About Annette Mumbi

If everything existed in its perfect state, Annette would still desire to improve it. She is fastidious and critical and she believes that the least of ideas and words make up the greatest stories.

Annette is an ardent writer and her love for the written word is evidenced on smartyannette.wordpress.com. She doubles as a financial analyst. She lives in her head and she would probably only need cake, chocolate or ice cream flavoured with fruit and nut to survive on an island.


The 48 Hour Film Project is a challenge that gets filmmakers to write, shoot and edit a movie in just 48 hours. The project that began as a challenge amongst friends about 12 years has grown to arguably be the largest filmmaking competition in the world. This year, Nairobi is among the 125 participating cities and the challenge will take place between Friday 29th November and Sunday 1st December.

The Challenge will kick off that Friday at The Michael Joseph Centre on Waiyaki Way where the participants will get details on given genres, characters, lines of thought and props they have to work into their movies. The finished product will be submitted at the same venue on Sunday by 7.30 pm strictly and those that miss the deadline even by a minute will be disqualified.

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You will find all sorts of people in Nairobi and in my opinion, they make the city move. If you go looking for a person with certain traits then you can almost be sure to find them in Nairobi. Some are extroverts who are celebrated for their speech rather than actions while others are great handymen. The successful but uncelebrated introverts will often be forgotten because they live an extremely private life but they are definitely a force to reckon with. You will find a few people who are very knowledgeable and more people who think they know it all.

What’s common about all these people is that they have a hustle/means to earn a living, and those who don’t are actively searching for one. It fuels their aspirations gives them reason to work and hope for better. There’s always someone who’s working at creating something new or making better what already exists and another’s thinking about a Continue reading

Is it just me or is there a guy for every job you need done in Nairobi? You need a device and you’ll be referred to a guy who can get it at the best price. There’s a guy who repairs phones he has never used because he cannot afford them. He has no form of formal training but he learns fast and knows his way around devices. The tailor, designer and artist too work out of talent and practice skills not harnessed through training. I applaud these people and the city for letting them thrive!

Enough people pursue careers different from what they specialized in in school and the fact that Nairobi gives such people a chance to excel at what they are good at, even without formal training, makes me proud. Sure, education is important and the city boasts of many prestigious schools. However, there are many more ways to learn like apprenticeship and the city accommodates all. In Continue reading

Nairobi to me is about pushing the limits of creation and innovation. The limits of the imaginable are pushed and just when you think someone can’t get any more creative, they surprise you. Think of Sheng, the language in Nairobi that evolves so fast that you risk using obsolete words if you don’t keep up. Each generation brings new words to life and the innovative spirit takes a different edge. One generation produces tyres while the next makes shoes out of them. One person talks of going green and the residents see opportunities to make money from recyclable products. The impossible is truly made possible in Nairobi.

I would give a lot for a chance to experience Nairobi nights every so often. You will love and hate the days in almost equal measure but just when you think you can’t take any more of the hustles, Nairobi gives you its lovely Sunday nights. There aren’t too many people walking around and the few who are pace arm in arm. There’s almost always a breeze if it isn’t raining and it will refresh you and make you dream and evaluate your goals. It’s those deserted streets that remind you that everything is possible really; that you can find peace even in the loudest of places.

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“…And I will love you and be faithful to you, for as long as we both shall live.”

Andy articulated the vows with precision and emotion, and with his eyes firmly fixated on her. She looked more beautiful today with her hair held up and the gems in her earrings and necklace seemed to sparkle with each word he said. They motivated him, these gems. They urged him on as he described the beauty and near perfectionism of this work of art by the Creator. She was every man’s dream and he could tell by the jealousy on the male faces in the audience. They wanted to be sure that there was absolutely no chance for them. At the very least they hoped that hearing her profess love for someone else and seeing their union blessed would help them move on. If anything, fate owed them that much since they did not intend to set apart what God had joined together.

