Wednesday is here and we get to interview a Man Around Nairobi about living, working and playing in this beautiful city. Our Man around Nairobi is Michael Kwambo. Michael Kwambo handles Media & Communications at the Kenya Rugby Union. A former rugby player, he is also a Communications Consultant, a rugby pundit and TV commentator. In another life, he was a performance poet and he occasionally contributes poetry and articles to this site.
1. Did you grow up in Nairobi?
I was born at the Mater Hospital and grew up in Milimani, Nairobi. Well, it was a wonderful experience, I wouldn’t trade the years growing up for anything. The interactions with everyone at Shanbrook Apartments, Dolphin Court, Mihuti Court, Sanford Flats, NPC Valley Road and State House Primary School are forever etched in my mind and filled with valuable lessons and many memories courtesy of my parents and siblings, the neighbours and friends. We created many bonds, some of which remain solid to this point.
I would like to think that the neighbourhood played a very great role in moulding the person that I am today.
2. What do you love about Nairobi?
The continuous evolution of Nairobi. This has in turn created plenty of opportunities for individuals to pursue their talent and excel in their particular fields of interest, which may not always be conventional. For example, I dabbled in performance poetry, music and blogging and got to progress indirectly through these pursuits at a time when they were viewed as pastimes and not capable of inducing opportunities.
The opportunities that have come with the expansion of Nairobi’s creative space are simply unimaginable, and more opportunities continuously emerge. I say this with authority as a beneficiary of the expansion of this creative space. Nairobi challenges you to get out of your shell and express yourself.
3. What would you change about Nairobi?
As the city evolved, we lost our souls along the way. The pride, and the sense of ownership that should ideally be associated with Nairobi is for all intents and purposes lacking. There are many scenarios where people no longer care about the common good, they are too self-invested. We need to change this. Nairobi is yours and mine. Take time to live, breathe, smile and love. Nairobi is ours.
4. As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
It is interesting working in Nairobi, and in a positive sort of way. As mentioned earlier, Nairobi challenges you, it brings out the innovator in you and you have to be on top of your game. I feel that this is the right time to be engaged in what it is that I do. I also feel that we are daily heading further out into uncharted territory, and, as pioneers, are the ones tasked with figuring out what things to make better.
5. If you had a tourist friend coming in from outside the country what three things would you say to sell them the idea that Nairobi is worth visiting?
There is a lot to sample and savour in Nairobi, most notably the cuisine. The diversity in delicacies is a welcome break from the norm and worth consideration.
The sights too, we’ve got plenty of scenic destinations away from the conventional circuit, and still within the city’s environs and these are worth checking out.
As an ever-evolving city, the opportunities in Nairobi are not worth passing up too.