Deaf and hard-of-hearing Kenyans are the first in Africa to benefit from a ground-breaking innovation that will help them earn an income as drivers. The development follows a collaboration between Uber, the innovative smartphone app that seamlessly connects riders to drivers, and the Kenya National Association of the Deaf (KNAD).
Jambu Palaniappan, Regional General Manager for Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, says the Association has helped Uber understand the challenges deaf and hard-of-hearing people overcome every day.
“As a result we’re introducing new features on the Uber app which are designed to make it easier for deaf and hard-of-hearing Kenyans to become partner-drivers and earn an income. The new settings we’re announcing today are a first step but we’re already thinking about how else we can help, through education and awareness, remove the barrier between deaf and hearing people in our cities,” says Palaniappan
Rapper Nonini has hit the booth to record a collabo track with a hearing and speech impaired rapper. Describing how it all happened, Nonini says that the "mystery" project has really changed his perspective on life.
"I have done lots of projects in my life but this one really showed me a new perspective to life and it's a mystery to me how I connected with the project on so many different levels. So one Saturday I am chilling and I get a call from producer Bruce Odhiambo to come to his studio Johari Cleff. Once I got there he gave me a story of how a rapper came to the Youth Fund offices not to ask for money but request for an opportunity to get into the booth and realise his dream and passion of becoming a musician," he says.
He continues, "The rapper's name is called Lal Daggy and he described me as the best guy he would love to work with. Then Bruce broke the news that Lal Daggy had a hearing and speach impairment. So how was the song going to work? Apparently, Lal Daggy can feel the beat/metronome although he can't hear the sounds. So I had to be his voice in a song he had written in English which I had to take, consume and translate it in a genge manner without losing the meaning. Basically, I was just a vessel passing through Lal Daggy's message to the world. Never experienced anything like that. Humbled and thank both Bruce and Lal Daggy for giving me the opportunity!"