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University education isn’t everything: 12 lessons from Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO

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Robert 'Bob' Collymore

Robert ‘Bob’ Collymore may not have a college education but he is at the helm of Safaricom, a company that is arguably one of Africa’s finest and a trend setter in the world of communications.

1. University education isn’t everything

There tends to be a lot of reliance on paper qualification. We stuff ourselves into universities, then we come out and there is very little difference between us and all the other people who also did the same.

In this industry and many others, if you are not a learning treadmill, you will be left behind very rapidly. The advances that we are seeing in technology such as in artificial intelligence, robotics – I do not have to go to school to learn about it.

I can learn about it because the resources are there. I can buy a book on Amazon in two clicks.

So get into continuous learning instead of relying on the old things you learnt in university – things have moved on.

2. Be adaptable

I have done many different types of jobs but I never anticipated that I would become the CEO of a mobile phone company in Africa.

Just because you went to university and studied law doesn’t mean you become a lawyer.

You need to go into the world knowing that what you learnt in the university was how to learn. You must be adaptive.

3. There is no shortcut

Millennials believe that once you get employed, it will take you a matter of weeks before you get the corner office and get the land cruiser.

We forget that in all ages, especially in this one, everything takes time. Whether you want to become a basketball player or a CEO, you have to put the hours in.

You do not become a good photographer if you do not do 20,000 hours behind that camera. Shortcuts tend to lead people to a lot of problems, often legal problems.

My earnings are not a secret to Kenyans, but you can see that I am not hugely wealthy, compared to other people.

But do I consider myself a failure? Of course not. I do not want to find a shortcut to riches because they are not the goal. Unfortunately, a lot of people think there is a shortcut to it. You have to work hard.

4. Be hungry

Grab opportunities. Opportunities sometimes present themselves only once and you have to grab them.

Because at later stages, what you regret is not the things you did, but the things you did not do. All my regrets are of things I did not do.

Luck also has a big role to play, so again, don’t sniff at luck. When luck presents itself, just take it. When you get a good fortune, just take it.

5. Learn the art of gratitude

We tend not to be grateful these days. Be grateful for what you have. If you wrote down the things that you are grateful for, you would be amazed.

Grateful people are much more agreeable than people who grow up thinking about how they did not get a break.

If I look at my own background, coming from a broken family, a single mother, being the only black kid in the school that I went to in the UK, not going to university – there is a whole lot of things that I can stack up and say are all the reasons I should not be doing the job I am today.

If I had let them hold me back, I would still be working in a shop like I used to.

6. Lose the sense of entitlement

I never had the sense that I could not work in the shops because I had completed my A-levels. I was a delivery chap delivering furniture, I used to stack shelves – I never imagined I was too good for any job.

I did a lot of things and I said, “It’s a job. I will do it and I will take my lessons from each and every one of those jobs.”

If you look at how I engage with people working in shops when I go shopping, my interaction with them is shaped by that experience because I walked in those shoes. I worked behind that checkout. I know how dehumanising people can treat you sometimes.

I hold those people with huge admiration and respect. Don’t have a sense of entitlement. You are never too good for anything.

You are never too good to sweep floors and all. That is the thing about opportunities. They may not present themselves as you expect them to.

7. Move with the times

We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, where we are looking at the internet for everything. The fourth industrial revolution plays to older people because it makes things easier for us.

However, it does not play to young people because it will definitely take away jobs. In Africa, we need to create about a million jobs every month, which is about 10 to 15 million jobs every year.

That is a huge number. Even here in Kenya, I estimate that we need to create about 3,000 jobs a day.

That’s a scary thought and it is because that’s how fast the population is growing.

Foxconn, the people who make the iPhone, reduced their workforce by half because of robotics.

In Africa, we have a narrow opportunity to take some of the manufacturing from China, but that opportunity is not going to be there for long. We should be grabbing those opportunities now.

What we are seeing is that the people grabbing those opportunities are from places like Vietnam, so if we do not grab them now, by the time we come around we will be out of the game.

8. Are your skills important in today’s world?

Get to the front of the curve. Read. I always tell my team, “I mustn’t know more about stuff than you. You have to be smarter than me.

If you aren’t smarter than me, then why would I need to hire you?” You need to stay ahead of the curve and there is no excuse for not doing it because everything is online these days. You need to ensure that you are skilled to do the jobs that exist today.

source:SDE

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US cancer survivor swims across English Channel

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An American breast cancer survivor on Tuesday became the first person to swim across the English Channel four times non-stop in a 54-hour feat of endurance.

Sarah Thomas, 37, an open water marathon swimmer from the US state of Colorado, could be seen in a video posted on Facebook arriving at Dover on the southern English coast with a group of supporters cheering her on.

“I feel a little sick,” she is heard saying following the herculean effort, which reportedly saw her cover close to 130 miles (209 kilometres) due to strong tides.

