Right, I wasn’t on the set of (yet) another Fast & Furious movie on acid and I wasn’t on any hallucinogenics, uppers, downers, pills, mushrooms, grass, booze or anything referenced to in the beginning of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
I took the Uber chopper.
Yes, you read correct, I took the Uber Chopper.
Uber made waves on Kenya’s social media scene last week when they announced #UberCHOPPER – as is their norm, not much was released getting tongues wagging and tweets flowing. Offering transport solutions via its app that are not only extremely affordable but transparent too; adding realtime tracking and a positive track record to its résumé, this big little tech company has been something of a hero on Nairobi’s tech scene.
A few years ago, I bought a camera with a pop up flash and a detachable lens, so that makes me a photographer and sometimes photographers get invited to awesome events. When Dip of Uber sent me an email asking if I was keen on being aboard an UberCHOPPER on 4th September, I hopped on the chance immediately. When he later emailed to say that there would be an enormous brunch spread courtesy of the guys at Tribe Hotel, I put a reminder on my phone to stop eating from noon on Saturday.
Uber had an exciting social media campaign leading up to the event that included a competition whose prize was a ride on the helicopter. If you know anything about Uber, you will know they are anything but ordinary. On the morning of the launch, app users would have excitedly seen that the option now in addition to UberX also included UberCHOPPER. The first user to actually select the option and book also won a ride on the chopper. How exciting!
Shortly, the winners, Uber team members and invited guests were settled on the sundeck at the Tribe and we wasted no time in filling up our plates. For fear of being denied a seat on the chopper because I may exceed the weight limit, I was modest in my choices.
Corporate helicopters who were the third partner in this immensely exciting event brought over the chopper pilot and made introductions.
“I guess many of you will be on a helicopter for the first time today. Just like me…” began Colonel, the pilot. He then let out a loud guffaw to break the collective silence from the number of hearts that skipped a beat as we headed to the chopper.
Commenting on the dull, gloomy weather, Colonel informed me that we would be heading on a South Westernly route to the Ngong Hills, just on the edge of the Great Rift Valley and back to the hotel.
Macharia, the GM of Corporate Helicopters, strapped us all in and got our headphones and microphones on. Comm checks done, permission granted and we were off.
While Uber says this was a one time opportunity for September 4th, I would say look out for more fun things coming from a fun young company.