How long does it REALLY take to renew a Kenyan Passport?

What is epassport?

Kenya became one of the 60+ countries issuing the new generation passport known as e-passport in simple terms. This means all issued passports will be standardized by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This is due to the advancement of major airports security features to cab terrorism and Identity theft. All the passports will make it easier for holders when going through security checks in airports.

In 2017 Kenya announced issuance of the machine readable travel documents (MRTD) which was well received by the citizens of Kenya. The new passports will enable governments to track passport holders faster because of the electromagnetic chip that is GPS enabled.

Each Kenyan is now required to renew their current passports through ecitizen platform. The current old passports will be deemed invalid from 31/8/2019 therefore new applicants will also be issued with the epassports.

How long does it take to REALLY get a Kenyan passport?

The Kenyan immigration department claims that It should take at least 15 working days to get your first passport once your form has been physically submitted at the Immigration offices. For all other application types, it should take at least 5 working days.It can take longer if more information is needed or your application has not been filled out correctly.

This is although debatable because most passports have surpassed the time as stated by the department. I personally replaced my passport on 17th April,2018 which I expected it by latest 26th April but that was not the case. Most Kenyans have also witnessed processing times of way longer than stated.

The immigration department also says that a passport can take longer if the application was not filled correctly but from my personal research,I noticed that holders of used passport get their passports processed faster than those who have not used their passports. This is yet to be confirmed by the department but it’s something that could be the reason for all the delays in my opinion. I have witnessed patterns when it comes to issuance of new and old passports.

I suggest to apply for the passport one month earlier to avoid any processing delays which are prone to happen. Please let me know what’s your experience with passport application.

#IfikieWazazi proves double standards in our society

#IfikieWazazi

#IfikieWazazi

A few months after Mike Sonko became the governor of Nairobi. He allowed Kenyans to take pictures in Nairobi without anyone questioning their intentions. This was although followed by different Opinions. Some Kenyans supported the move but others had different feelings.

Those who agreed with the governor based their arguments of promoting and showcasing the city. Which in my opinion I fully support. On the other hand, those who opposed the move based their on Terrorism. Both of this reasons can be debatable but what everyone forgot to talk about was something no one expected to be an issue – especially in Nairobi.

Well I am not here to act all saint but I also believe in fairness when it comes to how our society sees things. A few days ago the hashtag #IfikieWazazi was trending for more than 48 hours. This was after someone started it because of what has been happening during photoshoots in the CBD of Nairobi.

Some photos have been going around of young men and women posing in racy photoshoots and therefore #KOT decided to do what they do best. ROASTIN!! Over 3000 tweets were sent through the hashtag some mocking the occurances while others had no problems with the photoshoots. This is what democracy is all about and I am proud to see that we are growing as a country.

Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.

Who is really to blame?

As Ben Kitili had put it. Who is to blame for this? The answer for this would be no one but whoever came up with the hashtag. The movement was not started to empower this youthful kenyans but was meant to shame and make anyone with a camera look bad.

Whatever was being done on this photos has nothing to do with the photographers or the children’s parents or the government. People who retweeted and tweeted about this issue acted as if their lives are as white as milk.

The society is changing rapidly and we need to embrace it. Most Kenyans are hypocrites when it comes to the issue of nudity and morals. Kenyans tend to base their ‘righteousness’ on religion just to make their case. But the truth is we are Africans and nudity is embroiled deep down our DNA.

Instead of having double standards about this kids, we should at least try to inform and educate them on the importance of self respect. This young men and women did nothing wrong in their eyes.

Even if you fikisha kwa wazazi that won’t make a difference  The least a parent can do is scolding but it will change nothing. Nudity and sex is everywhere nowadays so once they step out they will still be exposed. Exposed from the internet, friends and even society itself.

I just hope we can do better as a society and become aware of the changing trends. We should at least deal with this ‘problem’ like how we treated My dress my choice situation.

Why I deleted Facebook even before Cambridge Analytica.

Is Facebook really healthy?

