Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Little Boxes and the Winds of Change

This blog serves as my opinion on technology, generally related to Africa, the web and mobile devices. I also throw in personal updates from time-to-time. This is one of those times.

After 2 good years at eppraisal.com I’ve decided to move on, though I will still stay on in an advisory role. It’s a good company, with people genuinely passionate about changing the way you access information about real estate on the web. I’ll miss working with the team on a daily basis.

Over the last year I’ve been struggling with two issues:

First, “talking” vs “doing”. I hear a lot of people who talk about how things should be, or criticize the way things are but never do anything about it. I’ve always been a doer, and this is a way for me to gain some much needed time to work on projects that have need much more attention. (more on these projects at a later date, though one is AfriGadget).

Second, rejecting the big business theory of work, life and associated expectations. Malvina Reynolds sums this up brilliantly in her song Little Boxes. Success in life is not just about money, though that is needed (and believe me, I’m a capitalist). However, I don’t think that money is the only thing there is in life and that balance, life goals and family should be taken into consideration.

So what is it I’ll be doing?
I’m going to work independently as a web strategy and new media consultant (my company site). In the time that I am not focused on client needs, I will be pouring my time into AfriGadget and other independent projects related to Africa where my skills and experience can make a difference.

One of the perks is that I’m looking forward to spending more daytime hours in my home office, allowing for more time with my girls:

Pippi Longstocking

I’m really excited about the future!

Your normal White African articles will soon continue, thanks for weathering this brief intermission… 🙂


  1. … good to see that you made the right decision and went with the red pill …


    – Steve

  2. Congrats Hash, wishing you all the very best.

  3. Congratulations on taking the leap. This is a very brave move and I trust that all your hard work will be blessed.
    Walk the walk!
    By the way I had no idea you are a fan of injeraa, doro wot and all the other Ethiopia delicacies, next time you are in town that is where we will work out our multi-million-dollar (Zimbabwean) deals. Or we could just trek across to Addis for the real thing.

  4. Jump! It’s the only way to do it. All the best.

    P.S. what a cutie!

  5. Thanks guys, much appreciated!

    @Mental – the best 2 Ethi restaurants in Nairobi are found in Golf Course and another in Hurlingham. We’ll definitely go.

  6. Congratulations and all the best. It sounds as if you’ve made the right move.

  7. I applaud your decision, Hash. Not an easy one, even though it is the right one. Best of luck in your next endeavor.

  8. Dude, All the best in your move.

    Regarding Afrigadget, the website DOES NOT showcase the latest tech innovations from Africa. Looking at the last 5 entries, makes me want to weep. If anything, they show how backward Africa is.

    Like I said before, the Kenyan high school science congress which I used to participate in is a fertile ground for talents, just like the high school science fairs here in the US.

    With most of Afrigadget writers based out of Africa, I wonder how you intend on achieving your objective of show casing the latest techies from Africa.

  9. Ssembonge,

    I think you have it wrong: if you go back and look at the masthead at AfriGadget, it says

    “Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity”

    You are incorrect in your assumption that AfriGadget aims at “show casing the latest techies from Africa.” AfriGadget has never claimed to do this.

  10. Ntwiga,
    I got this info from Erik’s profile.

    “Raised in Africa, Hersman also writes an African Technology blog called Afrigadget that showcases the latest tech innovations from the continent. ”

    That said, I hope the website will ‘raise the bar’ cause at this rate you guys will soon be featuring a big mwiko (wooden spoon) like the one from my former high that is used to cook ugali for 1000 students.

  11. OK, Ssembonge, you got me.

    What do you have aganist mwikos anyway, they represent: No mwiko, no ugali!

    Hash, might be time to revise your profile.

  12. Hash,

    I am wishing you all the best. I followed your blog for just a few months, but I am sure you will succeed with Zungu!

  13. @Ssembonge – you and Steve are both right actually. The last year has seen us covering a lot of neat innovation coming out of Africa, but it’s not always the newest stuff. One of the new initiatives that we’re looking for sponsors to help fund is one where we plan on getting grassroot reporters (most likely college-aged) to help us get into the schools and find some of the new cool things that are happening in Africa. We’re targeting 10 countries to begin with (more on all of this later!).

    Thanks for your thoughts though, emails like yours are what caused us to think of growing in this direction.

  14. Hash:

    Dude, she’s beautiful. She looks just like you. I am right there with you too on your decision.

    One thing for sure is that where ever you go, you’ll always be trailblazing. Let’s stay in touch!

  15. @ssemboge,
    Correct if I am wrong, but I thought the whole point of innovation was to find local solutions suited to the specific problems at hand given the constraints of the milieu. It is not backwards if it addresses the problem. Innovation in Africa is not about discoveries, it’s about re-adapting from what already exists. JMHO, of course.

  16. Congratulations on this wise move!

    @Ssembonge: maybe we should dig out an article on the Nyayo Car Project for next April… ^^

  17. Talking about cars and injeraa, an Ethiopian has just founded a car factory in Ethiopia.


  18. I’m glad this is working out for you, Erik. It’s really neat to see you begin to do something you’ve always dreamed of doing. I know you’ll succeed.

    M looks just like Pippy Longstocking in that picture. She’s such a character. All three girls are going to LOVE having you around. Your youngest will meet her match. 🙂

  19. My BEST wishes to you… I am proud to be an African – partly because of a loose association with other Africans such as yourself. Afrigadget is a brilliant initiative and we will be following its growth with great enthusiasm as we develop the first African gateway to Second Life.

    I am because of who we are…

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