Category Archives: Leadership

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.

These people will so amazing things for your career

These people will do amazing things for your career

We’ve all heard how vital networking is for our careers. And it’s true, building and maintaining strong relationships is critical for any professional desiring greater success.

Now, in order to reach career success, you need to accumulate what researchers have dubbed the “social capital”. Defined as the collective value of all “social networks” [who people know] and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other [“norms of reciprocity”], a diverse group of talented people can help you achieve the most impact for your professional success.

So here’s a list of important people you should be associating yourself with:

The finance guru

Your financial success can sometimes depend on the company you keep. A financially savvy friend who has clear financial goals and pursues them will encourage you to take care of your own financial well-being.

The connector

Maintaining relationships with people who thrive on socialising, makes it easier to connect to people who will help you in your career. Nowadays, it’s all about relationships; for each connection you have, you connect to their connection and their connections’ connections. The ripple effect is good for keeping relationships going when you need to reach out to someone.

The mentor

Building a relationship with someone who inspires your career direction is important in shaping your career path. When choosing a mentor, it is important that you associate yourself with someone who will have a holistic impact on your life. A good mentor will offer a balance between cheering you on and calling you forward and making sure that you don’t settle.

 The innovator

Maintaining a relationship with someone who is always on top of your industry innovations will not only ensure that you are always kept abreast of the latest developments, but they’ll also motivate you to tackle new challenges. Entrepreneurs also have a knack for solving problems creatively which will be of help to you.

The leader

They say “success breeds success”. When we see someone we admire obtain success, we too believe we can obtain it. Your four former bosses or industry leaders are important in this case, especially in offering advice about those tough career questions. However, unlike mentors, leaders offer a purely professional point of view.

Visit our Members in the News feature and start building your social capital.

Encouraging leadership in young girls

We all know that for years girls have been discouraged from leading. While young men are referred to as leaders when they assert themselves, girls are branded as aggressive, angry or too ambitious when they do the same. These thoughts have plagued some of the strongest women leaders.

Ban Bossy, a public service campaign that encourages leadership and achievement in girls, has summed up some practical tips to help all young women “flex their muscles in ways big and small”.

Ban bossyChallenge yourself

When faced with tasks that test their abilities and feelings that evoke criticism or failure, women tend to seek out ways in which they can control those tasks. However, if you continue to play it safe, you’ll never experience the exhilaration that comes with tackling and overcoming an obstacle and proving your worth, affirms Rachel.

Takeaway: Try pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to someone you’ve never spoken to or enrol in a new gym class.

Stop apologising before you speak

Often when stating their opinions, women will start off by apologising or using up-speak to make their statements sound like questions, suggests co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, Rachel Simmons.

Takeaway: Be careful of ways in which you make yourself smaller when you speak, like saying, “you kind of think something” or asking if what you said makes sense.

Ask for help

The most successful people will tell you that they did not make it on their own. Instead they found mentors and advisors – wiser more experienced people – who helped them along the way.

Take away: Don’t be afraid to approach someone you admire. Talk to them, ask them what they know and what they wish they knew whilst growing up.

Trust your inner voice

“We all have a voice playing inside our heads,” says Rachel. “That voice is your gut telling you what you genuinely think, need and want.”

Takeaway: Don’t ignore that voice, Rachel suggests. It’s your inner compass – remain connected to it. Even if you don’t share it now, keep a journal and keep looking out for people who may want to hear it.


You’ve gone through life being told that you need to practice things like homework, sports and music. However, you’re unlikely to come across someone who’ll tell you to speak up or to say what you need to say.

Takeaway: All things in life require practice, and “leaning in is no exception,” Rachel states. “Work those muscles and it’ll get easier with time.”