Saturday, August 10, 2013

How to Configure Huawei Ideos Airtel Internet Settings

The Ideos and other Huawei phones (Y210 and U5130) have proved to be a great bargain for Kenyans who want an Android smartphone but without the resulting dent in the pocket. At less than 8,000 bob, many Kenyans have been able to access cellphone features that only smartphones provide. Unfortunately, Airtel users have been suffering because configuring Airtel Internet settings on an Ideos and other Huawei models can be a real headache. The automatic settings you receive when you send the word “ALL” to 232 do not work and calls to customer care either go answered or you receive settings that do not work. For many customers, only the inconvenience of having to visit to an Airtel Office resolves the problem. After much trial and error, I have finally found out the exact settings that work. See below.


  1. On your Huawei Ideos U8150 phone, go to ‘settings’, then ‘wireless and networks’
  2. Scroll down and select ‘mobile networks’.
  3. Select ‘Access Point Names’
  4. Click on the menu button on your phone (next to the home button on the left) and select ‘New APN’
  5. In the fields that appear, enter the following:
    • Name: Airtel Internet
    • APN:
    • Proxy: Leave blank
    • Port: 8080
    • Username: Leave blank
    • Password: Leave blank
    • Server: Leave blank
    • MMSC: Leave blank
    • MMS Proxy: Leave blank
    • MMS Port: Leave blank
    • MCC:639 
    • MNC:03
    • Authentication type: None
    • APN Type: Default
  6. Click on the ‘Menu’ button again and select ‘Save’
  7. Switch off your phone, wait five minutes and switch it back on.

Tips & Warnings

  • One would expect that the APN would be something like ‘’ but it appears that Airtel have never changed the APN. They still use the old APN that was in use when the company was named Celtel.
  • These settings should work on other low end Huawei models such as the Y210 and U5130.
Suggested Reading

  1. How to block calls on your mobile phone
  2. How to buy Airtel airtime using Mpesa
  3. How to divert Airtel Line to Voicemail

Friday, August 9, 2013

How to Spy On a Mobile Phone in Kenya

There are several reasons you may want to spy on a mobile phone but most people commonly want to spy on their spouses. However, you may have other reasons such as monitoring your child’s security, snooping on employees and so forth. Take note that spying on a mobile phone is illegal. The Kenya Information and Communications Act clearly stipulates that attempting or actually intercepting a communications message for any reason is illegal. Only the law enforcement authorities can do this in the course of criminal investigations.

What you need

  1. Mobile spying application
  2. Target mobile phone – Note that you must have actual possession of the mobile phone you want to spy on; there is no way to go around this.
  3. Some cunning on your part


  1. Purchase a mobile spying application from one of the numerous online vendors. The price ranges from $25 to as high as $400. Some applications have a recurring cost e.g. you pay the initial cost and then pay a monthly subscription fee to the owner of the software. However, there are also numerous ‘one-time fee’ options.  Make sure the target phone model is compatible with the application you select. Most websites provide this information. You will need a Visa, MasterCard or PayPal account to purchase most of these services. If you do not have a credit/debit card or PayPal, read this article on ‘How to get a PayPal enabled ATM Debit Card in Kenya’. Most applications will provide the following standard features:
    • Call logging
    • SMS logging
    • GPS Tracking (if the target phone has GPS functionality)
    • Email logging
    • Picture uploading
  2. Some mobile spying applications will also offer the following add-on services at an additional fee:
    • Remote call listening (listen to voice calls)
    • Spy on WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and other voice/text applications installed on the target phone
  3. Once you have purchased the application, read the installation instructions provided. Access to the target phone is mandatory. You may need to enter an activation code provided by the vendor or to activate the app via an ‘invisible’ text message depending on the app. The following are some ingenious ways that devious people have used in the past to gain access to other people’s phones in the past:
    • Buy the person a new phone as a gift and pre-load the spy app. This has been reported to work well especially with spouses, where one suspects the other of infidelity. It has also been reported to work well with employers who want to snoop on their employees and parents who want to keep track of their children.
    • Some people have managed to install spyware on phones by waiting for the opportunity to present itself e.g. when the phone owner goes to the bathroom or generally leaves their phone unattended. Most spy apps install in less than five minutes and that is all the time needed. 
  4. Once your spy app is installed correctly, the target phone should start sending call, SMS, GPS location and other logs to a remote server which you will be able to access by logging into the control panel provided by your vendor. 

Tips & Warnings

  • As mentioned earlier, attempting to intercept someone else’s phone calls and messages in Kenya is illegal. The fine is hefty and there is possible jail time of up to three years.


Standard Media

Infosec Institute

Suggested Reading

Unlock Samsung Fingerprint Locked Phone

How to receive a fake call on your mobile phone

How to record calls on your mobile phone

3 must-have apps for every Kenyan

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How to get a PayPal enabled ATM Debit Card in Kenya

PayPal is the largest online payment processors in the world. There are many online vendors of goods and services who do not accept any other form of payment except PayPal. If you need to make a purchase from such a vendor, then you will need a PayPal account with a Debit/Credit card linked to your account.


