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Soma na Bonga – a new initiative from Safaricom and KEWOTA to sponsor studies for teachers

Telecoms operator – Safaricom and Kenya Women Teachers Association (KEWOTA) have partnered to sponsor at least 45,000 teachers to further their studies in an initiative dubbed Soma na Bonga. The initiative will see teachers enroll to take online studies from various universities including Harvard in the United States. In the wake of the corona virus, educational institutions were forced to adopt various online-based learning models that would allow students to continue with their studies even while they are at home.

The move was necessitated as a precautionary measure to prevent further spread on the virus in what became to be popularly known as social distancing. Unfortunately, both learning centers and teachers were not well equipped to adopt new learning methods, especially with lack of vital computer knowledge which became a major hindrance to their success.

Benefits for Teachers from the Soma na Bonga initiative

The Kenya Women Teachers Association has negotiated with Safaricom for education data bundles in the tune of up to 10GB at an affordable cost than what they would have normally had to pay under standard arrangement.  

Despite the mobile service provider having a prudent plan that allows subscribers to redeem their Bonga Points, teachers in particular, may not have enough Bonga Points that would enable them complete these courses without having to top up additional data.

Members will have an opportunity to pursue courses such as Professional development, Accounting, Human Resources, Interview techniques, App development, communication and Cyber Security.

Speaking on the launch of the initiative, KEWOTA Chief Executive Officer Benta Opande said the skills needed by the year 2022 to perform most jobs will have shifted significantly thereby requiring to retool in a work place. She further added skills such as creativity, originality, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will retain or increase their value just like attention to detail, flexibility, resilience and complex problem solving.

How to change or set a unique notification sound for a WhatsApp group on an iPhone

In a world of more than a dozen WhatsApp groups for every person that owns a smartphone, sometimes it just makes sense to set unique notification tone for individual WhatsApp groups so you can easily tell important messages from those not very important. Personally, I have set different notifications tones for various WhatsApp groups that I’m a member depending on the purpose of the group.

For example, I have a different tone for my church WhatsApp group, staff WhatsApp group and of course my welfare group which I don’t consider so important. In some situations, groups such as staff related may need immediate attention than let’s say welfare groups. And church groups will need undivided attention when reading messages or answering them.

I have devised a simple guide that anyone with an iPhone can use to set a unique ringtone for their various WhatsApp groups. The process is simple and doesn’t require any third-party app as its baked right inside the app itself.

How to change or set a unique notification sound for a specific WhatsApp group on an iPhone.

  • Launch your WhatsApp application
  • Identify the specific group that you intent to set a unique ringtone
  • Slide from left to right to reveal the More menu
  • Tap on More followed by Group Info
  • Scroll down to Wallpaper & Sound and tap on it
  • Under CUSTOM TONE, tap on Alert tone to change or set a unique notification sound

Dstv and Gotv subscribers to get free package upgrades in a Multichoice promotion

Pay TV service provider – Multichoice is offering customers on Dstv and Gotv platforms a free package upgrade over the next two months. The offer is available to current active subscribers on the two platforms and is expected to run from January 14th 2021 up until March 31st 2021. The service provider recently increased its subscription fees on various packages, a move that has affected thousands of its customers, especially during these hard economic times that have also witnessed taxes reversed after the corona period.

In a bid to ease renewal burden to its loyal customers, Multichoice is offering a well-designed promo to subscribers during this period. The offer is also aimed at retaining customers on its various platforms, who may have otherwise been contemplating exploring other providers to cut costs while getting value for their money. The offer which will be available to all active customers on both Dstv and Gotv will see them get a higher package at no additional costs.

How to get the Dstv and Gotv free package upgrade promo from multichoice

Customers who want to enjoy a free package upgrade for the period will need to pay for a higher package than what they were last subscribed to. For example, customers previously on the Access package on Dstv that costs Ksh. 1,000 can choose to pay for the next higher package which is Family at Ksh. 1,380 and get a free upgrade to the next higher package – Compact that normally goes for Ksh. 2,650.

