000 words)

You can fill in your nomination here –

If you might be wondering why there’s a South African phone number there, it’s because I’m in South Africa for the rest of the month. My trip down here was for the World Premiere of my short film, Dawa, participation in Durban’s Talent Campus and to do Digital PR & Social Media consulting. Not to mention attending conferences including Tech4Africa this week and The Internet Show Africa last week. More on those in a follow-up blog post.

It’s have a simple and open approach using the power of the social web. I’ve put together a small team to coordinate this effort and besides that I’m asking for your vote. And more importantly, your advice, comments and questions. There’s no winning or losing here, only learning.

Nominate or Ask Me Something. Up to you.


Images via smokebelch & bitrot

Perpective as defined by The amazing Don Packett and the gang at Thunk! Lab

When a group of smart people are struggling with an innovation based problem, it’s never a lack of knowledge that’s holding them back – it’s a lack of perspective.

In Johannesburg’s Ellis Park for #ITA #SVK. Maaaadness up in here!!!

In Perspective on June 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Mark Kaigwa
– Sent from my loyal and trusty Nokia e63 –

Posted via email from Ukwelii wa Mambo

“What it takes to run a tech startup in Nairobi” – GotIssuez on Appfrica [Podcast]

In Happenings on June 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The blogging silence…Yeesh, don’t get me started on the catching up I’m left to do.

Meanwhile, I’ve retreated to a middle ground in between “Real blogging” and microblogging. All thanks to Posterous. So you’ll catch a lot of my travels there or better yet, you can keep up with the Lifestream (My bookmarks, tweets AND Posterous posts)

Anyway, don’t you mind there’s a plan to quell the silence. I’ve been in South Africa the past couple of weeks giving some guest-lectures thanks to Dave Duarte at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business for their Nomadic Marketing Class then doing some work with King James & Plus One in Cape Town and now in freezing cold Johannesburg soaking up perspective with Thunk! Lab and picking up tips from the Presentation Rock Gods at Missing Link (sign up for the newsletter by the way. Absolutely amazing)

Also did some cool stuff with Chris Rawlinson and Dido Wines for their Mzansi Wine Tour (coming soon) on Foursquare. (In other Foursquare news, Marvin from SocialightMedia’s got a cool post about Foursquare which I inadvertently starred in)


Back to what this post is about, then! I met Jon Gosier of Appfrica over at the iHub a while back and we had a chat on GotIssuez, a startup I’m part of and I gave him my perspective on startups in East Africa, what innovation labs like the iHub and incubation labs like the NaiLab mean to a startup like us and what some challenges are as well as a couple of my thoughts on the future for startups in Nairobi.

Here’s the little excerpt:



Appfricast 20 – The Consumerist

Mark Kaigwa is the co-founder of a startup that crowdsources consumer complaints to encourage engagement and action from the companies and brands they’re about. You might call it the GetSatisfaction of Kenya. He and I had a chat at the iHub launch in Kenya about entrepreneurship, the importance of co-founders, and following your vision. Download the Podcast | Subscribe on RSS

Oh, and it’s probably worth saying here as well. Dawa, the short film I wrote & directed last year will make it’s African debut at the Durban International Film Festival according to a little birdie…

[Video] OK Go – This (Ukwelii blogging silence) too shall pass

In Perspective on April 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

To make up for the blogging silence so far, I’m giving you a couple videos that have over the past couple of months caught my eye or I know will enthuse you as I prepare for a return to the interwebs…If you’re looking to catch up on where I’ve been  you can check my Posterous Blog “Ukwelii wa mambo” – lot’s of nice snippets and titbits of my daily trails along the web and the universe

Below is rock band OK Go who (with a little help from insurance company State Farm) made this viral video which captivated me with it’s use of a Rube Goldberg Machine (that “simple” contraption that works throughout the video)

I’m sure you’ll be fascinated for the moment…And yes, this blogging silence shall pass. Consider this the beginning.

“Makmende Returns” – Hilarious new Just A Band Video

In Film on March 17, 2010 at 7:56 am

This had me laughing hysterically. A must watch. A must share.

The new Just A Band video. Directed by Jim Chuchu and Mbithi Masya

Starring Kevin “K1” Maina, Patricia Kihoro, Mbithi Masya, Kibugi Wamae, Mugambi Nthiga, Renee Sewe, Kwame Oddenyo, PA Okaalet, Kevin “K2” Maina, Moses Wataka, Lucille Kahara and Diana Nduba.

It’s the song “Ha-He” from their 2nd Album 82 – Just A Band – An Experimental Boy Band.

Anatomy of an African Trending Topic – #KenyaInThe90s

In Happenings on February 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm

For the Ukwelii blog faithful, I must say it’s been a minute…I’ve been pleasantly distracted by my Posterous Photoblog and of course Twitter (and a couple other things, but we’ll get to the “Where’d you go, Mariko” post later on). Meanwhile, the Twitterwebs are abuzz with a new Kenyan Trending Topic (definition: a phrase – that at times with a hash # before it – that is shared by many people on Twitter over a period of time)

Kenya/East Africa’s had it’s share now, with the popularity, scale and ripple effect growing with each one. The past few good Twitter trending topics include #AVitzIsNotACar (A Vitz is not a car) which made it into the blogosphere on Al Kags’ blog and even garnered an official response from Toyota Kenya. Then there was #MWEA10 (but we’re still debating whether this counts because it was a conference, not a by-the-people-for-the-people kind of Trending Topic), and iAlen‘s #YouknowYouAreKenyan was another good one, but thanks to the you’re/your/you are dilemma, didn’t really archive well.

