socialoCo ISSUE NO. 12
An Oraro & Company Advocates Internal Publication #Nohumanislimited
LIMITLESS: YOUR TAKE ON
EXPLORING YOUR CLIENT CARE:
WHAT DO CLIENTS
'Tis the OF INTEGRITY &
season: OWNERSHIP: A
A trip LOOK INTO THE
down BOOK "BAD BLOOD"
ON THE RADAR
with the pupils:
1 year at OCO
Karibu! In this issue
I don't know about you, but I am not a very good 2 Out & About
runner (LOL, to each his own). I mean I can be, if I 3New year, New beginnings? How
put effort into it, but I must admit it is not one of my
most favourite things to do. The adrenalin is great, to make New Year resolutions
but you will not catch me running voluntarily unless stick
it’s a random (and very rare) race for fun (less than 5
minutes I assure you). It must be the muscle pulls, the 4 Limitless: Exploring your full
extreme fatigue after a run or the striking hunger potential
because of all those burnt calories. On 12th October
2019, millions of people across the globe watched Eliud Your take on client care: What 9
Kipchoge run a one of a kind marathon – the INEOS do clients really want?
11 On the radar: 1 year at OCO (with
That race proved to the world that truly no human is Joel, Mwikali, Wanjala, Zinzi,
limited. "I don't know where the limits are, but I would Jessica & Rosemary)
like to go there." Profound words by Kipchoge that had
heavy influence on this issue's theme. To me, limitless 17'Tis the season: A trip down
means that there is no box that fits your dreams and
goals. You “simply” get rid of the box! In the mundane memory lane
routines of life, we tend to forget that within each one
of us lies greatness beyond measure. Are you willing to 19 Back in time for Christmas
go there? To ignore your fears, past failures and 19Read between the lines: Book
setbacks? To press on despite the hardships like
As we run the race of life and chase success and
legacy, one of the most important issues we need to
remember is that success must be hard-earned. On
page 4 & 21, we draw lessons from the INEOS
challenge and the bestselling book "Bad Blood: Secrets
& Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup," to learn the secret
of being limitless and also just how bad things can get
when we chase dreams without the strong foundations
of integrity and ownership.
This and so much more in store 21 Of integrity & ownership: A look
but until next time, Merry into the book "Bad Blood: Secrets
Christmas and Happy New Year. & Lies in a Silicon Valley Stratup"
Issue 12 | 1
Out & About
KPDA Annual Conference
Nelly Gitau, at the 2019 Kenya Property Developers
Association Annual Conference held at the Radisson Blu
Hotel on 29th November. Nelly participated in the event as
a panellist discussing the topic "Alternative Funding
Options" for real estate.
The event was themed on “The Challenging Kenyan Economy: Clifford Chance Africa
Prospects in Real Estate,” and focused on how real estate Academy
sector players can plan their future, offer inspiration on not
only preparing for uncertainty during these volatile times On 18th September 2019, Milly and Sheila
but to overcome, thrive and discover opportunity within. participated in a training organised by the Clifford
Chance Africa Academy (CCAA). Held in Nairobi, the
East Africa Law Society training focused on mergers & acquisitions and
annual conference private equity in Africa.
Chacha, Erastus and Anne participated in the 24th EALS The CCAA is aimed at providing a top-quality,
Conference that was held in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme for structured training programme for associates from
this year’s conference was "EAC at 20: The role of lawyers in African legal counsel and ensures talented African
developing regional economic communities." associates have access to world-class training.
Some of the other key issues that the event touched on was
the role of the Legal Profession in the 4th Industrial
Revolution, the promise of the African Continental Free
Trade Area (AfCTA) Agreement and the rule of Law and
Development in the East African Community.
Issue 12 | 2
New year, New beginnings?
How to make New Year resolutions stick
Tradition dictates that with the start of each Author: Rebecca.
new year, one should resolve to improve,
trading in bad habits for good ones, or
striving for long-sought goals anew.
At some point in our lives, we make New
Year resolutions. We are serious about them in
January but somewhere along the way (February), we
realise that life has got different plans and we tend to
forget everything we had intended to achieve during
the year and ‘take each day as it comes’. There are a
number of ways we can make sure that the resolutions
we make stick.
Prepare in advance. Decide on which goal to pursue through on your resolutions.
in advance and start getting into the specifics and
create an accountability system. Make realistic goals. Making a resolution to lose
weight, for example, is too general of a notion, not giving
Start small, and when you get a better feel of what is you something specific to work towards or a well-
manageable, you can gradually and easily increase the defined path to follow. Similarly, if you want to be more
commitment. It doesn’t always have to be a “go big or physically fit, but have barely gotten off the couch in two
go home” resolution. Moreover, having one resolution years, planning to run a Kipchoge marathon isn’t going to
that is achievable increases your chances of success. be feasible.