Speaking on the promo, Multichoice Kenya Managing Director Nancy Matimu said the new campaign will allow existing customers to watch a variety of programming on higher packages at the price of a lower package, making great content more accessible to a wide group of customers. Multichoice has also reduced price for its premium bouquet on Gotv.

How to change or set SIM card PIN for Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom line on an iPhone

Setting a SIM card pin has been the default security measure for most service providers since the beginning. The authentication method is aimed at restricting devices from accessing your SIM card without having necessary authentication. In Kenya, all mobile service providers including Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom allow subscribers to place a SIM card PIN on their lines, to ensure only devices approved are able to read contents and connect to a mobile network.

The authentication method ensures that vital personal details such as contacts and messages are not read by a device that doesn’t have prior authorization to do so. As simple as the SIM card PIN protection seems, it can help users avoid various forms of fraud such as conmen soliciting money from your contact lists and so on. I remember a while back when a friend of mine lost a phone when boarding a public transport bus. The phone unfortunately landed in the wrong hands who ended up calling members of my friend’s family, alleging they were in trouble and required immediate transfer of money via mobile wallet – MPESA.

It’s therefore important to set a SIM card PIN on your phone to avoid such scenarios that may end up putting your contact lists in danger. iPhone owners can set a SIM card PIN on their devices by following some simple instructions. You can also change your current PIN code in case there’s a breach by following similarly simple instructions.

How to change or set a SIM card PIN for your Safaricom, Airtel or Telkom line on an iPhone

  • Open the settings app
  • Then head over to Cellular or Mobile Data
  • Scroll down to SIM PIN
  • If its already set, you may change by tapping on Change PIN
  • Otherwise toggle the option to ON,
  • And proceed to set a PIN code
  • The default PIN is usually on the original card where you pulled out the SIM card

Qualcomm’s second-gen 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is larger and faster

As CES 2021 unravel, we get to see the kind of tech we should expect this year. Alongside tech companies that have taken the opportunity to showcase what they have in store in the course of the year is Qualcomm, which unveiled it’s second-gen 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that’s been touted to be bigger, faster and captures more detail than the original tech. officially, the fingerprint tech is dubbed as “3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2” and packs several improvements over the original tech in areas that matter.

According to Qualcomm, the new 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 has a larger surface area that drastically improves on recognition speeds. The sensor measures 8mm x 8mm, translating to 77 percent more surface area than its predecessor which maxed out at 4mm x 9mm. As expected, since the sensor has a generally large surface area, it’ll be able to capture more data in a single scan. Additionally, the overall time taken to register a new fingerprint will be lesser than it was before. The increased surface area will also result in more accurate unlocking, since you will not necessarily have to place your finger in a certain way.   

Processing speed

Under the hood, Qualcomm has improved on the processing speed, which is now more than 50 percent faster compared to the first gen. there were some complains with the first gen sensor in some devices such as the Note 10, Galaxy S10 and S20, where users complained it wasn’t as fast as they would have wanted it to be. In comparison, optical sensors were faster and enjoyed a wider adoption than the ultrasonic counterpart.

Devices expected to ship with the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2

We don’t currently have a list of devices that will ship with Qualcomm’s latest fingerprint tech, however, if Samsung decides to use it on the next S21 flagship, we should have an idea on how reliable and effective it is pretty soon.

Uganda Communications Commission orders block on major social media and messaging apps

Uganda has ordered all major social media and messaging apps to be blocked in the country until further notice. The move comes a few days before the country holds its general election on Thursday 14th, restricting Ugandans access to major platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube. In a letter reportedly from the Uganda Communications Commission, the regulator has asked telecommunications operators to restrict access to the Google PalyStore, iOS app store and YouTube.

Uganda has been marred with violent protests during the campaign period with Robert Kyagulanyi commonly referred to as Bobi Wine seeking to unseat President Museveni who has been in power for decades. Users in the country are reporting widespread Facebook restrictions as well as other social media platforms, and can only access through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This is despite the Commission’s spokes person allaying current issues to increased interest in the elections across the world leading to slowed access.

