9th February started just as every other normal day for me. I had just come from town after visiting one of the editors in a media house and also after attending the Samsung Galaxy Note launch at Crowne Plaza. I hitched a ride to town together with close to 10 other journalists. I had an appointment with David Kobia of Mashada at noon at iHub. I knew that there was going to be a Nokia event at iHub from 2pm to 3pm and so I wanted to go, finish with David and go see one of my clients in Westlands.
It was getting to 11am and I was still at I&M Bank building in town visiting other journalists at Internews offices. Two other journalists (from Standard and Nation) requested that they join me in talking to David of Mashada, which was very popular for the strong hate messages which were on the forum in 2007.
Anyway, I waited for them and at around 11am or so, we set for iHub. We alighted at the Caltex Petrol station on Ngong road and crossed the road for the iHub. There was no sign of the presence of Nokia CEO at iHub so we got on the lifts and pressed for 4th floor.
BTW!! I knew that Nokia has had many issues with my blunt blog posts especially regarding the theft of ideas from the poor Kenyan students and why Nokia will never regain the Kenyan market. So I did not want to get onto an event which they did not want me to attend. But I had to talk to David because few have talked to him over Mashada and his other ideas like PigiaMe which he later sold to Ringier Kenya which also owns Rupu. David is also a co-founder of Ushahidi.
The lift stopped on 3rd floor for some guys going to the m-Lab to alight. There was I saw lots of guys on the floor. I decided to go up, talk David into leaving the venue for an interview elsewhere since it seemed like the Nokia CEO was already at Bishop Magua. On the 4th floor is iHub and on the 3rd floor is Mlab East Africa. Elop was already at Mlab East Africa it seemed.
We decided to go ahead to 4th floor to pick David. On alighting from the lift, I notice that the place was already set for Nokia CEO’s visit. There were two ladies manning the table. One is called Margaret Thumi and she is an Account executive at Hill and Knowlton which handles Nokia PR in Kenya. Thumi looked like she was pointing towards me for someone. It looked like she did not want me to realise that she was pointing towards me. Within few seconds, the journalist I was with were let through without being asked a thing and I was being surrounded by 6 G4S goons (I call them goons for a reason) and they were telling me that I was not invited to this event.
Sammy (one of the G4S goon): No this is just a private event so you will not be allowed in.
Me: Ok! First I have an invitation to this event. Second, if you don’t want me to attend this event, I will not force myself in but please check for me if a David Kobia is here at the iHub. He should be around as I have an appointment with him for a midday interview.
Sammy: Ok! let me send someone to check for David Kobia
Margaret Thumi then decided to send someone to check if David Kobia was inside. In the meantime, Sammy and 2 other G4S goons were trying to push me towards the elevator. I asked them to relax for the guy who was sent inside to come back. The guy came back and said that he could not trace David.
Sammy then told me that I should immediately get into the lift, I humbly requested Sammy (whom I knew) that he should let me get onto the lift and go down alone. I told him that I had done nothing wrong and secondly I had an invite. He asked for the invite. He read the invite which he then showed to the Hill and Knowlton Managing Director (Alexander Döll). The MD of H&K shook his head indicating that he did not recognize the invite and so Sammy told me that he had to escort me down. I told Sammy again that I was not going down with any of the guards because I came alone, did not come to the Nokia event and I was willing to go down alone.
Sammy said that I wouldn’t “go down alone no matter what”. I told Sammy that then I would have to wait till they decide to let me go down. Then is when he started pushing me and then is when 2 guys came over to where we were and indicated that they were police officers. They asked Sammy and other G4S goons to leave me alone. They introduced themselves as police officers. I asked for their ID cards. None of them produced the ID cards. They told me that I should just believe that they were police officers. I told them that my trust was not out for donation.
I started walking towards the stairs and turned to take photos of the guards who were trying to manhandle me. Sammy snatched my phone and was now very furious with me. I asked him why they did not like their photos to be taken while they were at a public event. That is when the two guys plus 5 – 6 other G4S goons decided to manhandle me and push me towards the stairs on your left when you alight from the lifts (there are 2 sets of stairs). Another goon took my phone from Sammy and was trying to crush it on the floor. Some of the men manhandling me were ransacking my pockets while others were pulling my bag which had my laptop away from me.
That is when I screamed till they were forced to leave me alone again. I realized that these people wanted to manhandle me but also steal from me. These people were up to some games. I started walking towards the stairs some more and then is when one of the G4S goon pushed me from behind and I fell on the stairs. Sammy jumped over me and was now on phone with someone. The whole group was now under the command of the white guy who is the MD of H&K. Sammy was getting extra orders on the phone.
I was bruised on the legs, jaw and nose. I got up and demanded my bag and personal effects. iHub manager, Tosh, was now asking the guys to stop roughing me up.
I was taken to Kilimani Police station. The policemen there including the DCIO refused to book me in and charge me with a crime they did not understand. The whole case looked like cheap personal vendetta which the Police was being used to settle. The incident happened around mid-day and I was not booked into the Station’s OB until around 7.30pm with even the deputy OCS, Mr Ronoh, loudly protesting that it is wrong for the police to be blamed.
The G4S guys had their way when their head of security was sent from the headquarters with a bundle of money to bribe the police to book me in. I was charged the next day and later released on a Ksh 5,000 cash bail. It was that minor.
My problems with Nokia started with Dorothy Ooko. I told her off on many instances regarding how Nokia was doomed in itss fight for the market. She did not like that nor did H&K (the PR firm). She wanted people who whispered sweet nothings to please her eyes. I don’t do that. It is the same character which is clearly evident in Erik Hershman of iHub. He loves that his ego be massaged how he is an angel and he is doing everything right. Iwill be honest with you when you are right or wrong. No double standards whether you pay me or not. That is my character and I am not going to change it anytime soon.
This is one of the posts exposing Erik Hersman hence so much hate.
Dorothy Ooko moved to Google and transfered her beef with me there. Simple IDIOTIC mindset that the mainstream media has encouraged in this country. I chose to be different and I will tread this path for better, for worse.