Interesting Kenyan Sites #18

Nairobi Living – is a local search and business directory. I find the site to be well thought out and nicely designed. Kudos to the makers! Though one is tempted to say “….yet another local directory?”.

Shameless Clones
Tokea Online – it seems to be an East African social network (like facebook, but for EA). it looks brand new and so it is “sparse” as far as content goes. But the design, I must say, is well done. Let’s wish them luck!

Update 7/2/2011: it seems that TokeaOnline is a shameless clone of a site design and setup freely available all over the net. Another site using the same setup is FunKenya. it is good to try and build an online business, but one could surely do better…

mmiarch – this seems to be the website of “mmi architects”. Even by the presumably low Kenyan standards, this website is particularly poorly done. One wonders what the hell the “web designer” was doing…

beckyzshoes – an online shops selling men’s shoes. Except that it is run on a .blogspot blog. FAIL. I cannot believe that these guys actually advertised on Facebook!! if you want to sell anythign online, 1) do not do it from a free website and 2) use professional e-commerce software (like DukaPress which is 100% free).

Additional Resources


  1. Ummmm..I have to disagree with Its terrible beyond words. And looks good. is different . And finally has not heard of Dukapress

  2. Jaffar Mohamed says:

    Kelvin, you may need to have an additional category; Silly/Bad Clones! is just a clone freely available as a download all over the net, even another Kenyan website has used it, check Why do we keep thinking that this cloning affair is a good business model. This is not the right forum but until we start real innovation, we wont reap much from the net.

  3. Business model may not require re inventing the wheel. The Niche is what is required. the fun kenya case- whom are they targetting why is it ata kama ni clone have members online all the time?

  4. Tobias Cheroitich says:

    This is such a coincidence, i had a similar discussion last week with a pair of guys trying to launch yet another Groupon clone, hoping that somebody buys them out. Nobody is against re-inventing the wheel, but the wheel must be able to take us somewhere. Traffic (Members online) is a curse for many kenyan websites, why? You see businesses putting a facebook advert saying “Like our Page”, or a webmaster logging into Google analytics and looking (not analysing) at how his traffic is doing. Many web developers have been told “poor job, you have not put a hits counter on my site?” What about “call to action”? Ok, 6,000 guys like your page, but have you shipped? 58 Guests online, but wats the conversion, is your content engaging, does it add value, will i return after 6 months or have i just logged in to “check it out”?

    Jafar has a point tho put crudely, the internet pays out of innovation and this is self evident yet It is tragic that the web is yet to create real value (money) for kenyan developers . In the long term its projects like ushadidi, dukapress and M-Farm that add value, help tech to grow, open up opportunities, attract the eye of a venture capitalist somewhere in new york, create employment. But in the short term lets just have fun, create an account and login, its free.

    • Very well said, sir.

      From my personal experience, I would say that there is still a great degree of ignorance 9for lack of a better word) among business owners, would-be business owners, and web developers as regards doing business online. Very few people know how to do it right, even less take the time out to do proper research and almost everyone else is working on almost a “trial and error” basis.

      I think it’ll be a few years before the Kenyan internet entrepreneur is matured.

      And thanks for mentioning DukaPress in such positive light 🙂

  5. Abdi makes alot of sense. The software used on some of the sites like funkenya is downloaded online, it the was used to make a website that has a certain ‘niche’ as abdi calls it. Just like this website uses wordpress- free to download and uses a certain niche that is common on the net- business discussions and related stuff. As of tokeaonline- bad idea, an eastafrica gangup may not work on another social site several others created using dolphin have flopped. Thats explains why there is activity on funkenya but none at tokeaonline.

  6. George Maina says:

    I think most guys here are missing the point. The “Interesting Kenyan sites” series is meant to showcase the best / worst designs in the Kenyan web development scence and probably stimulate discussion. Also remember that Likechapaa’s greater role is a platform for discussing and sharing ideas on how to make money online and thats why some comments here mention “business models”. So whether you use a free script or you have a million members engaged is beyond the scope here.

    Joomla is free but why desecrate it by designing something bad (Flops) like this This ministry is such an important institution and one would expect better. Why should the website for The Economic Stimuls still under ministry of finance ( be developed in India? Of course because a Kenyan did a bad job for the main website! Both are Joomla websites but which one is done better?

    For me such a discussion is important in two ways.
    1. We are begining to see significant web development jobs being outsourced, so you have a guy in India who can do a better Joomla job pocketing money that should be in our pockets. Visit oDesk and you will find Kenyans advertising for web development gigs and its interesting that if you apply as a Kenyan, you dont even get a response, Why? Maybe we are begining to have clients who are tired of templates, clones and canned websites/applications.
    2. Most of us here are probably guys with interest or training in IT and we need to advocate for standards, otherwise our tech industry will soon go to the Indians and foreigners because the average Kenyan developer is an expert in clones and shoddy jobs

    Just my two cents

  7. The critisism towards leaves me wondering ama this site is realy about business ama critisism. Are some of us jeras ama this websites users are mostly webmasters? Ati shameful clones. Funkenya seems to bring and natcha an open community unlike facebook and its all about fun. Many music videos and my favourites (naked celebs) have premiered there. Eish, concerned kenyanlist and funkenya member. Funkenya damu. Hope i dont get banned uko koz am gonna use my funkenya username to sign tis.

    • We haven’t really criticized, but rather In fact I think people have pointed out that while the two use similar software, has been able to differentiate itself while has not.

  8. People, we’re missing a valuable point here. Just like countless blogs use WordPress as their basic platform and add stuff to it, the same applies to both funkenya and tokeaonline. About the business sense, I say time will tell. Tokea! seems to be days old while funkenya is 2 or 3 years old. Maybe new features are coming up, maybe even something groundbreaking. I’d hate to be the guy whose comments are read in 6 months time and people are like….didn’t see that coming.

  9. @ George Maina, you definitely have a good point in regard to standards in web design. Most of our Kenyan web design agencies do really bad jobs. I love open source tools, i use them in most of my projects and all of my clients are satisfied and always refer other clients to me. why would you use a clone when you can use reputable open source tools? When it comes to business model, i think developers did really well in adding value to it’s directory service. Like Chapaa runs on wordpress, but we visit it regularly because it adds value.if it was a kind of clone, i doubt if it could be what it is know, good job Kelvin and the team.

  10. is social networking website strickly open to adults ( 21 and above ) who want to freely mingle and make new friends. first step is to sign up for free .this only takes a few seconds .after successfully signing up you are granted permission to the private sector of the website where you can add friends /manage connections .your privacy is a priority so we’ve made profiles not accessible to non-members. Communication is also much easier here a chat is available on the right hand side you’ll be able to chat to all the other members you have an existing connection with/friends. if a member is not available you can leave them a quick message using the pm(private message option).blockng /reporting abuse is also an option on the profile.enjoy using mpango wa kando and experience social networking like never before .

  11. Jaffar Mohamed says:

    I waited for 9 months to prove that clones don’t work at all. @Trencher, @12inch et al can you go back and check your “favorite”, “active” and “creative” websites: and


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by DukaPress, Kelvin Jayanoris. Kelvin Jayanoris said: Interesting Kenyan Sites #18 : […]

Speak your mind