Last week during a one on one with journalists, Uganda’s Minister of Defense and Veteran affairs Adolf Mwesigye alongside his Internal Affairs Counterpart Gen Jeje Odongo said the government was working on how to best manage social media, which they claimed had been misused in the upcoming election. Mr Mwesigye further said they were having challenges with citizen journalism, and social media propaganda was not in the best interest of the country, therefore were looking for best way to deal with it.

Facebook blocked accounts belonging to Uganda government officials

The social media giant had revealed it blocked accounts belonging to government officials in the country, whom it accused of looking for ways to manipulate public debate a head of the elections. The elections are set to take place after a gruesome period of campaign that saw several clashes with police in a tense bid by young Bobi Wine 38, seeking to unseat Museveni 76, who has been in power for more than three decades.  

This will make it the second time the country has restricted social media platforms in an election. Back in 2016 when Museveni’s job was on the ballot against former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, the government blocked access to Facebook and Twitter.  

Top Sports Apps in Kenya

Sports is a major entertainment source in Kenya, with millions of fans supporting different amateur and professional leagues worldwide. Many Kenyans enjoy watching the games live in stadiums and on the internet, while millions more enjoy wagering on the matches at Betway and other local bookies. Here are the top sports apps used by Kenyans today.

Yahoo sports

The sports app is available both on android and IOS devices. A sports fan can be able to access the latest news on any sports on their smart devices. Most Kenyans sports lovers follow the European football league such as the English Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A. Yahoo sports provides the schedules, the statistics, and the fixtures for various games. The Kenyans love yahoo sports because it gives comprehensive coverage of most of the football leagues. You can also be able to access news articles on various games. Additionally, it is straightforward to use.

Sofa score

Sofa score gives the live coverage of various games and provides the Score with updates for 25 different sports. Interestingly, it can run on android smartwatches, and users can stream a short video every five minutes of a goal scored. Some of the reasons Kenyans like the app are that it can be synchronized with smartwatches and the app has an option where fans can be able to chat. The app also gives the statistics for various games, which provides useful information for sports when placing their wagers.

Betway

For millions of Kenyans, sports betting with Betway is about more than accessing thousands of betting markets for games all over the globe. You also get to enjoy the best odds in different markets and amazing bonuses. Even better, the betway app allows you to wager on different casino games and esports. 

Live Score

Live Score provides you with live updates on different games, including basketball, football, rugby, hockey, tennis, and soccer. You can choose to get updates from hundreds of professional and amateur leagues, with alerts available for any changes that happen in your chosen games. Even better, the app is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones.

BBC Sports

The BBC sports app gives the latest news on sports, which is prompt. With the app, you will get game highlights, sports news, and live score updates. Users also love that their data is secure on the app because of the privacy protocols implemented. Android and iOS users can use the app on their devices. Using the BBC app, you can stream live sports events and on-demand highlights. You can also use the sports page for advanced customization. Moreover, you can be able to share the trending news and scores updates with friends.

Flashscore

Similar to Live Scores, Flashscore covers over 600 sports events spread through more than 30 different sports. Users can be able to get the latest news update, scores, statistics, and league standings. The updates given by the experience obtained are that users can get the same experience as the real stadium.

How to check your remaining HELB loan balance on your mobile phone using USSD code

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has been a life saver for most of us who didn’t have enough savings to pursue higher education. The board allocations some funds every year to support needy students who are expected to pay back when they get a job or are able to. For those who have already started paying for their loans, there’s a simple way to check your remaining HELB loan balance using your mobile phone.

The process is simple and doesn’t require connection to the internet, all you need is a mobile phone with some airtime that can effectively run a USSD code. Since there’s no internet connection needed, users don’t need a smartphone or to download an app for that matter.

To check your remaining higher education loans board – loan balance, follow below steps

  • On your mobile phone, dial *642#
  • Then select “Log in”, usually option 1
  • You’ll be prompted to enter your PIN, then press OK
  • Choose Loan Repayment on the next prompt
  • Then select Loan Balance
  • You should receive a text message with your remaining Loan Balance.