Friday, October 16, 2009

Creative capitalism

This made for a very interesting read from Time Magazine where Bill Gates a>discusses capitalism and morality. I find this article especially interesting because, whereas Bill Gates has been a major benefactor of capitalism, he actually has a sense of responsibility to the rest of the wold and this is very evident when he quit working full time for Microsoft to work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation .

In Time, he calls for the big co-operations to do more for the world's poor and he calls this creative capitalism. One of the world's richest people may be onto something here, but like many people in similar thinking radar, he has received criticism from a cross section of publics. Others argue that he is trying to reinvent capitalism. For Bill Gates, this goes beyond Corporate social responsibility where Friedman says that the responsibility of companies or corporations is to maximize profits to their stakeholders. Gates on the other hand wants companies to use these profits in alleviating world poverty and disease. Is he onto something? Are his efforts unjustifiable and against capitalism? I wonder.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Does raping women put you in the media spotlight?

When there is war in a country, in most cases the government in that country cannot protect its own people, which leads to sporadic abuse of human rights. Those worst affected are normally women and children.

In many countries in Africa, UN peace-keepers are deployed to protect civilians. However, this is not usually the case. Reuters reported that UN peace-keepers have been investigated for raping women in Congo and other war-torn countries. I just wonder, United Nations is such a high profile intergovernmental organisation, but such cases of sexual abuse do not seem to be tarnishing their reputation. Is this a classic example of an organisation that has built a solid foundation on its reputation and gained public trust such that misconduct of its workers does not affect its image? Or is this a case of importance of the subject matter, that raping women in Congo or other developing countries do not constitute enough buzz for international outcry and media attention.

If Paris Hilton was going to the Congo, surely there would be enough media coverage on her. 100 women being raped is not much of a

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is the international media bias on Africa?

I asked a group of my friends here if they knew anything about Darfur and many did not know what I was talking about, however, when I mentioned Iraq, the same group was quick to give their opinions and seem well aversed with the conflict and situation there. It got me thinking, would this be because the conflict in Darfur, even though much more dire in propotions, with no serious outside intervention or political will to end its atrocities was just not mentioned in the Australian media, was it that the Australian people do not have any real connection to Sudan? I learnt in my journalism class that numbers make news. that if 1000 people died somewhere, that would definitely be newsworthy. I wonder if this is a case of a conflict dragged on too long that there is no real interest to the international community. Should they reshape the message, maybe use a different strategy that would capture international attention? Maybe the advocacy organisations should really focus on the injustices and implications that the war has on children there. Getting George Clooney to be an ambassador for Darfur, has that worked? how many people actually knows he is associated with Darfur? I think the number of people who think he is HOT far outweighs the number of people who think he is charitable, at least here in Australia.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moving to Australia, I realise that a lot of things that would make news back home in Kenya are really not that relevant in this society,so like a good resident who would like to learn my new culture I watch the local news and local TV shows. I am struck by the number of news stories on American celebrities and then the news of Madonna adopting this 'poor' African child from Malawi catches my attention. Over the next month, she stole the editorial pages, the news slots on prime time TV and the morning commentary social shows on the major TV networks in Sydney.

I am wondering if this is a PR stunt for her and the many celebrities who pluck poor so-called-orphaned children from 'disadvanted' backgrounds. Are they really giving them a better future or are they opportunists who take advantage of the vulnerable to build their own reputation?

Celebrities are not the only ones in the do-good-to-Africa band wagon. The western governments are in this too, pouring aid to Africa without much thought on the hard that it is causing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Welcome Message

Welcome to my blog. My name is and despite so many days of thinking and scratching my head trying to come up with an appropriate topic, I cannot seem to find something that I can settle for. I wonder, would the very core of my life be interesting? The society that I have grown up in, that has shaped my values, my perceptions, my beliefs and my world view. The title on my blog is tough mummy, from that you can tell that I am a mother, about being tough, well aren't we all?

You see, I relocated to Australia two years ago. I was born and bred in Kenya, a beautiful country in the East of Africa near the Indian Ocean. 'They' call my country, third world, and politically correct people call Africa, developing. Like many things, the communication and infrustructure of these countries are still developing, along with our democracy and economy.

In my blogs I am going to discuss communication strategies in developing Sub-Saharan Africa and how these have affected our way of life and vise versa, my emphasis will be on women, as we are the earth from which human survival is dependent- I am no feminist.