The first time I learnt about social media was in 2010, one year before I completed my high school education. The first few days were really exciting and fun. My first social media account was of course facebook and I enjoyed it. I know I am not the only one who had their social media ‘Virginity’ broken by the social media kingpin – Facebook. So don’t judge me yet.

Like most youths, I joined facebook for one reason. I wanted to be ‘cool’ and not to connect with my friends and family as the company wants you to believe. I would see my friends and family everyday. I definitely didn’t want to connect or see them online. Everyone was using facebook and therefore I wanted to join to be cooler.

I have been using Facebook since 2010 until 2017 when I decided I had had enough of it. Facebook was not as it started, a lot has changed over time. A lot of updates happened during the time I still had a facebook account. Changes which were both good and bad.

Before facebook came, there has always been ways to keep in touch and read news. Real news and not FAKE news which has grown over time as Facebook grew. The birth of fake news led to my first doubt and negative feeling towards FACEBOOK. Facebook became the channel for propaganda and hate especially in Kenya. Kenya happens to be country where fake news can be taken literally and no one will even bother to verify it’s source. Even Media companies sometimes become victims of this mess.

Growth of African Market

Kenya has always been known to be the leader in Africa when it comes to technology. The curiosity of Kenyan people and their innovativeness makes us one of the biggest market in Africa. Kenyans love to embrace anything cool that technology offers. There are over 5.3 million facebook active users, most of this users are are actually using facebook on mobile phones.

It is Facebook’s addictive features that really make a difference when it comes to it’s numbers though. Not because Facebook offers better things that internet can offer or better services. I am tired of seeing adverts that seem to be specifically targeted to me. Former Facebook president Sean Parker once said that Facebook excels on addiction. Which is true. Think of it as cocaine or porn.

As a Facebook user I would be sure that I must check my facebook over 3 hours a day. This is not because it has any values but because that feeling was been planted in my brain which made me come for more – everyday. Most people have tried to delete their facebook accounts in order to concentrate on their work, school or to better their family relations but facebook and other social medias always end up ruining this. They end up coming back for more of nothingness.

I personally tried deleting my facebook more than 3 times before actually deciding it is for good. The first 2 attempts were unsuccessful because I was never convinced enough and thought maybe Facebook was not the course of my depression. I needed something else to motivate me.

Cambridge Analytica role in Kenya’s elections

My motivation to completely delete my Facebook came after the 2017 general elections in Kenya. This was before Cambridge Analytica came ‘into our lives’. I just felt something evil was going on. The campaigns which ran during this elections made me sad and I felt a sense of hatred. Hatred towards a certain politician whose face and ideas about Kenyan was all over the campaigns. But Still I kept on feeling like everything was a bit cheesy.

I felt like facebook was being used to influence my decisions. I felt used but also something was always telling me it’s just marketing and I should not fall for it. But the truth later came out. I was right and Facebook was separating my country more than ‘connecting’ us. That’s when I decided enough is enough.

I should also mention that it is not easy to delete something that has been part of you for more than a decade but if you want to do it you can. At first it might be stressful but that is exactly what Facebook wants you to feel. Once you quit it you will then realise that there is nothing you will lose from cutting of fake online friends. In fact you will have peace of mind. You will be able to read more and understand the world better and appreciate what it offers.

Do not let people define who you are and how you should live your life. Chose truth. Facebook is not the truth.

How to properly Remonstrate against denial of Schengen and National german Visa.

Sample of German Visa

What is remonstration? Should you remonstrate or just do another application?

Getting a Visa is harder than getting into heaven these days, especially for non-eu nationals. If you are a national of an African country or middle east then you know what I mean. The measures have been so strict to us as if they are meant to keep us out of travelling abroad. It is as if our feet are so dirty and they will filth their velvet carpets which seem to be placed from the borders.

It is although very possible to apply and get lucky and maybe issue you with a visa. Most of the time unfortunately,what most of us get is a negative decision. You end up asking yourself what really went wrong even though you had all the required documents, but still you were denied that visa to allow you to either Study,Work,Volunteer or even just visiting. Most of the foreign embassies claim that having all the documents will not guarantee you getting a positive decision for the visa which begs the question, why even bother asking for the documents anyway?