Turn it into a habit. When you begin to do something If you fall off track, get on back up. Setbacks are
without thinking about it, it becomes second nature. inevitable. Some are out of your control and others are
It's like waking up, washing up and brushing your preventable. This should not deter you from what you
teeth. are set at achieving. When you do get back on track and
complete even small steps toward your resolutions,
Find a support system. A good support system will make sure to reward yourself. By doing so, you are
provide guidance and encouragement when you get acknowledging all your hard work and accomplishments,
frustrated during the bad days and celebrate with you which increases your confidence, helping you to strive
when you accomplish tasks on your good days. for more.
Chart your progress. It feels quite rewarding to check Put a little money on the line. Ever heard of the
things and cross them off once they have been phrase "put your money where your mouth is?" This will
achieved, and so is having a visual picture of your help you to ensure that you try as hard as you possibly
progress. Automate where possible. There are apps, can to follow through and meet the set goal(s).
precisely reminder apps, that can help you follow
Issue 12 | 3
Exploring your full potential
I remember being glued to the screen early that Saturday morning excited and full of hope that Eliud
would beat his challenge. With involuntary wincing, I watched history being made. Thinking about Eliud
Kipchoge and his impressive INEOS 1:59 challenge, I am awe struck by his sheer determination and will to
succeed. To move beyond the past and chart a new future. To not bow down in fear but to rise to the
challenge. No, he is not superhuman. He is a remarkable individual willing to push the boundaries in
order to achieve his dreams and make history while at it. We dive into a few lessons we can learn from
him in our own unique pursuit for success.
1. Your mindset is your greatest 2. Keep your eye on the goal -
barrier Don’t be afraid of expectations
So much goes on in our minds. That's where we keep and performance pressures.
our memories, store information for future reference,
form habits, have fragmented musings with our "inner Millions were watching Kipchoge across the globe.
self" and so much more. The power of the mind is truly Some were bystanders. Some were at home seated in
limitless. The key is knowing how to explore it and how front of the TV. Some were waiting for him with
to manage it and not the other way around. cameras ready to be the first to interview him after he
passed the finish line.
If you let it, your mind or rather your mindset, can be We could tweet him, send him text messages and
your greatest downfall. It is fantastic that the brain can watch the president call him to wish him luck. We even
record so much. But it is quite capable of distorting had brands sponsoring entire campaigns just for this.
negative experiences and blowing them up to make you So much pressure. Now we might not always have
feel small. pressure of this scale, but we do have it in different
The INEOS 1:59 challenge was so great that a billionaire
was willing to sponsor it. An entire city was locked down The goal is to keep your eye on the prize. What is it
for it. International media stations travelled to film it. that you want to achieve? Whatever it is, do it despite
Why? Because someone let his mind explore its limits. the eyes that are on you waiting to see if you will
He challenged his body to push itself for greatness. It succeed or fail.
came from a thought. Just a single thought.
It is so easy to be engrossed in pressure that we forget
Imagine how much you can accomplish if you could only why we are doing what we do in the first place. Keep
silence that negative voice telling you that you can't do it. your eye on the track. Don't look to the side. You will
surely get to the finish line.
Issue 12 | 4
3. Have a support system built of vision.
4. Learn from failure but don't
Who do you look up to? Who do you run to when you bow down to it
need guidance in a major decision? Who forms your
close-knit network? This wasn't Kipchoge's first run. It wasn't his first win.
But he had experienced failure in the past. Failure
The people you are around matter. They can either that must have pushed him to want to win.
support you and help you achieve your dreams (as you
do theirs hopefully) or leave you high and dry. We will not always get it right. We will fail at times.
Especially at unchartered territory. But even in things
Kipchoge's pacesetters were carefully selected. These we have become accustomed to doing.
are men who have their own exemplary athletics
careers. But they chose to let the star shine on Two years ago, Eliud attempted running under two
someone else. Not because they couldn't do the hours. He failed. He missed it by 25 seconds. But he
challenge themselves, but because they wanted to didn't let that stop him from thinking he could do it
support this man with a crazy dream. again.
They put time and effort to be his pacesetters. They He prepared vigorously. It took him months. But he
were well coordinated in their transitions. Their unity finally did it. Learn from failure but don't bow down to
transcended barriers. But most of all, they shared his it. It is a choice to get back up, dust off and keep
running. Make the right choices.
