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I quit a job to be a stay-at-home mother

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Agnes Gathaiya, the CEO of Integrated Payment Services once quit a job to be a stay-at-home mother. The lull in her career did not slow down her career trajectory.

She says that she has never had to think about how she rose to the top. She did not map out her career path consciously. Her leadership roles at Deloitte Consulting, SAP and Safaricom came almost organically as a result of opportunities and risks.

“And when I speak to young women on leadership and they ask me how I got here as a woman, I find it strange because I never quite had to think of myself as a woman in a workplace,” she told JACKSON BIKO

So gender was never a question for you?

Not entirely, I just wasn’t conscious of it. But when I recently sat down to think of my life’s journey, I could actually circle off specific things that would never have happened to my colleagues who were male or decisions that I’ve taken that have not necessarily stagnated me but have taken me in a different direction. I think it’s important that you make sure your trajectory remains true to what it is you want and you keep moving at the same speed as you want to move while still incorporating the different seasons in your life that you must have as a woman.

What’s your story, what season is this you are in?

For the last 10 years I have been on the motherhood season. At some point when I was at SAP, which remains one of the most exciting and vibrant jobs I have had, I woke up one day and said ‘this is not working for my child.’ I lived on a plane and I’m a single mum. To the shock of my bosses and everybody, I walked in that day and resigned. I resigned knowing that I was going to sit at home for six months and do nothing but take care of my child; wake up with her, have breakfast with her, take her to school, go back home, read a newspaper, wait for her to come back from school at 1.30pm or pick her, come back home and nap. It was fantastic.

I had never gotten to nap in the afternoon in my career (laughs). So did the break stop or slow my career trajectory? No, it didn’t.

Have you been a decent mother since?

What makes you a good mother?

We have a dual relationship with my daughter. About 90 percent of the time we are friends; we laugh, she calls me every day as soon as she gets home whether I’m in the office or not. She tells me about her day from beginning to the end. She is 10 years old.

The other 10 percent, I’m actually a mum and I’m very hard on her. And because it’s just the two of us, we have a good understanding of what our roles are in this life. She understands her roles and responsibilities and she holds me accountable if I don’t meet mine.

(Laughs) I know. You know everybody says that.

Do you see yourself in her?

A lot! She is very structured, inherently, like me. My biggest fear is that when things get unstructured as they often will in life, she might not know how to handle that.

How much of the father do you see in her?

(Pause) She is musical which I’m not. She loves music, her school has a fantastic music programme that encourages children to pick an orchestra instrument and learn it for about six to seven years. She plays a trumpet.

What has happened in your life this year that you found very unreal?

One day I walked into my house and decided that I was going to sell my sofas that I bought last year. The moment they arrived, I hated them and they have irritated me since. So I called the gentleman who sold them and he asked me to take photos of them and the next day they were gone. Now I don’t have sofas in my house. We sit at our dining table. I check my daughter’s homework, sign her school diary and eat dinner from there. (Chuckles)

If motherhood was suddenly taken away from you, what percentage of yourself would be left?

Probably 25 percent. (Laughs) My friends keep telling me I need a man.

Like I said I’m in this season of motherhood now and my daughter is important. She needs to not just perceive but completely feel in every fibre of her being that she is everything. I think it’s important for her stability and her foundation. When she leaves for high school, in another five years, my next season will start at which point I will retire from work.

What are you going to do when you retire?

We bought some land in Nanyuki…

‘We’ being?

She and I.

Oh, she has a good job…

(Laughs) My plan is actually to move to Nanyuki. We’ve already started fencing, digging a borehole and in five years I want to have a house up. We will have a farm. I’m a farm girl. I grew up in a farm in 21-acre farm in Karen.

I bet you had a river running through it?

We actually had a river. (Laughs) We had cows, pigs and lots of chicken. We planted potatoes, yams, kale etc. I used to wake up at 4am to weigh all the milk that was coming in, package it for different customers, put it in the car and then go shower and get ready for school.

When we would come back from school in the evening, we’d go to the farm and identify big potatoes, peel them and make chips. That was our after-school snack before doing our homework. They were the best French fries you have ever tasted (Laughs). Therefore, I want to retire like that; fill my days with farming. I’ll also apply for a job at the county, that will be my giveback.

What animal spirit are you?

I’m a cheetah; it’s graceful and wise. A cheetah will never expend unnecessary energy. It’s either 100 percent sure of the chase or it will not start the chase. (Laughs).

What character do you most detest in others?

Dishonesty.

Is there one person that you’d like to have dinner with, and what would you ask them?

Andrea Bocelli. His soul is musical! I mean, every pore in him is alive. I would think his life would have been a little more challenging than the rest of us, and yet he exudes joy in everything he does. Whenever I’m having a moment, rough or wherever, I put his music loud, and my soul rests. I would also love to have dinner with him and his wife. He has the most beautiful woman for a wife. I would love to know about her journey.

The bigger fear in life?

To pass on before my daughter.

What don’t people know about you?

That I’m nice.

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Kenya to deport foreigners in betting

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Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has issued deportation order against foreigners who entered Kenya for other businesses but ended up investing in the betting industry.

More to follow…

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Kenyans ask for Wetangula’s whereabouts as things get ugly, messy and noisy for him

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Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula has not been seen in public since information allegedly directly linking him to the latest fake gold scam leaked. His Twitter handle has also gone silent. Some media reports have however indicated that he has travelled out of the country.

In 2010, when he was the Foreign Affairs minister in the grand coalition government of 2008-2013, Moses Masika Wetang’ula, 63, led diplomatic efforts that resolved a visa standoff between Kenya and the United Arab Emirates.

