Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Who is White African Anyway?

I’ve had a number of request for an “About Me” page, so I thought I’d go ahead and do that. If you would like to know a little more about my background, you can find it here (below) and in the new “About Me” page.

White African - About

Contrary to popular belief, I am not from South Africa though I would like to visit someday. My name is Erik Hersman and grew up in Kenya and Sudan. I’m one of those guys who’s much more “at home” in Africa, though I currently reside in the US. I’m happily married and have 3 beautiful little girls that keep me on my toes (I’m already buying a shotgun to hang above my mantle as a warning to all the little boys out there).

On WhiteAfrican.com, I like to write about technology and give my thoughts on how it is impacting, and can change, Africa. I wrote a paper on mobile connectivity in Africa, that’s turning into something called Zangu. Overall, this blog is a place where I throw ideas out and hope that they will influence others in some small way. The African blogging community has been very welcoming and I’ve been particularly grateful for the Kenyan Bloggers Webring (KBW), which has a fantastic group of bloggers in it.

Interesting Factoids:

  • Most commented post: Schools Rugby in Kenya (yes, I went to Rift Valley Academy)
  • My favorite post: The Dark Continent: It’s Still Dark
  • Visited by people from 1200 different cities per month
  • More visitors from Nairobi than anywhere else
  • Approximately 25% use Firefox to browse (you make me proud)
  • The most searched for terms that people find me by are “White African” and “The Dark Continent”. Go figure…

I’m a web technology professional – my specialties are in:

  • Web Strategy – This is where I figure out what the long-term goals are and how to get there. Usually I wear my consulting hat for this under my company Zungu. It generally involves a great deal of web marketing, which is the field that I know the best (think search engines, email marketing, media buying, etc…).
  • Web Application Development – This is where I work with incredibly talented programmers and/or designers to create a website that “does something”.
    List’d Express – an easy eBay listing tool
    Zangu News – a new way to handle news in Africa (coming soon)

I’ve been writing under the pseudonym “hash” for over a year now, and have no plans of changing that. A brief history: it was a nickname I picked up while in school at RVA, after a particularly horrible meal called “corn beef hash” served in the dining hall. I originally wrote under that name because I didn’t want people to know who I was. Then I came to the realization that I don’t really care if people know who I am, but have continued it anyway. Yes, it makes no sense.

Things I like:
web strategy, technology development in africa, application development, rugby, nba basketball, FSU, kenya, RVA, sudan, family, camping, soccer, referee, blogging, reading, strategy, philosophy, faith, friends, ethiopian food, travel


  1. Thank you for the insights into white African. I love Sudan as well and praying very hard that things change drastically.

  2. > Re: Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm already buying a shotgun to hang above my mantle

    So me talking about bride price might not be a good idea. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thanks for this introduction.

  3. Thanks for the insight. I so thought you live in SA?

    When you coming back to Kenya.

    You got such lovely kids there

  4. hash . i know you blog has alot to do with technology but i see faith and philosophy are interests too. maybe sometime you might want to blog about faith.since many fail to understand the importance of faith in making a completewholesome person . nice blog-schools rugby is still my fav

  5. You forgot to mention your most wonderful and favored little sister, by the way. Just thought I’d point that out.

    Thanks for working on my header last night. (although I noticed this morning that it’s back to what it was???) Anyways, I love ya bro. Hugs and kisses, and all that other mushy stuff.

  6. very bold of you to step out like that

  7. Thanks for the 411.

    “i grew up in Kenya and Sudan”
    Whats your nationality i.e. where are your parents from???

    You HONESTLY sound like a nice person.

  8. Nice to know more about you especially your little girls – you should talk to my dad who brought up six girls AND without a shot gun.

    You have the best of all the world you know!!!

  9. So that’s who you are. Glad to know.

  10. Nice to see you branching out and going personal. As a real-life friend, I can vouch that he honestly is a nice person.

