KFC in The East African Community

KFC in The East African Community The Empowerment Initiative (TEI)

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://lhocreations.world/2022/01/05/kfc-in-the-east-african-community/

If you opt to listen to the podcast above, please feel free to follow through with the printed article as well, for clarity.
So, we woke up to Kinangop trending the other day and fell asleep to the first rasha rashaz of Kenyans, once AGAIN, lamenting about how KFC wants to do business on our African soil.

So here is an article by Boniface Otieno via Business Daily Africa that frames the issue for anyone that is still unaware of how KFC went into The Developing World to do business ten years ago.

Here are the highlights:

What Can We Do:
Kenyans abroad (and everywhere else really):
1. Stop eating at KFC and invite five to ten American friends/ coworkers to do the same. By invite, we really mean, ask/ petition your contacts to join you. According to research prepared for The Rockefeller Foundation-Aspen Institute Diaspora Program (RAD), as of 2015, there are 102,000 Kenyans within the US (we suspect it’s much higher). A lot of times when we gather to hang out, there is always talk about impacting our home country in one way or another. Impact and philanthropy don’t only have to happen in kind. We can make a difference by fighting for our farmers by not eating at KFC and encouraging others to do the same while sharing the truth of how they choose to not shop local or make environmentally sound decisions. Importing potatoes contributes to KFC’s carbon footprint.

2. Tag them on social media and let them know why you won’t be eating there. Tag two friends as well and share news articles. Ask those friends to tag two other friends. Also, if they feature ANY new articles trying to drown our voices on social media, be sure to tag the media body and the journalists that wrote the story. Media ethics matters. Hold media houses accountable. Hold journalists accountable as well. We did and we would love to help you do the same via social media.

This KFC saga is particularly troubling because just a few weeks ago, certain pharmaceutical companies were blaming African nations for their lack of development. However, how do we develop when multimillion-dollar companies come into our spaces, to gain wealth from us, but won’t invest in local communities? According to How We Made It In Africa, KFC, had plans, as of 2020, to have 1,000 restaurants across the African continent. This figure excludes South Africa, where they have been in existence since 1971 and have over 600 locations to date. They wouldn’t be pushing for such bold expansion if there weren’t profits being made.

These multimillion-dollar companies can get away with doing this for ten years. As much as our leaders do need to do more and especially in regards to curbing corruption, there’s also a lot that can be done when it comes to systems and how systems can be used to oppress the everyday person. These systems can be introduced into African nations through something as mundane as a restaurant chain.

Silence is no longer an option.
We choose to be strategic with our boycotts. We choose to demand more from our leaders and from capitalistic companies across the world that impact our lives. The fairness and equity we long for is no longer up for negotiation. KFC, what are you going to change?

PS: We've featured some of our latest creations/ stylish finds below. Shop small, live global. We source our raw materials (and some finished pieces) from makers across the globe that benefit from the business we send their way. We also make fashion overstock available for purchase. Instead of letting it end up in a landfill, give our fashionable finds a home. Please tell a friend about us, while we boycott KFC until they start working with local farmers.  