I have been writing this article so that I can help and give information on how to properly write a Remonstration against a negative decision since most of the consulate websites give vague information or no information at all. For the sake of this explanation I am going to talk about German National Visa Remonstration.

German Embassy Nairobi

If you are a Citizen of Kenya or Somalia then you know what I mean. The Nairobi german consulate has a reputation of being enigmatic and some people have always termed it as unfair and disregarding. This are not my words but reviews from the consulate’s Facebook page. Anyway, it doesn’t matter what you feel about the German people working at the embassy but we can all agree that German people are the most nicest people in Europe, forget all the stereotypes and profiling. Germany has been the dream immigration country after US, not because of the guys working at the Nairobi Germany embassy but for the rich culture and history. And that is why I personally like Germany and the German language. So I wanted to go there one day. Legally.

Germany Consulate in Nairobi.

Just to give you a back story, I have really wanted to learn the beautiful language of German also known as ‘Deutsch’  I have always wanted to learn it for two main reasons; I have worked in a tourism environment and I wanted to be able to communicate to Germans and anyone who speaks it. Second reason was to be able to use it with friends and it’s just good to have a foreign language in my CV, isn’t it? So I embarked on a journey to learn the language at Goethe Institut in Nairobi.

Learning the language

The experience was great, I enjoyed every minute while learning at Goethe Institut but there is always a problem. The problem was that I could write some German but experiencing it through speaking and listening took a bit of time because of the fact I never had anyone to practice the skills with, so I thought the best thing is to find an opportunity to go to Germany for the purpose of learning the language of ‘Angela Merkel’.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

So I did all the research online and I found  Two major possibilities; either I enroll in a language school or find an Au-Pair family. Enrolling for a language school was out of my reach because I could definitely not afford it, so that meant Au-pair is my gateway.

The hustle of finding ways to find a family who will host me so that in return I can practice my german skills and maybe help the family in small chores for food and shelter. I could not find any. It is so difficult to find a family through agents since most of the agents refrain from Africans (I won’t give more explanation to this…)

My dream was basically nailed into a coffin. I thought. Time went by without finding any family but one day I met a group of students who happen to be my agemates from Germany. They were so nice made me wonder why the ones at the embassy don’t feel the same. We became friends and helped them here and there somehow during their stay in Nairobi and later in Mombasa which happens to be my hometown. It is from my interactions with this guys that really change everything.

Practicing german

Of course made sure I spoke as much German as possible to this guys. I wasn’t  going to let this opportunity just pass by? who do you think I am? an idiot? Had to practice the language, also mentioned to this guys about how I have been trying to find a family and they were totally happy to help.  I was lucky enough because one of the guys worked as a social worker and she definitely has heard of families through maybe friends who need an Au-Pair boy! They later told me to give them more time  and once they get back to Germany they will get back to me.

Please ensure that you renew your current Kenyan Passport before 31 August,2019 otherwise it will be invalid.

So the guys left for Germany and I was now so excited. Months went by without hearing from any of the guys but I was still hopeful. I had no reason to doubt these guys. I was nice to all of them and I expected the same from them.

One morning when I had actually somehow forgotten about it, I got a whatsapp message from a German number!!! Did I tell you I had given one of the guys my number? Well,now you know. I had given the Social worker my mobile number and my facebook to keep in touch.  The message read, “Wie gehts es dir, Diddy?” I knew this was good news.It was a family who needed a boy Au-pair!! So we started all the arrangements for my visa and contract. After everything was done, I got an appointment in the German embassy NAIROBI.

You probably know how interviews go so I am not going to elaborate more on that.

Visa Denied!!

4 weeks later after my interview, I got my passport back. There was no Visa in it!! My heart sunk. I was out of breath for some seconds. This was brutal. After all I have done? This was an opportunity for a lifetime which I might not get any other time and these people at the embassy just decided to go against it?  I was furious. I was determined not to let this ‘Injustice’ pass. So I remonstrated.

