Work Anchors Me
If I'm being honest, this is the main reason I set up this site, my resume was too long and I simply couldn't get around to telling my stories and vast experiences from learning how to negotiate in vernacular Kikuyu language when working for a bank in Kiambu, Central Kenya, to visiting tequila and rum industries in Guadalajara and Port Louis respectively and eating a Reindeer Burger in Birmingham. So this section is truly a get to know me, shall we?
Mafunzo ya Dunia, Niishi ni ose, Nisote nikope, Nipate ya wote, Utatembea pengi, Na macho ni mingi, Sikio ni mbiliT, umia akili, Uwe wa kwanza, ah Usiwe wa pili, Maisha si movie katika hizi enzi
- Sauti Sol -
Advocating for End User Freedom of Expression
Though a part time role, the work we do at the infrastructure level of the internet is extremely vital. Coming from private sector and government, being at A19 made me appreciate the place for civil society, the importance of consensus building and the difficulty faced in measuring impact where it takes months to see results and how to do apt donor reporting.
Managing the Narrative and Connecting the Unconnected
ATC stretched me in ways I did not know possible, both personally and professionally. Though I'd been in the TMT space for about 7 years prior, my learning curve was extremely steep given how technical our infrastructure operations were, but in the year or so, I knackered down and understood our business of selling space and energy pretty well! I found a way to communicate our business goals through our public facing engagement, managing our narrative, telling our story of connecting the unconnected. This, I absolutely loved; the pressure, not as much.
Beyond just legal for SSA, but Advocates for SSA
As part of a team of two, I had a fantastic time at Google. Probably the happiest and most content I've been in my life. Fantastic work environment, focused on the human at work, somehow, everyone was so nice and helpful, no politicking, just very happy people. From a professional POV, supporting 51 countries across SSA was a great opportunity to shape digital policy making, ensure that great products and features would make it to SSA for our people too, I built personal connections and friendships with our amazing legal advisors across SSA and got to travel a lot too!
Abu Ghazaleh Intellectual Property
When you know, you know
Sheryl Sandberg speaks of careers as a jungle gym (what we used to call a climbing frame) not a ladder. I remember going for the interview with my to be manager and just as I was leaving the office, my then manager was coming back to the office from court. My first time working in a multicultural environment, with no on the ground supervision, I literally set up the office in Kenya and ran our operations. My therapist still gets amused at the fact that I became country manager at 25.
Building the Foundation
Doing work you love, working with an excellent team and learning from the best. The firm was instrumental for my beginnings in legal practice, NM taught me how to justify a word document, SK how to communicate aptly in writing (and how to staple well) and MM how to review the law for a client and that loyalty is to yourself. I tell of the time we had to work over Christmas and how I had to get work done on graduation day, but we would absolutely pull together and get it done! Very few practitioners in the field were (I dare say still are) as technically capable as my team.
I remember going to class in the morning and then making my way to school for the other half of the day, getting in as everyone else was winding down, Monday to Friday. Alot but somehow the team made it extremely manageable and easy to do.
Kenya Copyright Board
Supporting Kenyan creatives
Initially, a three month engagement, ended up staying double the time. Very few professionals can quantify their impact, but. as the copyright regulator and in government, we easily could. During my time, we ratified the WIPO-administered Marrakesh Treaty enhancing accessibility for people with blindness or visual impairments, introduced the only law for ISP protection from intermediary liability in Kenya, undertook extensive training on how to protect works and enhanced creation of awareness.
By the time I was leaving, I deeply understood the music industry and history of our mismanaged CMOs and set up our now thriving social media platforms which I created and developed extensive content for. Being at KECOBO as an intern was extremely rewarding and paid off. #TeamKECOBO
Kenya's ICT Department
By the time you're in your 4th year of uni, all your course decisions are very strategic. I knew I was definitely going to take both public interest classes, the first of which I served at the Authority. They say our most brilliant are in government and have the best of intentions, my time at ICTA proved it. I worked under the Standards department which set the government’s ICT standards for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Such meaningful and impactful work!
Kenya ICT Action Network
Catalyzing ICT Reforms
Very few people call me, say June jump and I ask how high? The amazing team at KICTANet, are some of those people. GB better known as Bomu (seriously known as Grace Mutung'u) got me in to the ICT policy space. I randomly reached out to her and she graciously not only responded but also invited me to Kenya's Internet Governance Forum and it's been up ever since then. This community, it's my community.
Multi award winning tech blog!
Martin graciously gave me a platform to voice my opinions and share my thoughts to the world in legal tech, back when all I had was time and energy! The gift of his audience's time still remains one of my most valued assets and perhaps you will see new posts coming up to a website near you, perhaps.
Enzo Graziano Associates
Crazy About Sales!
Small but mighty team, learnt to appreciate excellence, self belief and learnt how to sell. We had the coolest website and full time cartoon artists and illustrators. Our mugs had each of our caricatures and our quotes of choice, mine had a thumb up and down, saying, you decide! I loved it!
Access into those rooms
Working when in campus as an usher and field assistant at corporate events gave me unfettered access in to rooms I would not ordinarily be in. Occassional early mornings, long days and late nights but the cheques were my favorite part because you'd get a random call on some random day and as a student, yes please!
When client facing, you can make or break one's day, that smile and being of assistance, made all the difference.
Google's Student Ambassador Programme
Do no Evil!
Jem is a Gem! An absolute one and I have surely given her flowers severally. Ms. Jeminatu Alabi - Isama was the programme manager for the Google Student Ambassador programme for Sub Saharan Africa and I credit her with getting me in to the tech space in 2013. The programme got me immersed into digital marketing and computer science, the tech ecosystem in Africa, close lifelong friendships and believe it or not, love - not once, but twice!
Your listening caring partner
I feel incredibly passionate about the bank's goal, mission and work in providing services to the underserved 100%.
Over various periods of time I worked at the bank in Nairobi, Nyali and Kiambu branches. In Nyali, I had such a breezy time living in the coastal city with amazing familly, kweli, Mombasa Raha!
In Kiambu, I learnt to ask the matatu tout, shigana, he'd say forte, I'd say asha, dhate, he agrees and get in.
My first experience at the branch, I quit after about 6 months and chose to go to school instead. My manager would yell from one end of the back office and you knew it was about to go down, oh the terror! I constantly had shorts and rarely balanced my cash, if ever! I would sit behind counter 6 (my friend Billy used to say it was significant because of my name IYKYK) for hours on end craving some sunshine. I did eat alot of cake from Valentine's Cakehouse down the road and I mean ALOT! I'd buy a kg or two on Saturday afternoon and by Sunday morning it was gone. I remain forever grateful to one Mr. Charles Roche who would endearingly call me 'doti' (daughter), an absolute godsent angel, oh what tears I shed! The bank, made me realize that I was different.
Aga Khan Hospital
Put them to work early
Mama Sandra (African homes tend to refer to the parent as the eldest child's parent for some reason) instilled excellent work ethic and non derogable values in Sandra and I. A few weeks after I cleared my high school education, I started working immediately on a voluntary basis at the hospital's pharmacy section. My first formal work experience, obviously all my work would be checked and counter checked but it was such a great experience that taught me excellence, how to work with and relate to people and paying keen attention to detail 50mg is very different from the 100mg drug. Plus they gave us free lunch which was really delicious!