The diplomatic tiff arose after UAE decreed that Kenyans going to or passing through Dubai (United Arab Emirates) would need a degree certificate to get a visa into the Arab country.

This was deemed to be in retaliation to the inadvertent deportation of a member of the royal family from Kenya.

In one of his finest diplomatic moments, Mr Wetang’ula led a delegation to Dubai where they had the requirement rescinded, only two weeks after it was imposed.

Perhaps it was during this meeting where Mr Wetang’ula was introduced to the high and mighty of the Emirati kingdom connections.

GOLD SCAM

This week, Mr Wetang’ula hit the news headlines again in relation to the UAE ruling family — but this time it was for the wrong reason.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said that the Bungoma Senator was being investigated for his role in a gold scandal that saw the Dubai royal family lose Sh400 million.

A leaked audio in which a man purported to be Mr Wetang’ula is dropping the names of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga to assure someone presumed to be a member of the royal family that all is well and that the gold consignment would be delivered, has thrust him to the centre of the scandal.

But even as the scandal unravels, Mr Wetang’ula has maintained a studious silence and did not respond to the Sunday Nation’s enquiries on Saturday.

Some of his aides have also claimed, off the record, that the voice on the leaked tape is not the senator’s and that the whole matter has been politicised to tarnish his image ahead of the 2022 general election.

BAT SCANDAL

The incident is just the most recent of several occasions on which Mr Wetang’ula has been mentioned adversely in controversial scandals throughout his lengthy political career.

In 2015, a BBC investigation claimed Mr Wetang’ula was among senior public officials and MPs from Kenya who were compromised by British American Tobacco Company to do business that favoured the tobacco manufacturer.

The investigations claimed Mr Wetang’ula had received an air ticket and money to facilitate his travel to London from BAT while he was Trade minister in order to interfere with the country’s anti-smoking laws.

The Senator refuted the claims and went ahead to institute defamatory proceedings against the broadcaster.

In 2012, after widespread speculation and controversy, he admitted that his previous law firm was involved in the Sh800 million sale of oil blocks in Turkana. He, however, said he had left the law firm by the time.

FUNDS MISUSE

Before that, in 2010, Mr Wetang’ula was forced to step aside as Foreign minister amid a growing scandal involving the alleged misuse of his ministry’s funds for several land deals abroad.

While serving as the Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Wetang’ula is remembered for summoning two ambassadors in 2009 whom he thought had disrespected Kenya in one way or another.

He summoned the US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger and asked him to explain the last-minute cancellation of new Delta Air Lines flights to US via Dakar on security fears in Nairobi.

A year before that, he also summoned the United Kingdom ambassador to Kenya, Mr Adam Wood, seeking clarification over a remark made in the House of Commons that they did not recognise former President Mwai Kibaki as the Head of State.

The Senator’s political career dates back to 1992 when he was nominated by Kanu as MP up to to 1997.

CAREER

He was later elected the MP Sirisia constituency, and since then Mr Wetang’ula has never lost in any political election up to his current senatorial position.

In 2014, the senator claimed that there was an attempt on his life after unknown people shot at his car on Mbagathi Way in Nairobi. The police discounted his version of events.

“If anyone wants a divorce it will be noisy, messy and unhelpful, and it will have causalities,” declared Mr Wetang’ula in March last year when ODM engineered to have him removed as the Senate Minority Leader.

A year down the line, things have turned noisy, messy for the Senator as a result of the alleged gold deal that has led to some arrests with the DCI naming him as a person of interest. All eyes are now on the senator, who remains tight-lipped.

Source: Nation.co.ke

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VIDEO: I failed and didn’t even make it to High School but look at me now, says media mogul SK Macharia

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Royal Media Services Chairman Samuel Kamau Macharia (SK) has disclosed that he did not do well in Primary School hence couldn’t make the cut to join High School.

Speaking during a prize-giving ceremony at Kahuhia Girls High School on Saturday, the billionaire businessman told the students that they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.

Ha also disclosed that he worked as sweeper in the US in a bid to raise college tuition. Watch:

Samuel Kamau Macharia (born 1942, also known as S. K. Macharia) is the Kenyan Founder and Chairman of Royal Media Services, arguably the largest private radio and television network in Eastern Africa. Its flagship outlets are Citizen TV and Radio Citizen. In 2012, he was on a top 10 list by Forbes magazine of African millionaires to watch. Macharia was on the 2013 Africa Report of the 50 most influential Africans. He was honoured with the 2015 Eastern Africa Ernst and YoungEntrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.

Macharia joined Standard 1 in 1954 at Ndakaini Primary School. He was thereafter admitted at Gituru Intermediate School where he sat for the Kenya African Preliminary Examination (KAPE) in 1958. He taught as an untrained primary school teacher at Makomboki Primary School for a year before joining Kahuhia Teachers Training College. A two-year course at the college would see him qualify as a trained teacher (P3) and he was subsequently posted to Gituru Primary School in 1961.

He applied for the Kennedy Airlifts and was accepted in the 1962 group. His family could not however raise the 4,000 shillings required for the plane ticket to the United States. He could only raise 1,200 shillings and had to travel for nearly 2 months by road from Kenya to Benghazi, Libya, where he took a ship to England and then a flight to the USA.

On arrival, he enrolled in Seattle Technical College and completed his high school education two years later. Macharia would later a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Washington. He would then complete a Master of Science in Accounting/Finance, a Master of Arts in Accounting and was certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

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