Ogilvy n Mather, (whom I sumtymes chokingly call ‘Oliver n Mother) really has the best PR-ers.
I dint have me fone all of last week – ann’a Uptown tale! – but young Wangechi Wahome made sure to reach thru to me as media last minute with info.
On my mail, I found a message from one Sarah Oleng that Safaricom was extending their G4 network in Nairobi to taos all o’er Kenya. A bouquet to Safcom’s Sylvia Mulinge for this very creative marketing idea (na pole, our Gloria Marketin’, nexx tyme there).
Would we go to Wilson, mapema last Friday asubuhi, for a really ‘experiential’ activity?
Thaz how Friday found me at the gates of Wilson Airport, chekaing wit sum corrupt cop (who wanted to bust my scooter guy coz I had no helmet, like he cannot tell my dreads are like a road helmet for the crash test dummy also known as the Smitten). The Crash Test Dummies were this pop rock group with one really spaced out but neat song called ‘Mmm mmm mmm mmm.’
Anyhoo, my ole pal n account director at Ogilvy, Susan Wanjiku, waz there (as was the cool Safcom Kenyasian CSR manager ladie) n after we’d reminisced with Sue about the Smirnoff days of ‘Niko NaSafcom’ concerts in Nakuro n everywhere, we walked with this techie called Wayne to where half a dozen branded choppers were waiting – to take the Lucky Thirty to G4 towns – Kisumu, Meru, Eldoret, Mombasa, Nakuru n Kisii.
KTN biz intern Daniella Malinda wanted to go to Naks (for the lakeside view from tha air), but I convinced Her Airness to join me n my kinsman called George Magero, we go to Kisii (I think there’z a song called ‘Togende Gusii’ by my distant cuz Deepac Braxxx, whose muzik career is like a stalled chopper, in spite of my promo efforts as stand in Pulse ed, a decade or so ago, lol).
My air pal would turn out to be this real cool dude called Lee Kiongo. With an amazing Samsung 7 fone that takes the best pics on earth! And our Captain was this humorous dry Amerucan man called Mutea who used to be a journa.
We lifted off in ‘our’ BELL 407 GXR new chopper – and unlike last tyme during a CHAT award in sijui 2010 when we were given a lift as Pulse by Lady Lori – through Stevens Muendo aka Thambangwenze, then just a writer not Editor, to Carni to be ‘show stoppers’ – this time the choppers were all designated to take 90 minutes to get to their destinations.
So off we went over Nairobi city n into the Great Rift Valley, a marvelous sight just a thousand feet up in the air, in a cheli-chopter, n as we flew over Bomet, we spotted Guv Isaac Ruto’s hao, complete with a coloured helipad on ground.
Daniella cracked deliberate Kao yokes from Wote about ‘yumping from the hair would be like from a prying fan into ha fire.’ Lee chewed gum n froze his hands to not be queasy. Magero took his snapskis. As the two of us cheered the greenery of Gusii, an hour into the flight, Capt Mutea announced: ‘Ukiona the tyranny of mabatis (corrugated iron sheets) below, just know we’re getting into Nyamira.’
We landed in Gusii stady n were received by the likes of Eric Agina.
The lucky G4 winners were taken for ten minute chopper rides over the great Kisii town.
‘Gabla ya leo,’ a young winner confessed, ‘Sicha wai gu banda ata ka-ndege.’
An old farmer winner nexta him said: ‘Mimi ata pasi ya kuenda Nairobi, sichawai!’
The bro of one Princess Nyamusi Nyangau waz still on a mission to ‘sell’ me his sis, but nasikitika watu wa Tharaka Nithi have beaten princess to the tape in the form of one Flobey.
Daniella, Lee n I sneaked off at some point on piki-pikis to go quench thirsts at Bella Vista.
Then twas time for the ninety minute return ride to Nai! From the air again, we saw the home n helipad of one Simeon Nyachae, but t’least he be a biz guy who leases ALS choppers.
We landed in Maasai Mara to refuel, n learned that Guvnor Samuel Tunai is wildly unpopular in Narok County. ‘Kazi yake ni kuchapa round kwa hizi helis kama ka-mosquito,’ one guy told us.
But we also met dedicated rangers like Dickson Angesa, n spotted summa the ndovus he cover.
Most harrowing as the Bell chopper approached Wilson Airport from the Ngong side-a- city waz seeing all these Karen mansions wit swimming pools from the air, that then give way to the ‘tyranny of mabati’ n mud houses of Kibra. Inequality in this nation is stark 4rm eagle-eye point.