All posts by Portia

Kenya’s top young talent recognised at annual awards

Kenya’s young and talented individuals from various business sectors were feted and celebrated at the annual CfC Stanbic Bank Rising Star Awards, held at the Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi on May 8, 2015.


Now in its second year in Kenya, and featuring respected judges including Dr Manu Chandaria (CEO Comcraft Group), Alan Cassels (MD DHL EA), Nick Mruttu (Country Manager, Kenya Coca-Cola) and many others from Kenya’s leading organisations, the 2015 CfC Stanbic Bank Rising Star Awards – in partnership with USB-ED – was established to recognise, celebrate and connect young, talented individuals, in an effort to raise awareness of Kenya’s talent, as well as increase the sector talent pools.

The 2015 Rising Stars for each business sector are:

  • Nimo Abdullahi Hussein of KenGen for the Construction, Energy & Chemicals sector;
  • Emily Thaara Njuki of Smart Solutions Africa for the Entrepreneur sector,
  • Wilson Obwatinya of Real People for the Banking & Financial Services sector,
  • Jeremiah Mutisya from Basecamp Explorer for the Hospitality & Tourism sector,
  • Waithera Ng’ang’a from the Marketing Society of Kenya for the Media & Marketing sector,
  • Phyllis Migwi of IBM East Africa for the ICT sector,
  • Noelle Kamau from DHL Express for the Logistics & Supply Chain sector,
  • Anne Kiunuhe from Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates for the Professional Services sector,
  • Angela Kabari from The School Series Programme for the Service: Public & Private sector,
  • Daniel Njuguna of East African Breweries for the Manufacturing, Retail & FMCG

The 50 finalists who are professionals under the age of 40 from a range of different professions, went through a vigorous final judging process, which resulted in the identification of the Rising Star for each of the 10 business sectors.

CfC Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Philip Odera lauded the winners and challenged them to lead the way in transforming the country.

Laura Barker, Managing Director for BlackBark Productions, said that the talent demonstrated this year, as well as the diversity, in terms of skills sets and roles, was encouraging as it confirmed the existence of talent across Kenya’s business sectors.

She added that the judging panels were particularly encouraged by the greater participation across all business sectors. “The standard of the entries was commendable, and the talented young people who made it to the 2015 CfC Stanbic Bank Rising Star Awards finals, all demonstrated the strength and depth of character that typifies talented individuals. What we saw very clearly in this year’s Rising Stars was genuine social and global awareness, qualities that are critical to effective leadership in the 21st century.”

According to Alister Swart, co-founder of the Rising Star Programme, the talented individuals not only demonstrated technical abilities, achievement and success, but also contributed in an inspirational manner to the future of South Africa.

“Many talented individuals often go unnoticed as they either haven’t been given the opportunity to showcase their skills or demonstrate their capabilities. The awards therefore aim to provide an opportunity for organisations to engage directly with their employees and provide them with a platform to present their abilities and strengths,” said Swart.

The Awards were sponsored by CfC Stanbic Bank, USB-ED, KPMG, Nation Media and KenGen.

Awards partners included: Jamii Bora Bank, Who’s Who Kenya, League of Young Professionals, Young and Able, Modern Lithographic Printers, Basecamp Masai Mara and Highlands Mineral Water.

How to handle your big mistake at work

“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes” – Confucius

Even the best and most meticulous professionals have experienced that panicky heart beat after identifying an error.  That heart beat rapidly worsens once you discover it’s your fault and the mistake was caused by you or someone you’re responsible for. You repeatedly think;

  • How does this affect production and/or service?
  • What’s the worst that could happen?
  • Could I lose my job over this?

The best solution in this situation is undoubtedly to tell the truth. Own up to your slip-up, brainstorm solutions and/or alternatives, offer a sincere apology, and promise yourself to use this as an opportunity to learn.

Take the 2 500 year old advice of Confucius:

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.

This could be a blessing in disguise too because erring on the job produces a platform that enables you to leave a lasting impression of yourself upon your superiors. Handling the situation effectively and with a mature attitude reflects positively on your character – especially if you’re trying to build a long term career.

On the other hand, throwing mini tantrums, shifting the blame, and arrogant excuses negatively affects the overall perception your manager will have of you – and try to remember that you may require her reference if you ever want to find other employment.  How you handle an error says less about your work competency and more about your professionalism, both of which is important if you plan to excel in your career. Recover Gracefully.

Strong people make as many mistakes as weak people. Difference is that strong people admit their mistakes, laugh at them, learn from them. That is how they become strong.

4 Time-saving apps you need today

Have you accomplished everything you set out to do today? If not, it may be that efficiency is holding you back. With an array  of apps available for your every need, there’s no longer a reason to rush through one task to jump to the next (only to get nothing done).

We’ve picked 4 essential apps to get you started:


EvernoteEvernote allows you to create notebooks in which to organize your thoughts, ideas and notes. A “note” can for example be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage, a photograph, or voice memo and can have file attachments. No more paper writing or using the basic notebook on your phone. With this app, it is way easier!


Any.Do enables you to easily manage your daily tasks. The layout of this app looks smooth and simple to use, and it allows you to add and complete tasks with reminders that can be personalised based on their importance.



RescueTime gives you an accurate picture of how you spend your time on your smartphone or computer. For example it’ll indicate how much time you’ve spent tweeting or writing emails. It’s a very helpful app to increase your productivity!


Hootsuite gathers all of your social media profiles into a single dashboard so you can easily monitor and update all of them quickly and easily. It lets you schedule status updates on any social network, stay up-to-date with your friends, followers and more from your phone or desktop computer.