The Unwritten With: YVONNE WAMALWA – EDUCATION, PLEASURE & FORGIVENESS

When  I picked up the phone and made the call one rainy morning, on the receiving end was the warm, pleasant voice of Yvonne Wamalwa, the Deputy High Commissioner of Kenya to Australia at the time. I was in awe.

Yvonne is the widow to Kenya’s former Vice President, the late Kijana Wamalwa. Since her husband’s passing way, Yvonne has been a single mother to her two children, a boy and a girl.

The tough life of being a single mother notwithstanding, Yvonne decided to go back to school to study for a Master’s in Policing, Terrorism, Counter Terrorism and International Security in Australia.

For this feature, Yvonne explained to me what having a job many only dream of is like,  how she first went clubbing at 18 and even challenged me to give her a pretty good incentive for her to answer one of the questions… (I failed the test…)

Name: Yvonne Nambia Wamalwa

Occupation: Acting High Commissioner of Kenya to Australia.

How long have you lived in Australia?

This is my fifth year in Australia.

 Do you consider it ‘home’ now? Read more The Unwritten With: YVONNE WAMALWA – EDUCATION, PLEASURE & FORGIVENESS

The Unwritten With: NNAMDI ORANYE – YOUNG, AMBITIOUS, PROPER & SUCCESSFUL

Nnamdi Oranye is  one of the most admirable fellows I’ve ever met. Well-natured, rich in manners, generous in spirit, kind eyes, warm smile, warmer laughter and a deep voice.

Nnamdi has a deep, smooth, memorable voice. His speaking is quintessentially eloquent. Very articulate with perfect diction.

As a professional, Nnamdi knows what he wants. He’s done remarkably well compared to most of his peers, not that he has it in him to make comparisons. He is who he is, comfortable in his own skin and running his own race.

Nnamdi is the author of a book titled, “Disrupting Africa:  The Rise and Rise of African Innovation.” He is currently based in South Africa and is a regular media contributor on all things technology and innovation within the African context.

Being such a delightful soul, Nnamdi shared with me a little about his job, talked to me about his dreams of becoming a jazz guitarist and he was open enough to admit that he does have flaws as a person.

Here’s more on him:

***

Name: Nnamdi Oranye

Occupation: Business Development Manager

What exactly does your job entail?

My role as a Business Development Manager pretty much entails meeting prospective clients to identify how we can assist them in operationalizing new technology deployments. In simple terms, that means helping clients make constructive decisions before spending millions of dollars on new technology.

What was your upbringing like?

Nationality is Nigerian but I was born in the United Kingdom, lived and schooled in Nigeria in my pre-teen years, went to university in Botswana, migrated to Australia and worked there for under a decade, and now I live in South Africa.

Read more The Unwritten With: NNAMDI ORANYE – YOUNG, AMBITIOUS, PROPER & SUCCESSFUL

The Unwritten With: NANCIE MWAI – ALL ABOUT FASHION

Nancie Mwai is a Kenyan fashion blogger and  the editor of The Fashion Notebook.

Nancie has nothing but style. She was born with it.  Be it clothes, shoes, accessories, hair, make-up or even food, she knows how to work them.

Rummaging through The Fashion Notebook’s archives, one quickly realises that not much has changed since its  its conception in 2010. Nancie still has that je nais se quois. But there’s a slight change. There’s a transformation. Nancie went from a girl to a woman.

There’s a transformation from years of blogging. A transformation from becoming a notable fashion blogger just recently featured in Lucky Magazine. A transformation from being invited amongst 12 other Africans in the continent to attend The 2013 Berlin Fashion Week. You don’t remain the same person when you experience such things. You can only get better.

Nancie talks to me about what the fashion industry is really like and she sets straight all those assumptions many make about it. She confesses to not being superhuman and she professes her love for food, Matoke crisps to be precise…

Name: Nancie Mwai

Occupation: Fashion Blogger and Stylist

Back in high school, is this what you wanted to do?

Not really, I wanted to be a lawyer.

What does a fashion blogger’s ‘behind the scenes’ actually involve?