Issue 12 | 5
Issue 12 | 6
Issue 12 | 7
Daniel & Cynthia's
Issue 12 | 8
Your take on client care
What do clients really want?
One of the key indicators of success for any business is not only gaining new clients, but also keeping them satisfied ... this is where
client care comes in. A good client experience creates a positive impact. Repeat business is not accidental but intentional, and
without creating positive client experiences, clients have the option of going elsewhere for the same services. We recently caught up
with James and Erastus to get their views on what good client care means.
Interviews by Rebecca.
Erastus Rabut, At a hotel. I fond them to be quite courteous and
their service provider-customer relationship is
Q. What does good client care mean to you? Q. Tell us about a time you received poor
Good client care is vital in any commercial setting.
Most clients come to us to handle their matters, and Well… the customer service in hospitals is not
how we take care of them, including our availability to always at its best. That is the main reason why I
address their issues and constantly updating them is don’t like going to hospitals. (Laughs) Courtesy tends
what good client care entails. I would also include the to leave the hospital once you are out of the
aspect of not always putting monetary value to our pediatric ward!
service to the client.
Q. Can you tell us about a time when you were
Q. What appeals to you about good client care? most proud of our client care levels of service?
Uuum… (pauses) clients at the end of the day are all I find clients who express their gratitude when
human beings. There is no standard reaction from all offering them assistance by responding to them
the clients…some will appreciate your efforts, and within the shortest turnaround time.
some are there simply for the service. That we must
never forget. But this does not mean that we treat Paying keen attention to every detail, even in the
either differently. We should aim to give our best and most minor issues, is a great deal for them.
if anything comes out of it, so be it.
Q. What is the best client care/customer service
experience you have ever had?
Issue 12 | 9
James Kituku, There are those who are combative. It is always
good to keep your cool when tempers heat up.
Senior Associate Responding in kind may worsen the situation.
Also, assuring them that their matter is being
Q. Define excellent client care worked on and in some instances apologising,
counts because this way the client feels heard and
Excellent client care means serving a client in such a guaranteed that something will be done and that
way that leaves them satisfied. Leaving a lasting their perspectives count.
impression such that the client is willing to refer
others for the same service. (Pauses) There is this Q. How have you tried to give clients a good
common phrase... "put the client first" and "the client is client experience?
always right." Striving to live up to these phrases is
part of excellent client care I believe. (Ponders for a bit before giving a response) At the
least, keep them informed and try to be honest
Q. Which qualities do you think someone needs to because as an advocate, you are accountable to
deliver good client care? the clients.
Patience. Why? Because it is the client who has come Secondly by being resourceful (explains that this
to you with their own challenges. You therefore need does not mean getting a quick fix). Providing
to give the client adequate time and an opportunity to solutions that are beneficial to the client’s interest
express themselves. but still protective and appropriate. Give the
clients broad opinions of the pros and cons for
Diligence. People say that you ‘work smart’ but there them to be fully aware.
is also the element of being willing to put in the work
and deliver as far as the client is concerned. Apart Lastly, delivering as per the agreed timelines.
from that, being proactive in terms of understanding
each matter's unique features. Q. In your view, what are some of the
commendable things we do at OCO in terms of
Honesty. In case of a weak matter, it is good to open client care?
up to the client. Don’t shy away from the truth. The
best word that can describe this is candour. The turnaround time for corporate clients by
responding to queries within a specified time
By being trustworthy by keeping your word is frame. The quality of practice also goes a long way.
important too. Your word is your bond. The firm has some of the most notable advocates
in the Kenyan legal practice and a strong
Q. How do you handle frustrated clients? reputation for the quality of legal services offered.
In addition, we have the newsletter, which keeps
(Sighs) It depends because each client is different. the clients informed on the periodic developments
and the emerging perspectives.
We also meet the clients periodically to find out
how they are doing and their feedback as to
whether there are elements to be improved on.
Issue 12 | 10
On the Radar: 1 year at OCO
After trying to set up this interview numerous times, we finally managed to do it but in two
separate takes - one on a Friday afternoon and the other a few weeks later, on an early Friday morning.
Having all the pupils in one room was quite interesting. They have so much to say and their differing
world views surprisingly mesh well together, adding to the uniqueness of their group dynamics. This
was one of the funniest interviews we have had so far. Definitely one for the books.
Q. How can you compare January and now, in terms learnt that mistakes help people grow and be better.
of your growth and even the group dynamics?
