Nairobi – Conveying the Naked Truth

Places of Interest: Innovation Hub, Nairobi Fairmont Hotel, Nakuru National Park

Third trip in past six months to Africa, this time brought the whole gang, my colleagues with me to Kenya. It is a different feeling. Normally when I talked about Africa, or anyone else for that matter, one keeps talking about opportunities, sharing observations, convey excitement, uncertainties and issues only through own eyes; own rhetoric in the context of whatever is being discussed. And you never can be sure how it is perceived. Whether people around you think you are like a news reporter talking on this far away land where only wars and famine or coups happen. Or they think you are talking about an exotic land where man hasn’t taken over the animal kingdom yet; or specially concocted for a movie set-but for sure somewhere on a planet not within today’s world.

This time I had the liberty to merge them with the East African land and its realities; and what a grand feeling that is. People of enormous caliber and intellect but separate nationalities and cultural backgrounds; Spanish, Polish, Dutch, American, German, French, English thrown in a series of interactions with Kenyan innovators and young entrepreneurs, governmental officials, corporate executives, researchers, businessmen, sales clerks, bus drivers and servicemen. And an encounter with a lioness  on a very early morning after having driven through rhinos, pelicans, buffalos, baboons in the monumental rift valley. Africa and them alone with each other.
I got this sense of relief. We will have twelve different reflections of the truth on Africa going forward in our team; everyone having their own beliefs what his or our role should be and what we need to do about it. And best is I can be the observer at times going forward, not anymore the sole owner, advisor, executioner. Seeing is believing; breathing the air of reality crystalizes one’s beliefs and worldview.
I can’t take that view of the spark on the lake in Nakuru off my head behind the jacaranda trees, in situ past couple of hundred millions of years observing the old continent majestically forming in the rift valley; and the woman soldier’s shrewed eyes as she laid her rifle looking at me, the foreigner…

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