Remonstration against a visa decision is usually an informal way of appealing the decision. This process is free of charge and you don’t need an agent or a commercial third party to do it but you can ask a representative to do it. So here is how to do it:

It is always good to know what exactly is the issue that caused the denial. Keeping this in mind will help you file a very strong remonstration

Please do not add your passport while remonstrating. If you get a positive decision the embassy will contact you to submit it.

As soon as your remonstration is received in the Embassy and had complied with all time limits and formal requirements your Visa application will be fully checked again. Later delivered documents in the process of the remonstration and your explanations in the remonstration letter will be taken into  consideration. Perhaps the Visa section will contact you to deliver more documents or to ask further questions

In case the issuance of the desired Visa will be possible after completing the process of the remonstration, you will be asked again for a personal appearance and interview in the German
Embassy. If this is not the case you will receive a remonstration notification – which gives you the reasons for the rejection of the Visa and the maintenance of these reasons. One month after issuance of this remonstration notification it is possible to file a suit in the administrative court in Berlin. It is NOT necessary to consult a travel agency or a commercial company for writing a
remonstration letter!

Important tips.

Please keep in mind that the process of remonstration can take upto 6 weeks for Schengen Visa (Short-term) and even more weeks for National Visa(Studies, Volunteer,Work and family reunion) So you need to invest on a lot of patience.

One other thing to really put in mind is avoiding contacting the consulate during the process as this might lead to negative decision. You need to show that you have a life than wanting a visa. let them contact you. Also don’t you hate it when someone keeps nagging when you are working?

I wish you all the best. If you have any questions please tweet me @diddynadhiri

 

 

Has Miguna Miguna been right all along about the tyranny of Kenyan government?

Miguna Miguna during the 'swearing in' of Raila Odinga as the 'People's president' earlier.

Was the government of Kenya right to deport Miguna?

Will the Kenyan government ever respect the Supreme Court?

The name Miguna Miguna is a household name all over Kenya by now. Either you love him or hate him, he is in everyone’s lips right now. ‘The General‘- as he calls himself has been openly criticizing the current Jubilee government especially president Uhuru and his vice President William Ruto whom he calls them ‘The despicable duo’

Miguna Miguna who in 2016 general election run for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat but lost to the now governor Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi, has been louder even after. He has also termed governor ‘Sonko’ as a failure and has no good intentions to run the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi.

It has been although due to his open critisism that saw him being striped off his passport and later deported to Canada where he holds a Citizenship as well. The government later issued a statement regarding the deportation of the ‘General’ citing that he acquired the citizenship illegal because during the time Kenya had not allowed it’s citizens to hold dual citizenship. Kenya allowed dual citizenship in 2010 after the passing of the new constitution in the same year.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president Samuel Ruto

The government of Kenya under the authority of Fred Matiangi as the CS of internal security forcefully took away Miguna Miguna from his home and dragged him the into next ‘available flight’ at the time.  There was so many mixed reactions in all over the country. Some supporters criticized and termed the deportation as unconstitutional but the the government of Kenya stood firm  until the Supreme court intervened the issue after it found Miguna innocent and order that his passport to be handed back to him and his citizenship be validated again. But wait. This is where the Drama starts.

Even after the supreme court orders the return Miguna in the country- a country of his birth, the government actually refused him to enter. Which begs the question, is the government above the constitution? Will the serving government actually ever respect the rule of law and the supreme court of Kenya?

First of all let me be clear that I am NOT a supporter of Miguna’s but am I a supporter of the rule of law? Yes! I believe that each one of us should respect the powers given to the supreme court through the constitution. It is inexcusable for the government not to respect the law. The fact that the government can fail to respect the rule of law proves that Miguna was right about them all along.

The government is of tyranny and unjust to deny her citizen the right of entry in to the country just because of his or her political affiliations. The government should be in the frontline to protect its citizens and citizens of the world. The treatment that Miguna received whilst at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport is an indication that we can not trust the government to protect and be fair to all.

The treatment was unlawful and should not have happened on Kenyan soil. No matter the nationality of the person involved.

My opinion.

KIDAULTHOOD: Dear Kenya Students, You will not be what you want..