Jessica: It has been a rollercoaster. You are so excited
Zinzi: I would say, when the year began, I experienced a when you come because you are going to be doing the
combination of emotions - nervousness, excitement and a practical part of your schooling. But school does not
bit overwhelmed. I didn’t know anyone except Jessica. Now prepare you for commercial practice. Coming here was a
I feel like our group dynamics is different from the norm. bit comfortable for me because I knew Zinzi and Wanjala
We are all so different from each other, but those from before. That made me like feel it would be a bit
differences have made us appreciate our unique better. Fear of the unknown is very real, but it was good to
perspectives and what we bring to the table. There is a lot find out that the rest of the other pupils were cool to work
we learn from each other. with.
Work has been challenging throughout the entire period, Even now, it is still wild but at least there is some growth.
but I would say I ended up enjoying the litigation rotations We are not as green as we were before because at first,
more than I thought I would. Overall, my time here has even understanding instructions was a bit challenging. The
taught me to take things as they come and be open experience shows that anything you want to perfect just
minded. takes practice. Then you start to see the dots connecting
and it's just a relief. I also think we have a lot of fun
Mwikali: That was so deep (referring to Zinzi’s response). together, especially during our discussions with Zinzi, who
is the most controversial but the wisest amongst us.
Wanjala: It has been a good experience. I found Zinzi
speaking very hard English (laughs), but at least now I can Rosemary: When we started, Mwikali and I joined a little
hear what she says (LOL!). I think people are very later than everyone else. We didn’t have the chance to
interesting. We are all different, but we complement each bond with the rest of the pupils and that made me
other. We do not compete amongst ourselves despite skeptical of our group dynamics, because apart from
being in different teams. When I came into the firm, I had Mwikali, I only knew Wilson and I didn’t know him too well
fears of making mistakes but somewhere along the way, I for that matter.
Issue 12 | 11
Understanding instructions was not easy at first but slowly I have learnt from everyone. It is hard to express it, but I
I begun to understand work and grasp instructions am going to miss everyone. You know when you go to a
properly. It also helps that the partners are so new place and you are full of fear? I didn’t have that
approachable and that we work on fourth floor…it is so because I never had the time to sit and fear. I came in and
amazing and full of life down here. immediately knew this is a place that would make a
difference in me.
Our group dynamics is beautiful. We don’t hang out much Q. Did you guys have any nicknames?
outside the office, but we really relate well with each
other. (They all answer around the same time as they try to recall
Joel: It has been quite a journey full of amazing people.
Having been here almost a year and spending quite a bit Jessica: Showstopper.
of time with the rest of the pupils, I appreciate that where Zinzi: Aristotle.
you go to school matters (they all burst out laughing as they Wanjala: M.C Wanj and Black Santa.
recall Joel and Zinzi discussing this earlier in the year). When I Mwikali: Otile Brown (She tells us because she is the fun
joined the firm, the only person I knew was Wilson. I was one in the group and a huge fan of Otile).
skeptical about new beginnings. Coming here and meeting Rosemary: Employee because I sit with the IT team.
new people was challenging. I am a different person now Joel: Papa (There must be more to this because they all
and equally, I must say, exhausted. It has been a busy year burst out laughing). Wilson was our
(they all chime in, in agreement) but I have learnt a lot from MCA/MP/Prof./Conference Manager.
the associates and partners. I wouldn’t trade anything
from my experience here.
Mwikali: I believe I was destined to be in OCO this year. I
was simply existing during my first days at OCO but as
time went by, somehow my confidence in my work and my
relationship with other people in OCO grew.
Q. Do you now have an idea of the direction you
want to take your career?
Zinzi: Yes, I feel like I have a sense of the general
direction, but I still feel like I’m at the stage of life where
there are so many options.
Joel: You end up loving everything. You get into a team,
want to give it your all, you switch to another team and
Issue 12 | 12
it’s the same thing. You also give it your all. But I agree with
Zinzi, it’s more about what the future holds.
Mwikali: I won’t say I have a sense of direction. I feel like I
did the career I was meant to do. It is taking it one day at a
time as long as you don’t lose focus. It’s also about you
giving your all, planting seeds and harvesting in due time.
Jessica: Yes I do, and the future is bright.
Wanjala: Well, my interest is in litigation and I have been
exposed to reasonable litigation practice while at OCO. To
that end, what I desire is taking shape, but I am open to
Rosemary: I agree with Zinzi. There is a lot life holds.
Q. What is the one key thing you will take away from
Jessica: Just have an open mind and take one day at a time.
Wanjala: Law is a learning profession.
Zinzi: Just show up no matter how naive you think you
might be and don’t let fear stop you from pursuing growth.
