Category Archives: Spotlight On

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.

Remembering Senator Otieno Kajwang

On Wednesday 19 November 2014, Kenyans learnt of the passing of Otieno Kajwang. The Homa Bay senator died on Tuesday morning at the Mater Hospital after complaining of chest pains while at his Nairobi home.

From 2008, Kwajwang served as Minister of State for Immigration and Registration of Persons. Since the Kenyan parliamentary election in 2007, Kajwang became a member of the Orange Democratic Movement and had also been elected to represent the Mbita Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya.

During the 2013 elections, the vocal Kajwang became popular for his rallying Mapambano song and was elected to represent Homa Bay County as its senator.

Of the senator’s passing, President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed his sadness, saying the Kajwang’s untimely death was a big blow to his family, the people of Homa Bay and Kenya as a whole. “He was an energetic, jovial and extremely pleasant person to deal with,” the president said.

Other Kenyan leaders mourned the senator’s passing as well.