We all once wanted to be doctors.

Schools- especially High school was one of the few places I started to realise that no one really cares about me and my dreams apart from my Mum and ‘maybe’ my Father.

I went to a private owned school in Mombasa,Kenya from 2008 until 2011. It is during this time that I really learnt whatever we were told is nothing but lies. Teachers who are paid-if they get paid anyway;  are expected to teach innocent children like myself how to be good and obedient citizens after the four years in respective schools. They happened to be the ones who actually spread this lies like a wildfire a plainland.

Lies that a Kenyan student can be whoever they want to be. Really?? Is that really the case? Did the teachers all wanted to be teachers at some point? or some wanted to be doctors? They should at least have had the balls to tell us what our society really is. Anyway, I was  naive and to be honest I fell for this ‘Biblical lie!’ But it’s all good. I forgave them.

It is after high school and at the end of my college years that all this made sense. The lies that each one of us can be ‘whoever’ they wanted to be is a total blasphemy and I believe it should never be told to children in schools – especially schools in Kenya.

Let’s all be real for a moment-do you really believe that over 200 children in that School will all be doctors and engineers?? The least I could see from some of the guys I went to school with was one owning a playstation kiosk in the village where all the rest will kill time everyday for the rest of their lives. And please don’t get me wrong; this guys were brilliant in school but the reality is that having good graded won’t make you the scientist you really want to be -If we actually have any scientists in Kenya that is.

The truth is that not everyone is made of fine cloth. Some people are made of ‘MAKONGE’ but we still insist that he or she can be successful and rich? Hell no! It’s all a lie. Our system is all rigged. Starting from the nervous system down to work and employment. And if it takes you to complete high to realise that then I think it’s safe to say you are F@##ED!

I came to realise that the system was not built to make me whoever I want to be but be the person to help the society move forward; A car has a steering wheel and a mud-guard my friend. So which one will the society let you be?

While I was still in Primary school I really wanted to be an Engineer then I got to Form one and changed to be a “Businessman’- as if I knew what type of business I wanted to run.Well, I got to form three and that is when I totally wanted to be in the Military. I wanted to be in the military not because I love my country sooo much but because I knew that’s where I can take my D+ and still have a life. Sounds familiar? This too never happened after two attempts  of  running and rigorous fitness checks. That’s when I decided to settle for that ‘IT’ guy.

I started working in ICT, something that I never wanted to do and never thought of its importance anywhere in my miserable life, but that’s what the society gave me.

Maybe you did well in High school and got that A or A minus and now it’s time to go to that ka public University, let me save you the surprise. There is something called University Placement Board which basically places students to various Uni courses ‘accordingly‘ This is usually the second barrier in that dream of each Kenyan student. This guys can place you or give you a course which you don’t have any interest on whatsoever. But,hey! You are Kenyan remember? It always comes down to who you are as a person to get what you deserve and want. Now pay that guy his ‘TEA’

Even after you get that hard fought education from University or college. You will then end up in the streets of Kenya towns trying to find that job you’ve really wanted only to find out ‘ that there are no open vacancies. So you end up doing whatever they give you just to put something in your pocket. Welcome to ‘KIDAULTHOOD’

That’s when you really know that you will not always be what you want to be. And all that you heard from your teachers in school was a piss of S#@T.

I think Cambridge Analytica did nothing wrong…

You’ve probably heard this story over and over again,  story about Cambridge Analytica; a firm whose main mission was to help presidential candidates and political parties win elections until when Trump won and it became something different. They are now accused of interfering with the US presidential elections. Wasn’t that Russia a few months ago?  What changed?

Cambridge analytica has had really tough times since the expose by Channel4; a british TV broadcasting channel which aired a story on the issue of Cambridge Analytica using data that is said to have been extracted from over 50 million Facebook users. The data is said to have been used to rig in president Donald.J.Trump during the 2016 presidential elections or in other terms it was againsts the american election laws. Elections which saw Trump winning over Hillary Clinton in one of the biggest political upset in the US and perhaps in the whole world.