So, seems like Moses Baraza didn’t know he’d be starting one when he started #Kenyainthe90s but he did, and it’s been a hilarious ride through the lives of Kenyans on Twitter (Can’t forget the hashtag of the same name by “CEO of #KenyansonTwitter” – Rojahs)

Here’s a glance at what’s trending right now. (By the time this goes up, it will already be old news. Keep up to date on it here)

hilum: He paid the ultimate price…..#Renegade #Kenyainthe90s
Kitteekattii06: RT @SupremeGREAM: #kenyainthe90s when a car registration eg KAB would take a whole year to run out
kaggzie: #kenyainthe90s when kbc used to start at 4…and right after news was spiff n hercules:)
Kid_Kanye: RT @Lazizi: RT @Switcheeks: #kenyainthe90s dufu mpararo and the way we’d daka those tadpoles in the name of fishes..hehehe=>DEAD
Lazizi: #kenyainthe90s weather forecast by the 1 n only, Ngwata francis.
TheMacharia: #Kenyainthe90s Blueband Quiz show. I was on that show, and we won!
Tininai: #kenyainthe90s the doubledecker buses at bus station.
Amasy: #kenyainthe90s sabuni ilikuwa Rexona na lifebouy
asayf: We could buy something for a shilling! #kenyainthe90s
Tininai: RT @Lordacolyte: Hi-tops ie Fila, Reebok, Nike were in, and for broke asses there was Fiba, Reobek and Niks #kenyainthe90s
MoSande: #kenyainthe90s I went to Montecarlo, Hollywood and Vibestar once!
will_e88: #kenyainthe90s the ‘oxford’ geometric set…… a must have for KCPE
Mungei: @Erickogweno yeah..I rem one time during the ASK show one of the parachute guys landed on stima posts and lines..ha! ha! #Kenyainthe90s

edsamich: RT @Chiira #kenyainthe90s Ulinzi Stars could actually challenge teams like Tusker United for the Premier League title> make it AFC nt ulinzi

lyssawambui: #kenyainthe90s when u cud go 2 Uhuru Park with kenchic or city park 2 c th monkeys made mst of th sundays.
muniu: #Kenyainthe90s the Sanyo TV with sliding doors ws still cool
muniu: #Kenyainthe90s GoK had no spokesman n Moi fired guys via Radio/TV at 1 o’clock news
SupremeGREAM: #kenyainthe90s birth of head on collision. proffesor kiogothe
kiagiri: Omo Pick-a-box … the money or the box? #kenyainthe90s
matrixster: #kenyainthe90s kids used to wear shorts to school. Nowadays even kindergartens wear long pants. Even Sunshine Secondary!
flyefi: #kenyainthe90s folks used 2 chase us from watching Tropical Heat… it was PG18 them days I think

itsKwambox: #Kenyainthe90s Fred Obachi Machoka and the show is Music time…Rear watts the masai dancerz wer the starz!
Chiira: #kenyainthe90s The huge screen at Thika Road’s drive in used to work
gich99: #kenyainthe90s movie at Kenya Cinema and #wimpy lunch = #cooldates
Mukanzi: RT @Sara_Mburia: Wash and blowdry for 30 bob #KenyaInThe90s
mwanikih: RT: @nzilani: #kenyainthe90s those ink pens you had to refill < OMG! Haha! And they were so messy. Used Quail Ink!
nymou: Ending Man Computer Game #kenyainthe90s seriously, who decided to call a console that. and Nintendo and Atari
Switcheeks: #kenyainthe90s kamatana na mlazo hairstyles for back to school openings..nkkt
will_e88: RT @amisij: Ramayan, Mahabharat “JAI SHREE RAM!!!” #kenyainthe90s< lol
jusBlackman: #kenyainthe90s Maembe pilo, Kashata, Cool (Ice) mabuyu..
missmacharia: #kenyainthe90s kass kass, rastrut, and jam jimmy jam jam-a-delic!
#kenyainthe90s wawawawa drawing cartoons in the blackboard closing day
Chiira: #kenyainthe90s Starehe was the school to beat in KCSE while Olympic in Kibera ruled at KCPE
Mwangy: when fuel was 40/- a litre #kenyainthe90s
wanyax: #kenyainthe90s red GreatWall TVs with a rainbow coloured film to convert them “from black-and-white to colour”!
saitonne: School Outfitters, Textbook Centre and @BataKenya the first week of January #kenyainthe90s
Chiira: #kenyainthe90s Katherine Kasavuli and Fayaz Qureshi on @KTNKenya 9 O’clock news
mwanikih: #kenyainthe90s Playing cards using the Maziwa ya Nyayo cut outs. They had, Boxing, Football and Netball cards!
RamaRamzZ: #Kenyainthe90s exchanging above the rim and spacejam vcr tapes in school.usiambie ‘odijo’
Lordacolyte: Every matatu on a route that was in the 100s ie 118 would only play roots n culture reggae. Nothing else! #kenyainthe90s

Bonus Tweet:

They even got a big-up from the official Nestle Nesquick Twitter page:

NestleNesquik: Yes .Agreed. RT @Kitteekattii06: #kenyainthe90s Nesquik in every household

That’s probably not even the best of it all, but just a taste. Here are some of the videos being shared during the trending topic, bound to bring a chuckle or two.

Stay tuned to this post, I’ll try and update it, but I’ll need your help. Give me your favourite videos and tweets and we’ll at least immortalise them here… 😉

What’s your favourite memory of Kenya in the ’90s?