  11. A little overwhelming, but thanks for the response everyone. One of the things that I most enjoy about this blog is everyone who comments. I also enjoy running off to your blogs and seeing who you are as well.

  12. I like the pictures. Your girls are sooo cute! It’s fun to see the personal side of you.

  13. I like that! Well done Erick! You are truelly African! Am happy for you and am a fan of your site!

  14. Hey Erik! Although, as your sister, I know you better than most it was fun to read your post and see how you discribe yourself. I’m impressed with the amount of readers you have. Wow! Who knew? Kagz asked what’s your nationality, where are your parents from? They’re just normal Americans who took their kids to Africa in 1978 and changed the rest of their lives. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Oho!

    The mystery revealed at last!

    He he on the shotgun…

  16. RVA, eh? You guys used to fix us mbaya sana. I was in Upper Hill myself.

  17. Just one day I will apply as a sports teacher @ the German School in Gigiri and THEN I will introduce the kids to Rugby and challenge the RVA and others ๐Ÿ˜€ (seriously, they asked my Mbuzimoja to work @ the Boarding House).

    Ati, Mzee Erik, you forgot to mention that you’re a TCK!

  18. Gathara, I actually grew up in Upper Hill – Kiambere Rd to be exact – so I know Upper Hill H.S. quite well.

    When I was on the rugby second team we actually played your first team at Upper Hill. All I remember was you guys won, and that you had some type of strip, used for long jump or cricket, that caused me a lot of pain. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Thanks for the personal info, have been wondering what your back ground was. When where you at RVA? Was a great school when I was there, by the way I can’t remember the Rugby team ever lossing a game while I was there.

    Since your interest is in technology, what current or future technology do you think will help and change africa the most?

  20. Hey Marc. So you went to RVA then too?

    As far as technology that will change Africa, I think it revolves around the mobile phone. That is the one platform that most Africans have access to, so it has to be related to that. There are a number of things that can be done, but they revolve around 3 main areas: social networking, marketplace and fulfillment. Plenty of business for a lot of different people.

  21. I was at RVA from 79 to 83, but grew up in Nairobi. I now live in Texas but have never stopped considering myself a Kenyan. Thanks for greating the site.

  22. Ok we know you played rugby but more importantly, WHERE did you play? Were you a proper rugby front five player or one of those glory boys playing wing or centre? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Very interesting post.
    Ethiopian food! Now that’s what I’m talking about!

  23. Mental, word on the street is that I played prop – but that’s just because I refused to play lock. I was a little to tall for the position… Anyway, I also played for the 7’s team, so I wasn’t your average prop.

    I can confirm that real “proper” rugby is played by the front five where we defend the honor of our team head-to-head every game. It’s also the group who protects the hollywood-type glory boys when a real brawl breaks out (aka: ruck, maul or brawl). ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. hi hash – a bit late (but now u r on my netvibes i wont be late again!) thanks for this – take it easy with the shotgun though:)

  25. I met and became friends with the White African in 1995 and I would like people to know that he and his family are some of the most thoughtful, kind-hearted, genuine people I have ever met. His heart is always in the right place and I look forward to seeing what more he will accomplish. If you have the chance to get to know him, you will be a better person for it. (***this is an authentic statement and is not paid for by the White African :))

  26. @ Swade – my hearts all aflutter… Thanks for the kind words man, it’s always good to hear from you. Speaking of which, how much do I owe you again? ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Thanks gurl,

    well if I would put it this way,”East african white friends”.rather then ”white african”.sound for me meaninglessiness.I read some Africanism history about the scrambling of Africa early 1400 A.D.African,I hope they are not seeking migrants recuitment, I been residing in Kenya for more 10 than years,I never became Kenyan of any kind of breach,Uganda 7 years,Ethiopa 9 years but the same prospective.I’m little scandaling of lately immigrations consequences since we all aware of migrants ccorruption & abusive resulting enslavery entire societies of Africa.

    may you clear yourself to me little bide.But don’t mistook me for my comment,I’m very much believer for reality!!!!!


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