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Kisumu’s changing skyline – why this should be every investor’s dream!

When Kisumu was first named a city in 2001, we had very little to show for our new status apart from being the cleanest city in East Africa then – perhaps we were that clean because we were not busy enough. Fast forward to 2014 and we are one of the dirtiest cities in the region only beaten by Nairobi but we cant complain because we are busy.
The Kisumu skyline is fast changing. PHOTO: Deryl Aduda
The Kisumu skyline is fast changing, doted with new high rise buildings. PHOTO: Deryl Aduda
I would say that 2014 is the year the Lord had made for Kisumu….first Urban Radio landed in town. Look I am not just saying that coz of my association with the station but if you have tuned into 102.5 FM this week then you sure know what I am talking about.

Finally we have a radio station in Kisumu that can compete with the major radio stations in Nairobi and even go after the same top notch presenters. The new sound of Urban Radio that started on Monday this week is nothing compared to what you hear on the Kiss, Classic and Capitals of this world.

I love it everyday I hear Kevin Matara and Fiona Mourice or Chito and Myra Kadenyi do a traffic update…we started getting traffic jams in Kisumu!! Means guys are buying cars which in turn means guys have cash. I don’t have to listen to a radio station telling me about traffic on Ngong road while all I want to know is how traffic looks on Jommo Kenyatta Highway coz that’s the road I’m on!!

Why do they call it Nairobi Java House while it's in Kisumu?
Why do they call it Nairobi Java House while it’s in Kisumu?

It does not end with the Urban Revolution…what started as a gossip has now finally arrived. We have a Java House in town!! For a town that has never had a Kenchic outlet this is a big deal! Now I can enjoy paying 600 bob for a slice of bread with sukuma wiki in between just that we call it a “burger.” We can clearly start having middle class and first world problems.

Acacia Premier Hotel is Kisumu's first four star hotel. PHOTO: Courtesy
Acacia Premier Hotel is Kisumu’s first four star hotel. PHOTO: Courtesy

Then we have the first ever four star hotel in town – Acacia Premier Hotel, the hospitality industry is indeed booming with business and conference tourism is Kisumu’s new front. We might not enjoy state marketing like most facilities in coast and the rift valley do but we are indeed cutting a niche for ourselves.

What this new outlets mean to our economy is that we are having jobs created across the board. Don’t give me that crap about these establishments hiring from Nairobi, I know quite a number of Kisumu guys who have got jobs at these establishments. I must say though that nobody would hire guys just because they come from Kisumu, these are businesses not charities and all they want is a workforce that makes economic sense to them.Kisumu is not just about supermarkets and fast food joints…the cargo section of the Kisumu International Airport is also under construction and will be commissioned very soon. That means we will start having cargo flights coming straight to Kisumu and in turn opening Kisumu’s business community to the world.

We have amazing infrastructural projects on the way, Kondele bypass and the new Nairobi-Busia road will make Thika Road look like “child play” when completed.

If there is a town that has more institutions of higher learning than Kisumu in Kenya then that has to Nairobi (which I am yet to confirm). I think the only big universities that are not in town are Strathmore, USIU and Daystar. The rest are all here adding onto our own like Maseno and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Yet another sign that we are not just growing in wealth but  in knowledge as well.

Back in the day I would come to Kisumu from school and there was only one joint where you could hang out – Mon Ami. Club hopping was not anything you could dream of unless you were talking about ohangla joints. Today even if you wanted to you can not do all the clubs in the CBD alone in one night. We are working hard and playing harder while at it.

I feel like this post is already too long but let me just talk about the property boom that has taken over this city. Look at the new commercial and residential properties coming up within the city and the outskirts. From the masterpiece UoN towers in the middle of the town to the Sh. 2 billion development that is  Lakeview Heights in Riat Hills which provides a gated community residential area complete with an office park overlooking the town.

I could go on and on about all this till the chicken come home but all I’m saying is that this town has come of age. When I moved back here in 2009 after school a lot of guys asked me what I was coming back to do, now it’s 2014 and everybody is calling to ask me how they can start over here.

The first ever business expo in Kisumu is happening this August 2015, checkout for details on how to participate.

Follow me on twitter @IamOminde



  • Nyar Tewi Reply

    June 13, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Good info….

  • Anonymous Reply

    September 24, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Loving this bigtime, hehee

  • Admin Reply

    August 17, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Reblogged this on Amazing Kisumu.

  • omondierastus Reply

    August 17, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Security is still an ailing muscle within the flourishing City, Love it hough!

    • Ominde Reply

      August 18, 2015 at 6:02 am

      I agree, especially today. When I wrote this in 2014 security was not as bad as it is today.

  • Ominde Reply

    August 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Reblogged this on OMINDE'S WORLD.

  • Hiss Whispers Reply

    August 17, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Reblogged this on HissWhispers.


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