Well, sending out proposals to potential clients and getting rejected most of the time.
Read more The Unwritten With: NANCIE MWAI – ALL ABOUT FASHION

The Unwritten With: CHRIS HART – ALL WOMEN ARE DEMANDING!

The  guest on the blog today got back to me yesterday and we got the feature story underway. Getting to know him was nothing short of exciting. Ah, that’s the moment I remembered why it is that I do this and I sometimes lose sleep over it. Sometimes I get guests who are free-spirited, who I think trust me way more than they should (Thank you so much!) and who agree to do this wholeheartedly.

Interacting with all these people takes me (and I hope you too) to their world, a whole new world. And I love how we do it here because when you work in “print” media, there’s all these rules on how you need to do a profile story. The writer tells the story. The writer paraphrases what the guest says. You put one exclamation mark because putting three will not drive the point home anymore than the former would.

You don’t use a lot of emotive language. You don’t…you don’t… But on here, I like to let the guests tell their stories. And I feel that it’s more real,  genuine, and authentic that way.  Although my job is to edit how the story turns out, there are some I really try with every fibre of my being not to touch. Because the way the guest told the story is exactly how I want it to be read. Today’s story is one of those. I really had to keep pinching  and preventing myself from playing around with it.

For this piece, I prefer not to make any introduction as to who Chris Hart is. He does it himself, and he does it quite well. Way better than I ever could. Anything you would want to know I think he’s said it. If I make a brief introduction on him, I think it will be quite an injustice, to him, to the blog, and to you. So here’s a little bit about Chris Hart.

 

Name:

Chris Hart (Dr Christopher Geoffrey Hart BA BSc FRSC MIOSH MBPsS to be formal!)

Occupation:

Psychologist, specialising in relationships of all types (dating, spouses, family etc) and social skills (especially within work groups and for managers). I also still do a little management consultancy (see below) and (don’t laugh) a little computer programming (php / mySQL mostly)!

People tend to call what I do ‘counselling,’ and there is a large element of that in my approach, but I tend to think of it more as coaching – helping people to develop their skills to deal with their issues – or to improve their performance.

What’s your background? Born and bred in Kenya?

Nope! Born and bred on a farm in the UK (in fact I still own a small farm there). I first trained as an industrial chemist and worked for a multinational in the chemical industry (hence the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry). Towards the end of that period I began to realise that my values and that of my employers were beginning to diverge, and also that I was getting more and more interested in why people behaved as they did, like why they had accidents or were under-motivated. All of which led to my going back to college to study Psychology. During this period I also worked as a management consultant to fund my studies – travelling and working all over the world – and it was that which brought me to Kenya.

Initially, in addition to the management consultancy, I worked with trauma victims, people recovering from serious illnesses and with adults with educational difficulties (failed at school), and only gradually began to specialise in relationships and social skills. This is partly because I studied a psychological approach called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for use with the trauma and illness victims – and this approach is also highly effective in relationship and social skill issues, especially when combined with a little Freudian psychodynamics, which is what I do. Read more The Unwritten With: CHRIS HART – ALL WOMEN ARE DEMANDING!

The Unwritten With: DEREK BBANGA – ON BRANDING, FITNESS & DATING

When I first spoke to Derek Bbanga, I made sure to ask him one particular question: what did he think about weaves? His answer was that of a knowledgeable man. A wise man. A man who knows he has to deal with women every day.

Derek, in one word, is an artist. He does photography as a hobby, he’s an actor, a speaker, an MC and also a fitness trainer. He is, however, also well known for being an image consultant and a relationship expert. He gives dating tips on the famous Kenyan dating show Tujuane.

Derek was kind enough to tell me what type of music gets him moving, brag about his culinary skills, and describe what a perfect date means for him.

Name: Derek Bbanga

Occupation: Personal Branding and Communications Consultant

Did you always think “When I grow up I want to be an image consultant, talk to people about etiquette and give dating tips?”

Even as recently as 4 years ago if someone had told me I would be doing this for a living I would have labelled them certifiable! I wanted to be a lawyer growing up.

Is being an MC a born talent or a learnt skill?

Great MCs are made not born. Read more The Unwritten With: DEREK BBANGA – ON BRANDING, FITNESS & DATING