(Joel turns to Zinzi, who is seated beside him, telling her that she
is very profound in her responses. We all laugh).
Joel: Don’t be timid. Just face things head on.
Rosemary: Humility. That’s very rare in our profession.
When you come to a firm that has achieved as much as this
one, yet they listen to you, it teaches you how to treat
Mwikali: I am torn between courage,commitment and
humility. (Somehow the conversation drifts to Mwikali’s
passtime activities and she jokingly notes she hadn’t listened to
Otile Brown that day. Zinzi asks who Otile is and the room is
filled with laughter as the rest of the pupils promise to explain
to her who he is after we are done with the interview).
Issue 12 | 13
Q. There is a talent show coming up on the 18th Rosemary: On weekdays, I go to dance class after
during the end of year party. What talents do you work and like everyone else, I like to be with my
have? friends and family. I go on road trips once in a while
Joel: I play different instruments like the trombone, which and watch a lot of K-drama (Korean drama TV shows).
happens to be my specialty.
Q. Who inspires you?
Wanjala: I can MC, sing and play piano.
Jessica: It is such a cliché, but my mum inspires me. She
Mwikali: I can play football. I can cook too but I need to go is very wise, hardworking, principled and has
to cooking school (laughs). accomplished so much in her own right.
Jessica: In high school, I was a swimmer and I played the Wanjala: My Dad. He is a good man. When it comes to
violin and the drum set because I was in the school band. I the legal profession, Mr. Amoko’s legal expertise is
can bake too. something I aspire to emulate.
Zinzi: Swimming, horse riding and piano though I wasn’t Mwikali: My mother and siblings. I am crazy about
very good at it – so maybe playing the piano is not a talent. them. I have never met people who have taught me so
much of what I couldn’t have learnt from other people.
Rosemary: In high school I played hockey. I bake too and I They are such a strong group of people. My mother
go to dance class as well because I have two left feet. really goes out of her way for me, and I am amazed by
what she does for us.
Q. What do you do in your free time?
Rosemary: My grandmother. She is a strong woman.
Zinzi: I spend time with my friends and family and catch
up on some sleep. Zinzi: I can’t say there is one specific person. There are
people I admire for different things. For instance, I have
Joel: (Goes silent as he reflects on the question) Most of my this friend who is so willing to take risks and put herself
weekends are spent in church and whenever I am not in out there. That to me is very inspirational.
church, I attend the Bold Bar, a mentorship programme I
joined. I also spend time with family. Joel: Like Zinzi, I have different people I look up to in
various aspects of life. One of them is my late dad. He
Jessica: I sleeeeeeeeeep (extra emphasis on sleep), spend was a man of integrity. Because of him, I made up my
time with someone my parents like to call “special friend” mind to always have integrity.
(LOL!), and hang out with my nephew and my dogs. I also
bake and cook for my family on occasion. Q. There is a growing awareness on the
importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). What
Wanjala: I am usually at church over the weekends matters more – EQ or IQ?
training the choir or doing band activities with my band.
Once that is over, I like to hang out with some friends. (After discussing amongst themselves, they agree to
have this question answered unanimously as they share
Mwikali: I spend a lot of time with my friends and family. the same sentiments).
I read novels, watch a lot of telenovelas and Indian soaps.
I don’t sleep that much. They are not mutually exclusive. If you are not either
street smart or book smart, it is difficult to fully utilize
EQ. You must back it up with IQ.
Issue 12 | 14
Q. Do you miss Wilson? Q. The theme of this issue is limitless. What do
Zinzi: Oh yeah, we do miss Wilson. you think of when you hear that term?
Q. What are you most curious about in life? Mwikali: There is nothing in this life you can’t achieve
if you just put your mind to it. It’s also not about the
Zinzi: A bit of a broad answer but human beings – their number of years you lived but the impact that you
stories and how their life experiences shape who they made in other people’s lives.
become. It really fascinates me how people overcome
certain life experiences or how a moment in their life Zinzi: Your mind is your greatest asset and your
ends up changing the trajectory of their life. greatest kryptonite at the same time. It sets limits for
you. You must change your mindset by constantly
Jessica: The animal mind. I am a dog owner and I am breaking the limits within your mind.
fascinated by how they can have such high EQ and
become so aware of their owner’s emotions. Elephants Once you achieve one thing, you can play your mind.
are also highly intelligent and very emotional animals. It is Let it know you are up for the next challenge.
interesting how baby elephants that lost their parents at a
really young age especially through traumatic events like Wanjala: Without sounding controversial, I think
poaching place themselves under a cover before they human beings are limited. But we must constantly
sleep to mimic their mother’s presence soothing them. I work to exploit our potential within those limits.
just wish they could speak.