Hearing her say the same vows aloud was every definition of a dream come true for Andy. She said them so boldly that the words still echoed in his brain long after she’d expressed them. Her face was glowing and you could tell that she was happy from the twinkle in her eyes, for indeed, the eyes are a window to the heart. And as Andy gazed the more, she seemed to get more graceful with every passing Continue reading

He took a sip from one of the bottles of wine in his wine cabinet but spit it even before he could get to the sink. It was his favorite brand and he always had a couple of glasses before bedtime but he weirdly thought that it was stale on that night. His cabinet was fully stocked so he opened another bottle but he couldn’t get past the second sip. He realized that maybe it wasn’t the wine and it was weird that his problems were keeping him away from alcohol instead of drawing him to it.

He did not know who he had become anymore. He had lost his real self somewhere along the way and he lost the things that made him happy. Earlier on he had thought that it was because he had stayed away from his parents for too long so he visited but that did not make things any better. In fact, it only left him more burdened since his grandfather who was old and sickly mentioned that he would love a young boy to keep the flame of his name alive. And since he was the only son of his parents and the eldest grandchild, he knew that the clan was impatiently waiting for his male offspring.
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Anyone who has interest in literature may have had a chance to attend a poetry event or a forum where poets freely express their ideas or share their pieces. In such forums, poets read or recite their poems and many times ‘Spoken word’ is used to popularize the forum and get a larger audience. The audience gets to critic the poets and their poems as they enjoy the presentations and in a competition, judges who many times are accomplished poets may be involved. So, on what basis do we judge performance poetry?

I believe that the greatness of any performer- and in this case any poet- lies in their ability to deliver and appeal to their audience. A poet may read a piece and based on their tone, diction and facial expressions, they may gain the approval of the audience compared to a poet who plainly recites their pieces. It is no wonder that even people who do not have great interest in arts enjoy spoken word performances because all they need to do is relate and get engrossed in the performance. It could be easier to perform or recite poems that are rhythmical but any good poet may still engage an audience with a captivating story and minimal rhythm.
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Sunset found Harriet all crouched up next to one of the bins in the recreational park that had become her new abode. It was her way of calling dibs on whatever was in the bin and she was waiting for nightfall so that she could ransack without getting embarrassed. She hoped that she would never have to make the streets her home but every sunset that found her homeless reminded her that maybe it was time to let go. Even when she was almost certain that the situation would not improve, she was not able to reconcile the unsightliness of street life and the house she called home for most of her life. She was yet to take in the drastic change of livelihood and though she refrained from cogitating about it, she knew that she would not run for too long.

It had only been a fortnight since Harriet’s family got kicked out of their house and it was arguably the worst time of her life. She was only 10 but being the eldest child of a sickly mother and an inebriated father, she was expected to fend for her younger brother and sister who were 6 and 3 respectively. She had been lucky enough to get plenty of food remains to take to her family who were camping on the balcony of a building under construction on the first Continue reading

Different people are known to react differently during their moments of weakness. For some, crying is the utmost sign of falling apart while for others, locking out the world is what helps them get above their weaknesses. Truth be told, failure is never easy on most of us especially when it involves things that we have worked so hard to achieve. It could be an interview that we had focused so much on or a task that determines if we keep our jobs or not. Sometimes we fail so many times yet we usually have worked harder each time and giving up seems like the most plausible choice after each loss.

Failure can mean performing below our expectations yet the performance is generally above par, or it could mean performing below par as a whole. The definition of failure is different for every individual and even when we fail as a group, some people are affected more than others. Group fails are usually harder to take in especially for the people who put in most effort. Some people view failure as synonymous to defeat and it they are sore losers then they have a hard time dealing with failure. Others associate failure with lack of mental or physical ability and
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Shirley looked away when she saw him approach her bed. She closed her eyes and mumbled a short prayer hoping that he was not the nurse on duty that night. Sandy crossed her fingers too, and if she could, she would cross her toes. In fact, she’d cross her arms at her elbows and do anything that would save them the agony of having to be fed by him that night. It was not to be, however, because Bernard walked in with a trolley of food.

They called him ‘Bee’ for brutal although he thought that it was short for Bernard. He was callous and unkind. He did not seem to care that each of the girls were suffering from a life threatening disease. The girls feared him like a plague. They wished that they would at least get nurses who would be gentle with them and make them smile for the few months they had left but each new nurse was worse. Bernard had been there for about three months but they were yet to Continue reading