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My African Startup Story

These are the first-hand stories of Startup founders in Africa, both African and international, and the unromanticized madness that goes into this amazing but demanding continent.

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Ep 15: Mugambi Nthiga Pt 2 - Gatekeepers, Guardians, Disruption and the beginning of the end..

If you become a success, you will fall into one of two groups; make yourself responsible for looking out for the next success story and grow it, or try to defend yourself from disruption. The second group is way bigger than the first.. and the beginning of their end is always an ever-present reality. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


20 Jan 2020

Rank #1

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Ep 14: Mugambi Nthiga Pt 1 - From "copy-paste" to an I.T. degree that I never needed..and other stories.

"Anarchy of the soul is a passion or dream, buried in a life of meaning." From an I.T. degree to finding a home on stages and in front of cameras, there is something about not following your childhood passion that is life-numbing. He had migraines that took him to hospital, adventures with *those* bosses (you know them to, don't you) and a stint at a club, then church, then club, then church.. with a crew 15 people deep! His African startup... was himself. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


18 Jan 2020

Rank #2

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Ep 28: Erik Hersman Pt 3 - Be all in or don't be at all...

It ends here. Well not really. Erik Hersman on what is now, and what will be the next thing he works on. And the other important conversation that will be had in time... Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


11 Mar 2020

Rank #3

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Ep 27: Erik Hersman Pt 2 - Lesson 1; how to run the world from a coffee shop.

How do you sit with yourself when the product you thought about in the forest, that was coded overnight for starters, has founders that have met once in person and has a "strange name" is deployed in the largest natural disasters in the world? It's like driving in a storm, on the wrong lane, with your car on fire, a bear in the back seat and your tummy having the runs. Well...you get some more tea. And improve the code. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


4 Mar 2020

Rank #4

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Ep 26: Erik Hersman Pt 1 - Chocolate. Brooms. Bikes. Tech. Same thing really..

A big part of the African tech scene was ignited by stories. Many of these stories were synonymous with ambition, adventure and the grit that led to success, when forcing your way through stereotypes, privilege and a lack of access that was technology a decade ago. For a continent in a world where was never meant to be for us, we have come a very long way. Many voices were part of the choir and few as loud and glaring as Erik Hersman's keyboard. He tells his story with as little pazazz as possible. But he knows, as do many people in the tech space, there's a lot that would not have happened if the renegades he was a big part of did not exist.  Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


2 Mar 2020

Rank #5

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Ep 25: Chao Mbogo Pt 2 - We teach what we know, but produce what we are!

"We teach what we know, but produce what we are!" Dr. Chao Mbogo. Remember that. Always. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


29 Feb 2020

Rank #6

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Ep 24: Chao Mbogo Pt 1 - Doctor. Dean. Dame. Do it..

When you start you usually don't know where you will end up. That is true for most people, and though everyone is screaming "Have a plan", most of us really don't have much more than a mashup of ideas, hopes, assumptions, and best guesses. Well, here is one of us... she just happened to really trail blaze. And it was all for an experiment. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


29 Feb 2020

Rank #7

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Ep 23: Muthoni Drummer Queen Pt 3 - Live like you are dying. You are!

When you do it like 'this is the thing' you were created to do; when your life is a set of choices you make for yourself and not made for you by someone else; when you own your path and you have a little jar of faith in yourself, you can really love your life. That does not mean you will have it all planned out. It does not mean love and luck will always be on your side. And it does not mean winning in the way you expect. But you will win. You will find the plan. And you will be lucky, and you will be loved. Facts! So live... Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


27 Feb 2020

Rank #8

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Ep 22: Muthoni Drummer Queen Pt 2 - You have to know how to eat..um

'Blankets and Wine' has become a phenom in the festival circuit in Kenya adding to the thriving festival culture in East Africa that is a new wonderof the world (I think at least)! You cannot say you have lived the Afrofusion life if you have not been to all of them at least once. The people that make these events happen are like wizards and mages because the complexity just sounds absurd in a not-very-easy-to-do-business environment like the one we have in East Africa. Here is Muthoni DQ's story and her path to making one of these festivals a must-see... Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


13 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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Ep 21: Muthoni Drummer Queen Pt 1 - My choices were BTWN an NGO and this..

'Blankets and Wine' has become a phenom in the festival circuit in Kenya adding to the thriving festival culture in East Africa that is a new wonder of the world (I think at least)! You cannot say you have lived the Afrofusion life if you have not been to all of them at least once. The people that make these events happen are like wizards and mages because the complexity just sounds absurd in a not-very-easy-to-do-business environment like the one we have in East Africa. Here is Muthoni DQ's story and her path to making one of these festivals a must-see... Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


11 Feb 2020

Rank #10

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Ep 20: Muthuri Kinyamu Pt 2 - Do it afraid! It's you best chance at winning...

No semantics, no-frills, no-chills. Start afraid and don't overthink. Then go! That's Muthuri Kinyamu and TurnupTravel Pt.2 Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


6 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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Ep 19: Muthuri Kinyamu Pt 1 - From a traveller to a travel trend setter in 36 months!

If you looked for it, you would not be able to see it. That wild side; adventure spirit; that hunger to see more of the world than your day job commute will allow. Muthuri doesn't stand out in any of these either, but what he and his co-founder Brian have done with Turn-Up Travel is fascinating. Disrupting the travel industry in Kenya which gets 11% if it's GDP from tourism is a big deal, and when a 'non-expert' does it in 3 years, it's worth a look. This is that guy... Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


3 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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Ep 18: Juliani Pt 2 - Money is a mindset issue. Money is a 'mind that is set' issue.

If you got a good friend to look you in the face, really close, and tell you "the cause of all your problems is your inability to do the right things consistently to get the right results" you would be fine with that wouldn't you? Well, we all say that's what we want, but do we really?  Changing your mind has to be the highest level of maturity. And your only way out of this silly money foolishness. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


29 Jan 2020

Rank #13

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Ep 17: Juliani Pt 1 - It took a certain kind of crazy to face the music.

Being one of Kenya's biggest musical acts is easily an accolade he owns on his shelf, but translating that into a livelihood while it lasts is the real show of success. Behind is all the glitz in the 4-minute music videos, there are 1436 minutes left in a day, most of which have a cost (think rent/mortgage). So how does it work? What did he learn? How did he learn it..and what does that look like right now? Facing the music is about looking at his wallet straight in the face. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


26 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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Ep 16: Mugambi Nthiga Pt 3 - In conclusion, for the fourth time, we are still winning.

20 years in the game (and still looking 25 which is an advantage) Mugambi has a bank of wisdom for the younger artist and those in the creative space. But knowing what he knows now: learning that everyone is a penny or a dime away from broke, understanding the value of savings, a positive attitude, discipline, and passion: what would he do differently? Better yet, what quest-ion would he serve. Because we all have one. A quest. Music: Sun El Musician: Ntaba Ezikunde (feat. Simmy)


23 Jan 2020

Rank #15