1.Give us a brief profile of yourself.
My name is Daniel Ominde, I am 35 years old. I am a father to a lovely five-year-old girl. I am trained as a journalist, but I have spent most of my professional life working outside the traditional media industry. I write about complex subjects from a human interest perspective. My pet subjects are cancer and mental health. These have won me both local and international awards and recognition. I also write on business and technology.
I am also a research author, mainly focusing on media research in Eastern Africa. My work is published in my name by KAS Media Africa, the media development arm of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
2.Share something interesting about yourself
I am an introvert. You will barely realize that from my social media interactions but if you get to meet me in person (and when sober) you will realize that I don’t talk much. It’s caused me enough problems because everyone expects to meet the person they see on social media.
3.What attracted/inspired you into blogging
I was always fascinated by Tony Mochama’s (Smitta)’s article on Pulse. I loved how he described Nairobi’s party scene. It fascinated me. I had always wished someone would write about my hometown’s party scene with that kind of flair.
So, when I moved back to Kisumu in 2009 and was partying a lot, I decided to create a blog called “Twisted Logic” to just tell Kisumu’s party stories. By then I was working outside the media and this was my way of at least staying true to my profession.
As I grew up I started gathering other interests which included active citizenry, especially because we had a constitutional moment in 2010 and we were also ushering the first devolved units with the coming elections. I wanted to use my newfound popularity as a blogger in Kisumu to have a positive influence on how voters make decisions.
To my surprise, my politics blog at the time won Best Politics Blog in the 2013 BAKE Awards. Winning that just proved to me how important a tool this was. I stopped entertainment blogging and focussed my energies on being more impactful with my writing.
4.You could have written about anything, why this niche specifically?
It’s all about the impact. I am not a big fan of doing things just for the sake of it or because they are more attractive to advertisers. When I tell a story that gives people hope about their situation or inspires just one reader then I feel good in my heart. Sort, of inspires me to write the next story too.
Sometimes though I also feel that I have a duty to bring certain issues to the attention of the public. Especially how certain aspects of healthcare like cancer treatment and mental health are neglected by the government.
When it comes to business and technology these are just subjects that fascinate me. The more I write about them, the more I also learn about them.
5.What accomplishments are you proud of most?
In 2019, I was among 90 young people from around the world recognized by the Global Solutions Initiative (Germany) as a ‘Young Global Changer’ for my efforts in using stories to influence policy. This included attending a two-week summer school in Berlin and the Global Solutions Summit which brought together leaders from the G20 countries.
6.If you could sit down with your 13-year-old self, what would you tell him?
Read more books. I have always loved reading. But I wish I started consuming difficult topics much earlier, it would have made my work easier today. So I am doing a lot of catching up these days. Most of the time you will find me reading three books at a go. Alternating between varied subjects.
I am a believer in a quote by Napoleon Hill, “You will probably be the same person you are today five years from now except for two things; the books you read and the people you meet.” In short, it’s your networks and the knowledge you keep acquiring that can change your life. This has been so true of me.
7.If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Observant, proactive, approachable. I find these also very helpful in what I do day to day as a blogger, media researcher, and events organizer.
8.If you could time travel, where would you go?
What a question for this Covid times! Definitely somewhere I have never been, so Singapore would do. I am fascinated by airports and Singapore has one of the very best airports in the world. I know how funny that may sound that the first thing I would want to see is an airport. But I find some of the airports I have been to very fascinating, so I want to see this one.
I would also love to have dinner at some of the famous rooftop restaurants with spectacular views of the city.
9.What is the weirdest food combination you have ever tried?
Let me just talk about the weirdest food. This has to be in 2016 when I visited Berlin for the first time. We went to this restaurant with friends I was travelling with and ordered dinner. We were not familiar with their menu but were only there because we were told they have the best craft beer.
So we were just winging it with our orders. I ordered for pigg foot not knowing. It looked really ugly my colleagues had quite an evening laughing at me. I enjoyed the meal though.
10.If you were not a blogger, what would you be instead? Do you have a day job?
I used to have an 8 -5 day job but I quit now writing full time. That is blogging, managing a website and writing research papers. My blog isn’t making that much money at the time but we will get there.
If I wasn’t doing this I would be a content writer somewhere, maybe for radio or a PR agency.
11.What is the most difficult thing you ever had to do?
I am getting divorced. It’s the toughest thing I have had to deal with in my entire life. Let’s leave it at that.
12.Who is the most influential person in your life and why?
That’s too huge a credit to give to one person, I think. I have had several people who have had different levels of influence in my life. They all are ordinary people. My daughter inspires me to work hard because of her expensive taste (laughs). The rest are mostly people who believed in me when I had a lot of doubts about my capabilities. I would single out Carol Ruguru of Ogilvy PR, my former boss Edwine Anayo of Homeland Events, Shoks Mzolo and Christoph Plate of KAS Media Africa (South Africa).
13.Besides blogging, what else do you do? What is your obsession?
I manage a content aggregation platform for politics bloggers from Across Africa, it’s called Africa Blogging and it’s supported by the German Political Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS). I am also a farmer I grow vegetables and rear chicken.
Like I mentioned earlier, I also occasionally consult for KAS Media Africa as a media researcher focusing on Eastern Africa’s media.
14.What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“You are a sample size of one, statistically insignificant.” It taught me to put aside my opinions and listen to what other people have to say about a subject.
15.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I will be a father to a ten-year-old girl (that’s dreadful). I will have hopefully published my first book, working on my second one. I will also be farming as processional activity.
16. Is there a quote/mantra you live by?
Good deeds always come back back to us.
People who are close to me always know that I got them, even if they come back to me over and over. I love seeing people succeed, even when my own success is delayed.
17.If you would be a superhero, who would you be and why?
I would definitely be Catboy of PJ Masks. He is my daughter’s favourite, isn’t that a good enough reason?