Rosemary: I believe there is so much to do in life. You
Mwikali: Criminal minds and child development. can’t fix yourself in a box. What scares me is when
your life is over, and there was so much you could
Rosemary: Charles Darwin’s theory of mankind and have done but you didn’t. I hope to live everyday
generally where we came from. thinking I can do more. Spread my wings and hope to
venture into new adventures.
Wanjala: How people like Mozart were able to compose
songs in their time. Like where did they get the melodies Jessica: There is this book – “The Master Key System,” a
from? I am also curious about Beethoven. He was deaf personal development book by Charles F. Haanel
but is considered one of the greatest classical music (1866-1949). Originally published as a 24-week
composers. correspondence course in 1912 and then as a book in
1916, it describes ideas from the New Thought
Joel: I am fascinated about the origins of different aspects Philosophy.
of things like Science, Law and Governance. How on earth
did this things come to be? The level of intelligence and It is meant to help its readers efficiently tap into their
complex concepts by early scholars and inventors brain power by teaching them how to use calculated
intrigues me. During the first year of law school, students means to exploit their brain’s full potential, instead of
are introduced to ‘The Case of the Speluncean Explorers’ randomly trying to chase their brain’s capacity.
(1949), a fictitious case by Lon L Fuller. You get to
appreciate that one scenario can have a variety of I believe that in the pursuit of being limitless, you can
interpretations depending on different schools of meet your targets using strategic measures and save
thoughts. It helps one appreciate diversity. half your energy if you learn how do it right.
Issue 12 | 15
Joel: I understand being limitless as accepting your Wanjala: Spend time with my grandmother and the
vulnerability while at the same time seeing a host of rest of the family. I want to also reflecton how the year
possibilities and pursuing them without fear of failure or has been and pray for good things next year.
setbacks. Having your eyes set on the end goal or prize
without relenting at all. Mwikali: Be around family and travel.
Kipchoge is a good example. He clearly put it out when he Rosemary: Whether I like it or not, I will have to go to
opined that he didn’t know where the limits were but Bomet (chuckles).
wanted to go there.
You know that feeling when you go upcountry, and you
just stick out like a sore thumb and sound like Zinzi?
(LOL!) That is what awaits me.
Q. Any plans for Christmas?
Zinzi: I plan to go and see my dad in Elementaita then
travel to Nanyuki to catch up with some friends.
Joel: So far, I have no plans, but I would like to go and see
my mum and have some me time to take stock of what I
have done this year. Basically do a SWOT analysis of my
year – analyze my strengths, weakness, opportunities and
Jessica: I have puppies to take care of so I will mostly be
tethered home. I intend to travel too, get some downtime
and just reflect on the year. I feel like 2019 just flew by so
Issue 12 | 16
'Tis the season: A trip down memory lane
M ary's Boy Child/Oh My Lord, a medley up on the roof carriage of an Akamba bus - destination
put together by the renown music Ushago.
group Boney M back in 1978, is a
song which I involuntarily got to This was also the season where we had an undeclared
know of as it seasonally serenades battle of “best Christmas decorated home”. What really
the ever-busy Tom Mboya street determined the winner was the home that had the
most balloons hanging from the walls or the home
from the various shopping stalls that seem to be which had a christmas tree with the most lights.
competing on who is the loudest. Once this song fills the Clearly, we had no difference between more or better
streets, it’s officially Christmas season for me. Okay, maybe in our criteria.
the classic Coca-Cola TV Ad - the “Holidays are coming,”
which had twinkling trucks with “Father Christmas” (back in Through the decoration process, I always had a rough
1995, we never called that man Santa Claus ) riding on time because I would either not pick the right colour
them stands a chance to beat Boney M’s song. combination according to my zealous uncle (he really
championed the decoration process), or I would not fold
Clothes shopping in the city and chicken shopping at the colour strips to unveil the zigzag pattern correctly.
Kikuyu’s finest - Muguku Poultry Farm, were always my Whenever I tried, my edges were either too curly,
Christmas highlights. In between these two events, I always meaning it wouldn’t last or the edges were too sharp.
noticed the craze of travelling upcountry. Family members All the same, our house never won this contest.
with their huge safari bags, some not even taking chances
with their chicken, beds and sofa sets, opting to tie them
Issue 12 | 17
Nonetheless, there was also some reverse migration and live up to the “Parte after Parte” mantra.
from a smaller group of people travelling from rural
areas to celebrate Christmas with relatives and friends Though cultures may be different across the country
in urban centers. It was an opportune time to have a and over the years, Christmas is generally a period
photoshoot at Uhuru Park with arms akimbo style or where people spend time with their family making
better yet, have a photo taken in such an angle that it merry, exchanging gifts and singing carols as they
appeared as though one was touching the tip of KICC. celebrate the birth of Christ.