Published by LHoCreations/ TEI

LHoCreations / The Empowerment Initiative is a self funded social enterprise. @LHoCreations was originally created by two immigrant sisters that identify Kenya and Botswana as their homes. The sisters moved to America with their parents through the Green Card program. In America, they found access to the raw materials such as earring hooks, leather snaps etc that allowed them to move from sketching designs on paper to actually creating their designs. They opened their first store in 2009 in Downtown Noblesville. As of 2019 though, the LHoCreations team started shifting towards truly becoming a social enterprise. We changed from an LLC to a nonprofit organization and we are currently working on paying for our 501(c)3 status. As we shifted, a name change was necessary, however we have gone by @LHoCreations for too long. People look us up using this name and so we left ALL our social media accounts as @LHoCreations but took on a new name with our new identity. We are The Empowerment Initiative. Our Purpose: Our purpose is to connect and empower people across cultural lines through various initiatives. How do we do this: 1. Art and Jewelry Making Classes: We sell art from around the world. We also host classes (upon request) where we produce art with you using our raw materials from around the world. We also offer knitting and crochet classes (upon request). 2. Food: We empower various community efforts by preparing and selling East African inspired dishes. We also (upon request) can join you in your kitchen via zoom to cook with you. 3. Fashion: Shop us. We started off as jewelry and bag designers/ makers. We now co-design and co-produce a lot of what we sell. We shop from other small business traders both within the US and abroad, and make our selection available to you. We are also big on doing our part to reduce fashion waste, so we do sell fashionable finds that bigger fashion brands basically consider "last season" overstock. We offer personal styling (upon request). We offer a lot of classes upon request because each class/ session is customized to suit YOUR unique goals. So for real, just get in touch below. As a social enterprise, we have decided that we are small enough to actively decide that everything we do can in some way benefit someone, somewhere. So just as a heads up, you will see a lot of shifts if goals have been met and new targets have been set. We've decided to be the change we want to see in the world and in deciding this, we've learnt that we have to be more like water than like concrete. Initiatives in 2020: STIPEND INTERNSHIPS/ EDUCATE THE NEXT GENERATION: We took on two paid interns that are grads from Mombasa Baptist High School in Mombasa, Kenya so that they could gain work and marketing experience. One of the intern's mums joined our team as well. They are now part of the team upon request/ when the need arises. One of the interns is actively developing various cultural immersion games we will make available for purchase soon. Each purchase will allow us to work on various initiatives that YOU will be made aware of. LOCAL VOICES MATTER: Through food sales, we were able to contribute a portion to the 2021 Polk Street Review Publication out of Noblesville, Indiana. Earlier this year, The Community Education Arts Org., notified us that they had lost all their regular funding. We decided to help through food sales and it is in recent weeks we learnt that they were going to receive a grant that they had otherwise not expected. A BIG THANK YOU to the various Indiana residents that ordered meals and made our contribution possible. We LOVE being Hoosiers. YOU HELP US GENERATE DIGNIFIED IGAs (Income Generating Activities for the community): By shopping from us, you help us create a source of steady partial income for up to ten US based small businessmen/ women and twenty six international makers/ traders/ shoppers. Most of our international makers are based out of the East Africa region. THANK YOU for this. FRUIT/ VEGETABLE FORESTS/ NEIGHBOURHOODS: Details COMING SOON (we are planting greenery because we ship across the world and want to offset our greenhouse emissions as an organization and simply for the future of the world. We only have one earth. We also want to help feed marginalized communities because we believe in a crazy thing... no one should have to die from hunger/ lack of access to nutritious food or go to bed without something nutritious to eat). HUMAN(KIND) CONNECTIONS: We now share stories from marginalized communities through our blog/ social media accounts as a way of helping nontraditional stories have a platform. A lot of what is crippling and polarizing the world is a lack of understanding. You can't understand if you haven't listened or tried to connect as human beings. Stories are how we can connect as human(kind). SOCIAL ETHICS/ CULTURAL IMMERSION: We offer classes in conjunction with libraries across America, school districts, universities etc that allow community members to attend classes that allow interaction with beads, textiles, cuisines, art forms etc from various cultures and parts of the world. This is the second part of making human(kind) connections. Upon request, we have started offering private classes to students as well. We take this time to reflect and explore societal structures/ beliefs and expand the student's zone of impact by allowing them to generate international perspectives as well as contacts. THE ENVIRONMENT: We are working on producing products by hand or with minimal electric/ water consumption to reduce waste and misuse. We are also purchasing damaged jewelry or old jewelry, cleaning and restoring the beads/ fabric and generating NEW merchandise (by hand) to reduce waste in landfills (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle / Upcycle, Rot/ Compost). We've been working on this for the last fifteen years. We have rolled out a line of gently used/ vintage merchandise with a local blogger to reduce fashion waste (MORE DETAILS COMING SOON) We've stopped printing cards or any promotional material unless absolutely necessary. If you meet us at an event and want to connect, we pull out our cellphones and connect digitally or text you links to whatever we might have discussed in regards to our organization. We might also have a code for you to scan to connect with us. We are actively (and have been, for the last fifteen years) collecting packaging from our customers and friends (even bags from other brands) and actively reusing them to ship as well package any sold merchandise. The ugly truth about one of the industries we are part of is, according to Business Insider (Morgan McFall-Johnsen, Oct 21, 2019), fashion production makes up 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. What's more, 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year (That's more emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined). We might not be as cool as all the other brands that have their names on bags, but the earth needs us to care. Maybe that's what we were put on earth, at this particular time, to do... care enough. If you still have questions, get in touch. We'd love to hear from you. The information provided below allows you to connect with the many ways we are more like water and less like concrete because at the end of the day, the one thing we always receive thank yous for are the many ways we connect people to and through culture. Enjoy.

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