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The twists and turns in Angela Ndambuki’s life

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“I don’t want to see you. Go pack your things and get out”. These were the words that marked the end of Angela Ndambuki’s first stint as CEO at the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) after just eight months.

“I didn’t know that it was challenging being a female leader until I came to KNCCI,” she says ruefully, “It wasn’t about what you wanted to achieve or your vision for the organisation …it was a very confusing time,” she adds.

Angela, who doesn’t look anything like her 40 years, found it difficult back then to shake the ‘young and inexperienced’ stereotype as she faced opposition and male chauvinism at work.

For those who remember the rumour mill surrounding the unceremonious sacking, you would guess that indeed things were not at all rosy. “It was a challenging, disturbing time for me and my family when I was fired. It was abrupt, it’s true. I was called into a meeting in the morning and presented with my KPIs after just eight months,” Angela, a married mother of two daughters says.

It was even more of a shocker because not only did she feel she had increased visibility for the organisation, she had also increased its income.

She decided to settle the matter in court and sued for damages and to be reinstated “They had no grounds to fire me. I am passionate about my work and I didn’t want all my hard work to go down the drain,” the former musician, of the girl-group Tatuu, says.

 

Perhaps it’s the fact that she grew up the youngest in a family of six, equally doted on and protected, so forging ahead fearlessly was second nature. Or perhaps it’s because, for whatever reason, she always had to prove herself whenever she performed exceptionally. Be that when she was the best in class as a youngster, or later in life as an adult. Or perhaps it was simply her confessed stubborn nature. Whatever the case she wasn’t going to take the dismissal lying down.

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Thankfully when a new leadership came in, she was brought back after 14 months to finish her three-year term. Misgivings? She had none. She was keen to finish all she put in place. She did, however, search herself and decided that she needed to create a clear vision for what she wanted for her career. So she sought the services of an executive coach. “I came back to work a different person. I also wasn’t impacted quite so hard by what people were saying about me,” Angela who credits her husband, Roy Mutungi, as her pillar, says.

The coaching made her aware of her endless possibilities. “I got the recipe for living a purposeful life,” she says.

A neo-soul song plays and takes me back to a special place and time and I smile. This is the power of music. In Angela’s own words, “people turn to music when they’re sad and mourning, and when they’re happy and celebrating.”

Do you ever wonder how much your favourite local artiste makes from that song you love to listen to?

Music is property as much as a plot of land is property. And so it is protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). This is what Angela is all about. Ever since she took an IP elective back in her law school days, she was hooked. What she didn’t know at the time was that it would set her on a path that would define her professional career.

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So in what seems like a full-circle, her appointment as the Regional Director of sub-Saharan Africa at IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, is squarely up her alley.

Angela’s early singing days were the mark of a carefree period steered by youthful adventure. In 2003, with friends Angela Mwandanda and Debbie Asila, they started the girl group Tatuu. Angela is quick to remind me that she had already completed her Law degree by the time she made her debut into music and was working at the National Commission on Human Rights. “I love music but law has always been my passion,” she says. She is still close with her Tatuu friends, Angela (Shinde) and Debbie but no, a singing reunion is not imminent.

She admits, however, that being in Tatuu gave her a deeper understanding of the plight of those in the industry.

Before her KNCCI appointment, there was the Performers Rights Society of Kenya (PRISK). In 2009 when PRISK was formed, Angela says, “nobody knew what copyright was so we began with educating the music industry. We then changed the laws to ensure that creatives could get paid for their work. Before that, people would take advantage of and use music without paying for it,” she prides.

Three years of fighting an uphill battle for artistes saw her among a handful of capable candidates for the top job and emerged the front-runner as CEO where she continued to put the structures in place that many would thank her for today.

Over the years, Angela’s success has not gone unnoticed. In 2017 she was voted Kenya’s Top 40 under 40 Women by the Business Daily and in 2019, she appeared in the Top 100 Women CEOs in Africa, a list that was published by Reset Global People in partnership with Pulse and Avance Media. As she gestures to the plaques behind her right shoulder, she says, “I am usually very proud when I receive these accolades but the minute it’s done, life has to continue. I have to move on and concentrate on the people that I want to impact.”

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A master’s degree later, Angela was hungry for a bigger challenge and was soon announced to be the new CEO of KNNCI in 2017.

“I yearn to make a difference,” she says. At KNCCI it was all about supporting small businesses. At IFPI, it will be all about merging her creativity and analytical expertise.

By dealing primarily with the recording industry, she’ll ensure that the correct policies are in place and that the rights holders deservedly get their dues. Statistics from the Kenya Copyright Board estimates that 98 percent of music is reproduced. “Those who are making money off this work haven’t invested or added any creative input to it,” says Angela. “Look at the US the recording industry contributes to the economy in a big way.”

Making sub-Saharan music big business is her new role. “I hope to also empower women in the creative industry,” she says.

If you are looking to combine your creative mojo with a professional career, Angela advises that it pays to follow both your passions. “I’m a living example that you can combine both. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You must dream it to achieve it,” she concludes.

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How Kenyan family stole billions in the US

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When in November last year, the National Police Service said it had received information from Interpol that some Kenyans were wanted in the US for alleged fraud offence, one of the names released was that of Edwin Sila Nyumu, a man who had been on the run.

