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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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Business

DPP Haji now targets Keroche power couple with Sh14 billion tax evasion suit

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DPP Noordin Haji has ordered for the arrest and arraignment of Keroche Breweries directors Tabitha Karanja and Joseph Karanja for allegedly evading taxes amounting Sh14.45 billion since 2015.

In a statement to newsrooms, the DPP said investigations revealed that the directors could be culpable of 10 counts of tax fraud between January 2015 to June 2019.

The DPP said the KRA commissioner general submitted an inquiry file to his office on August 18 and an audit by KRA established that Keroche Breweries had evaded payment of tax tallying to Sh14,451,836,375.

The amount evaded, according to the DPP, included stamps valued at Sh329,424,019, Crescent Vodka brand valued at Sh135,402,950 among other products registered under the company.

The exercise duty evaded on the said products, according to KRA, amounted to Sh2,101,846,768 billion.

IN PUBLIC INTEREST

The DPP says that he is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to charge the suspects with 10 counts of tax fraud contrary to the Tax Procedures Act of 2015.

For more than a decade, Keroche has been battling with Kenya Revenue Authority over tax arrears the brewer owes the taxman.

In 2017, a three-judge Court of Appeal bench ruled that KRA had abused its powers by sending a tax demand of the three tax heads and penalties amounting to Sh1.1 billion through a letter dated November 29, 2006.

The ruling was the third in the 10-year battle in favour of the brewer, which gave them a fresh lease of life to the 20-year-old Keroche.

The letter was dismissed as unreasonable because it had come without an accompanying schedule of details of the said assessment and without proper notices.

The revenue authority had appealed an earlier decision by the High Court on July 6, 2007, where Justice Joseph Nyamu had prohibited the taxman from demanding the taxes, citing “abuse of powers”.

The taxman, who was also demanding an additional Value Added Tax of Sh305 million, was basing the tax bill on an assessment carried out in 2006, where some Keroche products had allegedly not been given the right classification, hence being subject to lower taxation.

by nairobinews

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SPONSORED: “Mahiga Homes” wins 2 coveted Real Estate Awards [VIDEO]

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The Leading Real Estate Developer Mahiga homes Ltd won two major coveted awards in The Real Estate Excellence Awards, namely:

1. Best in off plan Residential Sales
2. Best low cost low rise Residential Developer.
This comes in the wake of being recognized internationally by being awarded The Leading Real Estate Brand 2019 by UK based ranking company Global Brand Awards.
This makes Mahiga homes Ltd the best company with the most Awards totaling to 7 since it started operations 2 years ago.

The previous awards are:
KPRA Awards
1. The Rockie of the Year 2018
2. Affordable Housing Initiative

 

Real Estate Excellence Awards 2018
1. Most Promising Residential Developer 2018
2. Best Low Cost Residential Developer 2018

www.mahigahomes.co.ke
+254720460413

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SPONSORED: Optiven Foundation feted for transforming lives across Kenya

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Optiven Foundation has been feted for it’s role in transforming the society. This was at The Voice Awards held at the Louis Leakey auditorium in Parklands Nairobi on 16th August 2019. The event which was the first to be held in Kenya by it’s owners based in Netherlands, attracted a number of dignitaries and was officially addressed by the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto.

The award to Optiven Foundation was received by the Optiven Group General Manager, Mary Wacukah who is also a trustee of the Optiven Foundation. Speaking shortly after receiving the award Mrs. Wacukah “this award is a true reflection of what the foundation stands for which is to make a difference in the lives of the community.

” She commended all those who support the endeavors of the foundation which she noted has been a great input towards ensuring that the community we live in is a better place saying, “The Optiven Foundation is supported by Optiven Limited and well wishers who come together to ensure that our brothers and sisters live in dignity and their lives are transformed.

Truly when giving you do not just do it for the other person, but it also teaches us to be grateful for what we have.” While appreciated the trustees and philanthropists, she added that the foundation is wholly supported by Optiven Limited where 5% of all profits from real estate are used to cater for the myriad needs of the Optiven Foundation.

voicesawards

Mrs. Wacuka was accompanied at the event by the Chairman of Optiven Foundation, Mr. George Wachiuri, Ms. Jerusha Abasalom – the Diaspora Manager, top associates of Optiven Limited and who are also philanthropists in their own right Mr. James Mugo and Mr. John Owiro and Ms. Joyce Njambi, the team leader for the Optiven Foundation among others.

Ambassador Pastor Elvis Iruh, the founder of The Voice Magazine in the Netherlands and who partners with Moving Minds Africa to bring the award to Kenya congratulated the team from Optiven Foundation saying their impact in society cannot be underestimated. Ambassador Iruh further noted that the team from Optiven had been receipient of another award which was bestowed to the Chairman Mr. George Wachiuri in 2019 at the Le Koning Hotel at the Hague in the Netherlands in 2018.

He added that both Mr. Wachiuri and the Optiven Foundation had been leaving print marks in the lives of people across the world with the work they are doing in transforming lives through philanthropy. He singled out the efforts to renovate and rehabilitate children living at the Soweto Children’s Home in Kayole where the Optiven Foundation has built classrooms and dormitories as well as provided the daily needs for the children who are fully dependent on the foundation.

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ABOVE: Partners visiting with the Optiven Foundation ahead of The Voice Awards ceremony at the Louis Leakey Auditorium on 16/8/2019

The Optiven Foundation works with the less fortunate in society in order to make their lives better.  Since it’s inception, the foundation has worked in the areas of environment, health and education among others. With key partnerships with different counties, the foundation has been involved with various cleanups including in Kajiado County and Nairobi County.

In adherence to the UN Millenium Development Goals, the Optiven Foundation has adapted environmentally friendly models on all it’s projects including use of biodigesters to save on water, afforestation to increase forest cover as well as participating in community projects that ensure sustainability. With regard to education, the Foundation launched the Soaring Eagles Program with the key mandate to provide opportunities for education for students who have challenges in paying for their education but are keen on performance.

Over the years, Optiven Foundation has given scholarships to students across the country and in every country. On matters health, the Optiven Foundation has provided support to communities through hosting medical camps, monetary support to cover health matters, civic education on the importance of insurance especially covering medical matters as well as community facilitation to persons living with disability. Through it’s Mobility that Brings Smiles campaign, Optiven Foundation has been able to partner with different associates to provide those living with disability with wheelchairs.

Through partnerships with individuals of good will, the foundation has since donated wheelchairs to deserving cases in Nairobi County, Nyeri County, Machakos County and Kiambu County. As the need for the said wheelchairs is immense the foundation is seeking partners to further spread the mobility that brings smiles through enabling persons living with disability to be able to be mobile.

To Support the Foundation Contact Us

Optiven Group Foundation
Head Office: 
Barclays Plaza, 14th Floor ,Wing A
Tel: +254 20 2484022, +254 718 776033
Email: info@optivenfoundation.org

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