  1. Almost all banks in Kenya now allow you to make online payments using your Visa or MasterCard debit/credit card. All you need to do is to make a visit to your bank and inform them that you would like to make online payments with your debit ATM card or credit card. Some banks may ask you to fill out a special form and wait for a few days while others will activate it on the spot. In some cases, they may ask you to specify whether you want to carry out a single transaction or if you would like your card permanently activated to make online payments.
  2. As soon as the bank confirms your card is Internet ready. Log into your PayPal account (or create a new account if you don’t already have one) and navigate to “Add/Edit Credit Card”. Enter your card information. The ‘address’ requested is the postal address on record with your bank. After adding the card, click on ‘Link and Confirm my Debit or Credit Card.‘ When you click on ‘submit’ PayPal will debit your card with $1.99 (the Kenya shilling equivalent based on the current exchange rate). A 4 digit PIN will appear on your bank statement with this transaction. You will need to get the bank statement from your bank in order to access the PIN. If your bank offers Internet banking, you can access the code in a few minutes. Enter the code in the space provided in your PayPal account to confirm you own the card. 
  3. Once you have successfully linked and confirmed your card, your PayPal account will convert to a ‘verified’ account and you can make payments online. Anytime you make a payment using PayPal, your bank account is debited via the debit card you have on record with PayPal.

Tips and Warnings

  • You actually do not need a Kenyan bank account. There are numerous pre-paid debit cards on offer which work just as well. Examples include; Safaricom’s Mpesa Debit Card, Nation’s Hela Card, I&M Pre-Paid Debit card, KCB’s pre-paid debit card, Orange Money Visa Card etc

Suggested Reading



Thursday, August 8, 2013

What is Mpanasuu

On the Kenyan social scene, ‘Mpanasuu’ is the sheng (Swahili slang) word for a beautiful lady. It is derived and ‘corrupted’ from the original Sheng word ‘msupuu’. As with every language Sheng is continuously evolving. However, Sheng appears to evolve much faster than traditional languages. Since 2005, the trend has been to reverse or rearrange the order of characters in a word to come up with a new word. Further examples of this trend include:

Original English, sheng or swahili word
New Sheng Derivative
Udaku (gossip)
Maji (water)
Mjaka (luo)
Msapere (kikuyu)
Enda (gone)
Mtu (person)

Matatu touts in Nairobi continue to play a deep role in shaping the language.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What is Bonoko?

If you do not follow Kenya's news and social scene very closely, you may at some point wonder at the origin of the word 'Bonoko'. The word has been widely in use on the Kenyan social scene since 2007.

Origin of the word 'Bonoko'

The widespread use of the word can be traced back to a June 2007 television interview when a street urchin known as Francis Kimani Maina (aka James Kangethe 'Tete' Kimani) gave to a Kenya Television Network (KTN) TV reporter. At the time, James (15 at the time) was sleeping at the Globe Roundabout when he heard the sound of a fracas. It was city council askaris (local police) on duty. A friend, who happened to be a 'mutura' (African/offal/blood sausage) and soup vendor at Ngara market, was urinating when he saw the askaris. Urinating in the open is against the Nairobi city bylaws and his friend, therefore, decided to take to his heels to avoid arrest. Unfortunately, he ran straight in the direction of waiting policemen who promptly shot him dead. According to James, the police 'planted' a fake gun on his friend and accused him of being a hardcore criminal. He described the fake gun as a 'bonoko'. Kenyan DJ Styles took the interview and with some creative addition of beats and mixing created the song now popularly known as 'Bonoko'. The song went viral on YouTube in Kenya.

Emerging Uses of the Word

The 'sheng' (Swahili slang) word 'Bonoko' originally referred to a fake gun. However, it is now used loosely to refer to anything fake. For example, someone may say, 'wewe ni bonoko' which would translate to 'you are a fake person'.

Fortunes of the Originator

In 2011, Nairobi's Ghetto Radio offered Francis a radio presenter position. He underwent training, was formally employed and goes by the stage name 'Bonoko'.


Bonoko Song

Bonoko Remix Song

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How to make/cook ugali

Ugali is a staple food of Kenya. It is prepared from maize (corn) flour and is commonly eaten with traditional vegetables such as sukuma wiki (kales), terere (amaranth), spinach or managu (African nightshade). It is known by different names amongst the various communities of Kenya such as Kuon among the Dholuo, Ngima among the Kikuyu, Sima among coastal communities and Obusuma among some Luhya sub-tribes. 


  1. Maize/Corn flour
  2. Water
  3. Wooden cooking stick


  1. Heat the water to boiling point in a saucepan.
  2. Once the water is boiling, pour in the maize flour slowly while stirring with a wooden cooking stick. Your cue to stop adding flour is as soon as you achieve a thick sticky mix.
  3. Reduce the heat to simmer and mix thoroughly until a steady sticky consistency.
  4. Cover the saucepan and allow to simmer for five minutes. 
  5. Turn the contents again and shape into a round 'hill like' shape. Allow five more minutes with the saucepan open to eliminate excess water.
  6. To check if the ugali is ready, do it the traditional way that Kenyans do it. Take a small piece with your hand and roll it into a ball. Throw it hard against the kitchen wall, if it sticks it to the wall then you need to cook for a few more minutes; if it falls off the wall, then your ugali is ready!
  7. Wet the wooden stick with cold water from the tap and shape the ugali again before removing from the saucepan. Wetting the stick prevents it from sticking to the cooked ugali.
  8. Take a clean kitchen cloth and hold it one hand. Using your other hand, turn the saucepan upside down so that the ugali drops off and onto the kitchen cloth.
  9. Quickly turn it around to prevent injury and place the mound on a plate. 
  10. Serve with cooked green vegetables, meat or chicken.

Tips and Warnings

  • Too much water and you end with porridge, too little and your ugali ends up too hard; you need to achieve the perfect balance. This is usually a process of trial and error; after going at it a few times you will get it right.
  • You must cook the ugali for at least ten minutes otherwise the flour will be undercooked. Cooking it slightly longer actually improves the taste.
  • You may add salt, milk, butter/margarine or even oil to the boiling water depending on your preferences