Only four swimmers have previously completed the approximately 21-mile Channel crossing between Britain and France three times without stopping.

“I just can’t believe we did it,” Thomas told the BBC.

“I’m really just pretty numb. There was a lot of people on the beach to meet me and wish me well and it was really nice of them, but I feel just mostly stunned.”

Thomas said the hardest part was dealing with the salt water, which left her throat and mouth sore, while she also got stung in the face by a jellyfish.

The athlete relied on a protein recovery drink mixed with electrolytes and caffeine – which was tied to a rope and thrown to her every 30 minutes – to complete the feat, according to her mother.

Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh wrote on Twitter that her achievement was “extraordinary, amazing, super-human”.

“Just when we think we’ve reached the limit of human endurance, someone shatters the records,” he wrote.

In a post on Saturday before setting off, Thomas wrote: “This swim is dedicated to all the survivors out there.

“This is for those of us who have prayed for our lives, who have wondered with despair about what comes next, and have battled through pain and fear to overcome,” she wrote.

The marathon swimmer received the cancer diagnosis four months after an unprecedented August 2017 non-stop solo swim of 104.6 miles in Lake Champlain on the US-Canada border.

She underwent treatment for the aggressive form of breast cancer – which had already begun spreading to the lymph nodes under one of her arms – in the summer of 2018, according to a fundraising website for a documentary about her achievements.

“I was at the peak of my athletic accomplishments… and then I got diagnosed with cancer,” Thomas said in a video posted on the Kickstarter website.

“It’s part of who I am now, part of my story. I just hope it never comes back but if it does, to know that I did everything I wanted to do in life.”

In the video Thomas, who finished her first open-water event in 2007 and had previously made two Channel swims in 2012 and 2016, said swimming across the Dover Strait had been a lifelong dream and “just as hard as climbing Mount Everest”.

“When you’re a kid you just dream of swimming the English Channel.”

By nation.co.ke

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Survey ranks Kenya 7th ‘most dangerous’ country to live in

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A new survey done by InterNations, a global community and information site for people who live and work abroad and published by Forbes, has ranked Kenya the 7th ‘most dangerous’ country to live in, in the world.

The results are part of InterNations’s latest Exparts Insider Survey, a comprehensive report on what it’s like to live and work abroad in 64 countries around the world.

For the 2019 survey, InterNations polled 20,259 expats representing 182 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories, covering topics such as quality of life, cost of living, personal finance and more.

According to the report, Nairobi is a more dangerous place to live in compared to Mogadishu, Syria, Tripoli, Baghdad, Bujumbura and Kabul in Afghanistan.

Majority of respondents complained that Kenyan streets feel unsafe and they cannot go out for walks freely as they wish as one has to be vigilant.

A Danish expat, according to Forbes, complained that walking around Kenyan streets is a ‘No’ for them and that they have to drive or be driven everywhere.

Another expert from Croatian said that foreigners in Kenya are easily conned, if not robbed as there already exists a notion among Kenyans that foreigners are wealthy.

TRAFFIC JAM

Police officers demanding bribe on non-existing charges was also mentioned as another contributor that has Kenya ranking so high on the most dangerous places to live.

“The roads are in an awful state, traffic is just terrible, and the city is dirty!” another expat said.

Brazil was ranked as the most dangerous country, with South Africa, which has recently been rocked by xenophobic attacks, coming second.

Nigeria was third while Peru came in fourth, India was fifth followed by Turkey and Argentina in that order.

Egypt, at position eight, is considered unsafe because of political instability while the Dominican Republic, at position nine, lacks security according to expats.

Colombia was ranked 10th with expats complaining of cases of robbery and personal safety.

By nairobinews

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Why Tob Cohen’s postmortem has been rescheduled

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The late Tob Cohen’s postmortem has been rescheduled to Wednesday after the government pathologist recused himself.

Speaking at Chiromo Funeral parlor, where the postmortem was meant to happen on Tuesday morning, Dr Peter Ndegwa said he recused himself after consultation with the involved parties.

“I was at the scene of the crime on Friday as a pathologist invited by the DCI and some of the lawyers were also there and they picked up something I said/mentioned to the DCI at the alleged crime scene. They happen not to be very happy with that and they have requested that I should not continue representing the DCI,” Dr Ndegwa told journalists.

The postmortem will now happen on Wednesday led by Government pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor, who has been recalled from leave.

An X-ray of the body that was scheduled to be taken on Tuesday at Kenyatta National Hospital will go on as planned.

The defense team representing Cohen’s wife Sarah Wairimu is expected to move to court in the afternoon to apply to have her availed at the mortuary on Wednesday to identify her husband’s body.

A postmortem on Cohen’s body was initially meant to have taken place on Monday but the defense team requested to have it done on Tuesday by 9am after their pathologist confirmed his availability.

by Nairobi News

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