Cambridge Analytica

Well, a lot has been said about  Cambridge Analytica. From using  data from Facebook which lead C.E.O and Founder Mark Zuckerberg to buy a whole page, a whole!! – in major National newspapers in the US to say ‘SORRY’- time has changed my friends! Who would have thought that Facebook will one day buy advertisement from a newspaper? I guess it was worth it.

Was it really Cambridge Analytica fault?

In my opinion; I think we should not be quick to point fingers and blame Cambridge Analytica. As a matter of fact we should thank Cambridge Analytica. It is due to this them being ‘exposed’ that we have learnt a very big lesson regarding our data. Data protection in regards to the multi billion company; Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg has always been a liar and dishonest about user data on facebook but we all gave it a blind eye for the sake of  ‘connecting the world’

Mark Zukerberg in one of Facebook’s Spaces

From the beginning of time, Facebook was born after over 5000 pictures and information was stolen from HARVARD school in 2003 by none other than Mark Zuckerberg. Imagine that, Facebook was built on stolen data and you expect him to protect it? The Facebook founder knows the importance of data and how it can be used to promote an agenda based on the data itself about people.

To give you a perspective; the other day I was having salad and the next minute?…. ADS of health and fitness was a lover my timeline. Coincidence? I think not!! And to be clear i was having the salad so that I can have pizza for dinner.

US 2016 elections.

Anyway, our data has always been used. By both Facebook, Google or Cambridge Analytica. Just because the data was used to help a candidate which you did not want to win the election doesn’t make it different. Let’s ask, if the data was used by Hillary Clinton would there have been all this mess? Mark Zuckerberg has been openly criticizing Donald Trump and he is also a hundred percent Hillary clinton supporter but we give a blind eye to this idea? Come on guys.

Cambridge Analytica did exactly what any other political party would have done if given the resources.  I have all the reasons to believe that it’s Facebook fault and not Cambridge Analytica.

 

Photographers in Kenya cry the most.

This is a really an issue that most leaders do not want to talk about maybe due to the fact that it doesn’t affect them. That is where they get it wrong.

Nai ni ya who?

You are probably a photographer either abroad or just locally based and you want to know about Kenya laws on photography on the streets of Nairobi. Well, I am not sure what you really want to hear but all I know is that I have both good and bad news for you ‘Ma frend‘ I am going to start with the good news maybe to ease you up abit.

By now you have probably seen this tweet from Nairobi Governor; Mike ‘Sonko’ Mbuvi

So let me give you a little back story on the tweet, this was a reply to one of the many Nairobians whom have either been directly or indirectly affected by the harassment coming from the ‘Government’ on the streets. The Governor replied saying that Larry Asego’s wish of freely taking photos of Nairobi has been granted.

This got different opinions from different people on Twitter:

If you cringed while reading HON KIBUCHI MWAI tweet don’t worry we are together on this one. It’s people like Mwai who only care about themselves and not about the livelihood and careers of other people. He was probably tweeting from his fully furnished office or pale archives but I am not here to talk about him.

Mike Sonko the Governor

So the good news is that the Governor said he is going to protect photographers. That’s it??!! Yes, that was my reaction too.

Let’s look at the bad side of the story now. As much as the message was shared on a verified twitter handle of the Governor, that does not mean anything when it comes to legal matters as Christopher said:


I fully support Christopher’s sentiments on this because trust me I have seen a couple of people still being harassed by the police or people masquerading as the police. This is a really an issue that most leaders do not want to talk about maybe due to the fact that it doesn’t affect them. That is where they get it wrong.

Photography and terrorism

Andy to those who think that Photography leads or promotes terror should focus. (Pun intended) There are so many photos of Nairobi or any other city in that case that are being published both in Kenya and abroad; even in Mogadishu News papers. If photos are the problem then we could all be dead by now.

I just hope the government of Kenya looks into this issue and urgently protect both professional and amature photographers. They are our only hope. Photography has nothing to do with terror and we should be allowed to freely document our country without any harassments. This are our jobs and livelihood. We don’t want to brag about promoting tourism yet. That’s a story for another day.

Please leave us alone!