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What's in a pen? Why Nelson Havi's fountain pen costs Sh130,000 [Photos]

Nelson Havi uses a Montblanc John F. Kennedy Special Edition Fountain Pen which was made to commemorate one of the most revered US Presidents

Nelson Havi and Babu Owino in a heated exchange on Twitter [Screenshots]

In the age of digital technology, where most writing is done on laptops, tablets and phone screens, to some, the pen still stands tall as a writing instrument without equal.

While I’m certainly not a pen connoisseur, I owned a few nice (and very affordable) pens in my time as a student.

In the workplace, however, fountain pens are often considered to be the reserve of the higher ups or traditional professions such as lawyers.

The ideal contract-signing pen, much like legal opinions, tends to vary from one lawyer to another.


There is something very personal and elegant about a handwritten note that no writing software can replicate.

More expensive pens can be considered as a status symbols or a statement pieces such as watches.

Some of the lawyers who take their pen-game seriously and are not afraid to show it include former LSK President Nelson Havi and Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi.


Ahmednasir, in an interview with Jackson Biko, admitted to owning one of the rare Montblanc pens, adding “I have never bought fake in my life. Never! I went to Hong Kong once with a lawyer friend of mine and bought this watch I’m wearing for Sh870,000. I live for today, I don’t save money, I don’t care what happens tomorrow. Only God has plans for tomorrow.

On the other hand, Havi uses a Montblanc John F. Kennedy Special Edition Fountain Pen. According to the manufacturer, the pen retails for Sh130,000.

JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination near the end of his third year in office.

The initials JFK are engraved on the platinum-coated clip, and the three platinum-coated cap rings stand for Kennedy’s three brothers.


In a tribute to the national hopes and dreams embodied in Kennedy’s pet project, the Apollo space program, the handcrafted 585 gold nib is engraved with the lunar module that landed on the moon in 1969.

Other world leaders who have been spotted using Montblanc pens include former US presidents George Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II as well as Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Other than their pricey tags, a lawyer’s fountainpen may also hold sentimental value if it marks a milestone in their life, if it was used to sign significant contracts, or a gift from a client or an esteemed colleague/senior.

The next time you think about gifting your lawyer friends, you might want to shop around for a nice pen, even if it is not a Montblanc.



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