It’s Monday and time to meet one of the women who work, live and play in Nairobi. Our Pearls and Heels lady today is Mugethi Gitau. Mugethi Gitau is a creative geek. She runs operations at oKHi (okhi.com) a Kenyan startup where their mission is to provide a physical address to the 4 billion people in the work who do not have one.
1. Describe your typical day?
I wake up, after hitting the snooze button only once (on a good day), drink a tall glass of fresh juice, work out ( I do power vinyasa yoga). Prepare for work, ( I run operations at a tech startup called OkHi. Our mission is to provide a physical address to the 4 billion people in the world who don’t have one) walk my son to school then head on out to work.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A pilot! I even had a boyfriend who was in Mangu high school and learning aviation. We were going to be a high flying power couple 😉
3. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Mhhh. My career has been very diverse and each previous experience has prepared for future responsibilities. Maybe I wouldn’t change. Or maybe I would have started a startup right after college before I had responsibilities and was less scared of taking risks.
4. What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your job?
You need to be a people person, be strategic, and have a GSD (get shit done) attitude.
5. As a professional how is it working in the Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
Nairobi as a market is very fast adapting to new technologies and innovations. Which is great for us. I feel it is open and we are having impact already. We need to share more about what we do though.
6. What motivates you?
Success. Mine and others
7. How do you define success?
For me it’s about achieving my purpose in life, not just financial success. it’s also learning from my experiences and growing spiritually. The more malleable I feel to God’s guidance and instruction, the more successful I think I am. Funny thing is, He then follows up with giving you the things that you want.
8. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Tricky. I draw inspiration from different people during different situations. When I want to feel powerful for example, I watch Olivia Pope (Scandal). Assertive women inspire me a lot too.
9. What is your favorite aspect of your job?
It is hard to pick just one. I work with an awesome team. the feeling that I’m making an impact is also pretty great. The flexibility and allowance to be innovative, every day, is awesome too!
10. What would you say are the key elements to being successful?
Part of it is knowing your stuff and working towards getting really good at it, and part of it is being willing to take a risk. Follow your gut. Listen to your God. You don’t have to consult everyone around you for each little decision you make.
11. What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
Know your stuff. Read in your field and seek insights from those who’ve been doing it before . Don’t be afraid of taking a risk and forgive yourself when you make mistakes. And above all, Google is your friend.
12. What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of career.
Every progressive career growth moment. Being able to go to a job I love everyday is great too. Not that many people have that.
13. What makes you happy?
My son, flowers, lovely smells, the sun’s rays streaming into my reading spot in my living room.
14. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I write. Fiction and poetry, as well as tech opinions. I read good literature, swim, do yoga and I watch series 😉
15. Where you see yourself in around 10 years?
Kicking ass at whatever I’m doing. I might still be in technology, or doing something completely different. But I’ll be awesome at it!
If you would like to interact with Mugethi find her on twitter at @mugsgitau.