Don’t forget that one had to wait for the photographer
to go develop the film roll so as to get the photo. Over and above the change in modes of celebration,
may this Christmas be a fitting ending to a successful
Fast forward and Christmas feels a lot different now. year for you.
With the digital age, ease of making phone calls,
Whatsapp ‘forwards’ and M-pesa, there are less and
less people travelling upcountry for the festive season.
People now prefer little vacations with their nuclear
family while the younger generation prefers to go out
Issue 12 | 18
Back in time for Christmas Read between
Have you ever wondered where the conventional Christmas
celebrations came from? Christmas is celebrated in many Book Review
countries all over the world and in a wide variety of ways.
Many of the customs and decorations we use to make the Educated by Tara
holiday special have developed in interesting ways and their Westover.
origins may be hidden in history.
Have you ever watched
1.Coca-Cola played a huge part in Santa's image. It wasn't until
the beverage company hired an illustrator named Haddon the National Geographic
Sundblom in 1931 to create images of Santa for magazine
advertisements, that we got the warm and friendly Santa we show called Doomsday
Preppers? If not, you are in
2.The tradition of hanging stockings comes from a Dutch
legend. A poor man had three daughters for whom he could for a treat with this one.
not afford to provide a dowry. St. Nicholas dropped a bag of
gold down his chimney and gold coins fell out and into the Educated is a remarkable
stockings drying by the fireplace. The daughters now had
dowry and could be married, avoiding a life on the streets. biography about the
3.‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song, was composed by author's bizarre
James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however,
written for thanksgiving and not Christmas. upbringing and her quest
4.The Statue of Liberty was gifted to the US by the French on to learn. You see, Tara was
Christmas day in 1886. It weighs 204,117 kgs and you could brought up by (rather strange) parents who
consider it as the biggest Christmas gift in the world.
believed in all manner of conspiracy theories (read
5.Christmas tree decoration is believed to have originated in the
16th century in Germany. Prince Albert of Germany the Illuminati and the world's end at Y2K), so much
introduced the tree to his new wife, Queen Victoria of England,
and the rest as they say is history. so that they pulled out two of their eldest children
6.Christmas wasn't always on December 25. Most historians from school and denied the last four an
actually believe Jesus was born in the spring, not winter. And
his birthday itself didn't become an official holiday until the opportunity of receiving an education...and birth
certificates too. They even went as far as isolating
7.Celebrating Christmas used to be illegal. By the time the
Puritans settled in Boston, celebrating Christmas was themselves from the rest of the world and
outlawed. From 1659 to 1681, anyone caught making merry
would face a fine for celebrating the once-pagan day. forbidding the use of modern medicine. At the age
8.The word "Christianity" was spelled "Xianity" as far back as of 17, Tara set foot in a classroom for the very first
1100. X, or Chi, in Greek is the first letter of Christ and served
as a symbolic stand-in. In 1551, the holiday was called time. Now in her early thirties, Tara holds a PhD
"Xtemmas" but eventually shortened to "Xmas."
from Cambridge University. Hers is a story of
9. During World War II, The United States Playing Card Company
joined forces with American and British intelligence agencies bravery, ambition and the power of breaking free
to create a special deck of cards. They gave out the cards as
Christmas gifts to help allied prisoners of war escape from from limitations. This book is a page turner and
German Prisoner of War camps. Individual cards peeled apart
when moistened, to reveal maps of escape routes. certainly a must read this December.
KES 1,050 at Text Book Centre | USD 12.68 on Kindle
Issue 12 | 19
Born a Crime, by Trevor
Hillarious, sad and
compelling. Born a Crime
offers us a glimpse of life as
it was during apartheid.
Born to a Xhosa mother and
a Swiss-German father,
Trevor's childhood was one of a kind. He was
neither white nor black. And in a system that
thrived in segregation, he was set up for a
different kind of life. A biography and a tribute to
his mother, this book is hard to put down. You
have to read it to believe it.
