Every Wednesday in our Man Around Nairobi segment we feature men who live, work and play in this city of ours. Our Man around Nairobi today is Brian Kuira. Brian Kuira started out working in procurement at the Red Cross but then his love for social media made him switch careers. He is now a digital consultant in Corporate affairs at the KCB Group.
1.Did you grow up in Nairobi?
No I didn’t grow up in Nairobi. Growing up, due to my mom’s job, we moved a lot. I was born in Nanyuki, we moved to Kilifi for a couple of years; then we moved to somewhere called Gakindu in Mukurweini in Nyeri. We stayed here for a couple of years, and then eventually moved back to Nanyuki which is the best place on earth. Moving around was great, my childhood was molded in different cultures, but I guess moving schools was harder since you had to make new friends all over again. Back then social media wasn’t even on the horizon; it did make my letter writing skills pretty good. I moved to Nairobi officially when I joined JKUAT College. When I say Nairobi, I mean Juja but who’s checking lol. I think I have spent most of my life here now and I doubt I would love living somewhere else.
Many call it a culture shock moving to Nairobi, but I see it more as a chance to begin living your life on a clean slate. Nairobi can make or break you, it just depends on how you choose to live your life and understanding that choices essentially do have consequences.
2. What you love about Nairobi?
Nairobi is great! The vibrancy that the city has is beyond anything you can imagine. People come to Nairobi to “look for opportunities”. That statement is misplaced. Opportunities exist everywhere we are; we just have to open our eyes. In fact if you get an opportunity to open/run a venture outside the city, do it. Nairobi is great yes, one can flourish when doing basically anything – like delivering groceries to houses in the hood; but you have to be prepared to cater for extra costs such as transport, inflated rent rates & the like.
Nairobi is a hub of opportunities. Nairobi is everything you ever dreamed of when you grew up in the bundus. The women are lighter (make up of course), the night life is awesome, there’s a National park in the city, the city streets have trees, the food joints cater to everyone’s pocket & yeah, Nairobi is Awesome!! *whispers*… I just wish there were less weaves walking around….
3.What would you change about Nairobi?
Everyone you ask this question will most definitely tell you Traffic. I agree, life would be much better without traffic.
If you’ve watched Diners, Dive-ins & Dives on Food Channel (Yes, I watch the food channel) you would agree that having decent food trucks offering decent, healthy & affordable food to guys who work in the CBD or in the outskirts would be awesome. Getting decent food, for those who don’t carry food to the office is hard & expensive and often times, you only end up eating junk food. So, yeah, give Nairobi some decent food trucks! -There’s an idea for a budding entrepreneur out there if you’re reading this.
4. As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
I have been blessed to work in an industry that is vibrant and ever changing. Working in Digital PR has been amazing. Every day is a new challenge, every day is a new opportunity and every day is new opportunity to grow your craft. The culture in Nairobi makes it easier to work in the digital space. You get to create content out of experiences that define the people & the behaviours of the every day person if I might say.
It hasn’t always been easy, the older generation did not understand how the digital space could do wonders for the brand or add to the business bottom line, but this is no longer the case. These days, organizations and their management have embraced this digital space & are upbeat about interacting with the millennials who are basically the future of this country, Africa and the world as a whole.
Of course it could be better, but progress so far has been impressive. The future is there for the taking, you just have to find your moments.
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.
Wow. That’s tricky- I’m not allowed to say women here am I?
Well, Nairobi is the Hub of Africa; it’s the heart of the transformation that is taking place in Africa. One only needs to stay here for a week to experience the buzz around town.
Second, Nairobi has more restaurants & night clubs than I can count. I’ve been to some more than once & I can’t tell you where they are on a map. If you love a good time, Nairobi can more than accommodate you, just carry enough cash, over here being an expatriate is a fast-track to being a sponsor. I’ll explain what that means when you get here lol.
Thirdly, Nairobi has a National park people! Not a zoo! Yeah, we have that going for us, no other city in the world can have such bragging rights. So yeah, come to Nairobi, we will take you to see Lions during the day, take you to night clubs for an awesome time, you get to meet nice beautiful women, and then the next day we can discuss Apps that are being created faster than you can say sponsor. Apps that are transforming Africa.
If you would like to interact with Brian find him on twitter at @kuirab.