Nyumu and his family were behind a US based crime syndicate that launched  hundreds of millions of dollars in the country but managed to escape the FB dragnet to hide in Mlolongo Machakos.

In total, the family members are believed to have stolen more than Kshs.2 billion in a tax fraud, the Nation has established. It is one of the biggest cyber-crime heists in the blossoming industry.

The Daily Nation reports that how this Kenyan family laid a scamming web and managed to bilk millions of dollars and send them to Kenya without raising an alarm has always petrified the investigators.

TheDaily Nation reports that for 12 years, since his name first appeared on the Interpol list, Nyumu oiled the palms of all those who his identity and the Nation was informed he was a cash cow of police officers, until the money ran out last year.

By then, and after 12 years, he could no longer be charged with fraud since the federal crimes have a statute limitations which protects the people from being harassed and having to constantly defend themselves from old charges.

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Record indicate that on November 6 last year, Corporal general Kamwaro swore an affidavit seeking a fresh order to arrest Nyumu.

Kamwaro said Nairobi Interpol office has contacted the US Nationla Central Bureau Interpol to forward extradition documents against the suspect.

By Daily Nation

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Grace Wakhungu: Family raises Sh800 million fine

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The larger Awori family has raised a whopping Sh800 million in a bid to secure the freedom of one of their own, Grace Wakhungu, who is serving time in jail over corruption.

Wakhungu, was handed 69 years in jail or a Sh707,725,562 million fine.

Wakhungu alongside Sirisia MP John Waluke were handed the hefty sentences for their role in a maize import scandal which saw the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) lose Sh297 million in 2009.

A source from the Wakhungu family said despite some challenges, they were on course to secure her freedom.

“The sentencing of granny is not something that was taken lightly by Wakhungu’s siblings, both here in Kenya and Uganda,” said the source.

Due to the robust family network, a system was quickly put in place to have money raised without delay.

“In fact, we outdid ourselves by raising close to Sh800 million, being contributions from family members through the sale of assets locally and abroad, personal savings and ‘silent’ funds drives by friends.

“However, we are somehow stuck, because we have the amount ready but the DPP, EACC and KRA are sending threats our way,” the source added.

He disclosed that Wakhungu’s immediate family had raised Sh197 million.

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The immediate family consists of the former CS Judy Wakhungu and her siblings Ben Wakhungu and Susan Wakhungu-Githuku.

A nephew of the jailed granny gave a donation of Sh100 million while her brother, former Vice President Moody Awori is said to have given his family’s and personal contribution of Sh135 million.

Wakhungu’s sister, Dr Mary Okello, the founding director of Makini Schools, is said to have donated Sh28 million.

The family and friends of Dennis Awori, a former Kenya ambassador to Japan and who has headed several blue chip companies, are said to have raised Sh15 million.

The family of former Ugandan MP Aggrey Awori contributed Sh41 million, our sources disclosed.

The families of Wakhungu’s deceased brothers Hannington Awori and Prof Nelson Awori are said to have contributed Sh93 million for their kin.

Others who are said to have given contributions include family members Christine Hayanga, Henry Awori, Willis Awori and Ernest Awori who are reported to have raised a total of Sh54 million.

A funds-drive organised by Wakhungu’s family members locally and abroad separately raised Sh236 million.

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Police officer arrested in Sh124,000 M-Pesa fraud 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Detectives in Thika town, Kiambu county, have arrested a notorious police officer accused of defrauding three M-Pesa agents KSh 124,000 in a single day.

Police constable Isaiah Monda Ontita attached to Matasia Police Station in Ngong, Kajiado county, was arrested on Sunday, August 02, after officers were tipped off by the affected M-Pesa agents.

According to a police report filed at Thika Police Station, it was alleged that the officer who is currently on interdiction had approached an M-Pesa agent in Thika town while wearing a full police jungle fatigue.

The officer told M-Pesa operator Jane Wanjiru to deposit KSh 58,000 to his M-Pesa account.

“It was reported by one Jane Wanjiru, an M-Pesa agent Maizama Con Bidii Shop that today a customer approached her in full police jungle fatigue uniform and requested for a deposit of KSh 58,000 to his M-Pesa account,” read the police report.

After receiving the money on his phone, the officer claimed he had not seen the M-Pesa SMS and could not pay the cash.

However, according to police investigations the suspect had received the SMS and deleted it immediately.

He later moved to Jomarg Network M-Pesa shop and applied the same trick where he defrauded the business owner KSh 17,000.

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The suspect did not stop there. He then visited Mermay Thika Communication and stole an additional KSh 49,000 using the same trick.

Upon realising they had been defrauded by the police officer, the second and third victims arrested the man with the help of the public and escorted him to Thika Police Station where they recorded statements.

It was then established that he was a police officer attached at Matasia Police Post but had been interdicted.

Notably, it was not the first time for such a case given three suspects were recently arrested in Kiambu and Nakuru counties for defrauding M-Pesa agents.

To execute their alleged fraud, the suspects approached M-Pesa agents as dealers in pretext of selling SIM cards and other products at discounted prices.

They then switched the agents’ M-Pesa phones before stealing their float in the process.

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