KES 1,050 at Text Book Centre | USD 5.38 on Kindle
2019 BD Champs
Of Integrity & Ownership
A look into the book "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a
Silicon Valley Startup" didn't work! In 2004,
It reads like a fiction novel and with all the out of Stanford to
strange and frankly astonishing exposés, it can start the company
be very hard to believe that the book is based with her unused
on actual events. Written by Wall Street
Journal reporter John Carreyrou, the book
details the massive fraud, lies and coverups at tuition fees despite
Theranos, a medical tech company founded by caution from a
Elizabeth Holmes, and at one point valued at USD 9 Stanford medic that
billion. Now it's worth is next to nothing. the technology wasn't
viable due to the
The story of Elizabeth Holmes and her company starts small amounts of
in 2003 when she, a 19 year old chemical engineering blood required. This
student at Stanford University, had a brilliant (and didn't stop her.
noble) idea of affordably allowing people to conduct Frankly, I am not sure whether to call it tenacity or
home blood tests by using a single drop of blood, thus sheer arrogance but Carreyrou points out a much
accurately diagnosing themselves of any diseases the clearer picture of the grave problems Theranos and
test revealed. This was going to be revolutionary. If you its founder Elizabeth had from the onset. While
have ever had to have your blood drawn out for speaking at Stanford University sometime in late
medical reasons, you are aware they require much 2018, Carreyrou noted that "The culture of Silicon
more than a drop of blood to run tests...and it doesn't Valley created the conditions for someone like Holmes to
We learned about honesty and come along, to thrive.'' ''Fake it till you make it" and “fail
fast,” are common phrases around the Valley.
integrity – that the truth matters… He further noted that “Holmes’ grave error was to
that you don’t take shortcuts or play channel this culture, especially the fake-it-until-you-
by your own set of rules…and success make-it part.” Such an approach, particularly for a
doesn’t count unless you earn it fair medical company, simply could not work. It had life-
threatening consequences and eventually, questions
and square. would start coming.
~ Michelle Obama. Questions. Elizabeth had mastered the art of
avoiding them. She had done numerous TV and
come cheap. She was going to change the game and magazine interviews but never got into the facts of
the world was ready to listen. The only problem was the technology. In science, it is a standard to have
(and is), that the technology behind the blood tests your work reviewed by peers, what is commonly
called "The Edison" or more famously the "miniLab," referred to as "peer review."
Issue 12 | 21
You can imagine with all the buzz the technology had OCO Fresh Thinking
garnered, phlebotomists, scientists, medical doctors, Breakfast Roundtable
and the likes were curious. They wanted to find out
more about it. But Elizabeth wouldn't budge. Issue 12 | 22
Over the course of its existence, the now defunct
company received more than USD 1 billion from high-
profile investors including the heirs to Walmart founder
Sam Walton, the Cox family (of Cox Enterprises), the
family of the Secretary of Education - Betsy DeVos, and
Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st
Century Fox and News Corp. Their shares are now
Theranos had become an almost instant hit and
together with its founder, the star of the show, Silicon
Valley thought it had found its first female-led Unicorn
(a privately held startup company valued at over USD 1
It is amazing to think that the company survived for
more than a decade and it was only after Carreyrou’s
investigative report that Theranos was unmasked as a
Though this is an extremely unique story, it is hard to
beat the fact that it happened. With issues of integrity
and ownership becoming an ever-growing concern in
our society, and even on a global scale, cases like these
remind us that integrity and ownership form the
backbone of any successful person - business owner or
On 22nd November, we held OCO's second Fresh
Thinking Breakfast Roundtable themed around the
topic of emerging issues in anti-money laundering and
proceeds of crime. The panellists discussed;
the salient issues stipulated in the Proceeds of
Crime and Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment)
anti-money laundering obligations of financial
legal implications and remedy measures; and
emerging issues in the fight against money
Mr Oraro, alongside Jonathan Huth (Lawyer, Kobre &
Kim LLP, UK), Zivanai Muchenje (Principal, FCC
Governance Kenya & East Africa), Wangechi Gichuki
(Head of Legal, Telkom Kenya) and John Kamau
(Associate Director, Forensics, PwC), were the panellists
discussing emerging issues in anti-money laundering
and proceeds of crime.
The session facilitated dialogue, discussion and sharing
of legal and industry experience with a focus on money
laundering and the provision of the Proceeds of Crime
and Anti-Money Laundering Act (POCAMLA).
Fraud and money laundering have led to the
downfall of many individuals and organisations alike.
I hope that you get a chance to read the book (or
watch the documentaries on YouTube ) to get the full
Issue 12 | 23
Happy New Year
Art work by Rebecca
ACK Garden Annex, 6th Floor, 1st Ngong Avenue
P.O. Box 51236-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
Dropping Zone: Room 8, Embassy House Basement
T: +254 709 250 000
E: [email protected] | www.oraro.co.ke
Oraro & Company Advocates
DEC | 2019