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Adulting 101

Personal Brand Online (Part 2)



The online space is a powerful place for your personal brand to come to life. It is a connection to the global community and marketplace through social media and social networking. It is not a fad or a passing trend. To establish your personal brand online;

  1. Stay genuine: Don’t put on a costume. Showcase your personal brand values e.g friendly, approachable, professional let it show it in the tone, content, images.
  2. Engage and participate in conversation e.g activity in LinkedIn. Don’t do or say anything online that you would not say to someone in person.
  3. Remember everything that happens online is public. This shouldn’t strike fear in you unless you have nefarious intentions. Let it show your passions, interests.
  4. Stay focused on your target audience online. Where are they?
    • If you have a personal brand focused on business leaders and professionals
      spend time on LinkedIn. Add your perspective to conversation.
      Use the tools available to showcase your talent or skills.
    • Are you a creative looking for space and peers on the same?
      Instagram may be more relevant.
    • Facebook will allow you to humanize your brand.
  5. Do an online audit of your profile: Do they match your brand? Are they consistent?
    What do they say about you?

Personal Branding:10 steps toward a new professional you.

  1. Get a professional headshot
  2. Be discoverable online
  3. Have a professional purpose
  4. Learn to listen & practice
  5. empathy
  6. Practice writing
  7. Reengineer your digital
  8. Presence
  9. Analyze your competitors
  10. Craft your personal
  11. branding statement
  12. Embrace and expound your
  13. expertence
  14. Be social by design

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Adulting 101




I came across a tweet the other day that said that the worst thing that was brought about by social media is that people no longer want to go through the stages of life. That 23-year-olds want to afford the same lifestyle as 33-year-olds. When they can’t, they think they’ve failed in life. But I don’t think social media is entirely to blame. I believe that society has successfully socialized the youth to go after the American Dream. That anyone, regardless of where you come from, you can be anything you want. I’m here to tell you that is utter rubbish and real life doesn’t work like this.

Because in reality, we are not at an equal level. This isn’t the Amazing Race where we all start at one point and chart the trajectory of our lies. In this race of real life, some people are behind, others way ahead and some, cannot even get to the start line. Yet, every teacher, motivational speaker or religious leader told us repeatedly, that we can be anything we want. To this, I ask; that street child that accosts you on the streets, on your way to work, or as you exit the supermarket, has dreams of becoming a doctor, a pilot, a lawyer, or any other nine-to-five job. Are they ever going to be this? Doesn’t the fact that they live on the streets negate their capability to achieve this? Does it not predispose them to many disadvantages? Will this child ever achieve this? Did you guys read that story that female street children in their teens are spouses to fellow street kids? That they are in a kind of marriage where the males come home to their wives? Mtoto wa thirteen ni wife? Maisha gani haya!

Photo Credit: Awesome Images

For you who don’t live on the streets and have a roof over your head, uko afadhali. But I reckon that you too have challenges of your own. When I think of a dilapidated shack, with poor lighting and no water, I think about the Wings To Fly program by Equity Bank. They are dedicated to affording some children if not all, a means to realize their dreams. You probably have friends who were beneficiaries of this program. Not everyone gets an opportunity like this. The rest of us, our parents made it through and it took their blood, sweat and tears. But what happens after we get through all of this na bado hatuna pesa? Isn’t this the proverbial crossroad where we consider crime to solve our problems? Ama niwache tu?

Then again, there’s a smaller group that almost slips through the cracks. The one who’s parents afforded them a comfortable life but they want more. This is where the people with audacity are! They will go out to party, socialize and make deals that will earn them millions. Anaishi two-bedroom Kasarani, ako na this big TV, one hell of a couch, fully stocked fridge but never goes to work. Always on the laptop pale sitting room na ukiuliza anasema he does online writing. Unprovoked lies! This is an individual who dared to risk it all and is reaping the benefits. All I want to know is this, tuliacha kuogopa DCI lini guys?

Finally, I say this, yule ako na mingi ndio anaongezewa juu yake. Which is perhaps why the rich keep getting rich and the poor, even poorer. It is why, as a 23-year-old, I want the life that a 33-year-old has. I am willing to risk it all. I want a lot of money and I want it now. When I think of everything it can do for my family and I, I’m ready to risk it. Have you read that tweet of ata mimi mniingize shughuli za fraud niseme small girl big God? This is where I am. But I am not willing to live dangerously enough to get myself a mubaba, be a stripper or do wash wash. Ama niuze kidney? Anyway, this isn’t about me. How far are you willing to go ndio utoke kwa block? Everybody for himself, God for us all.

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Adulting 101

World Aids Day 2023: Let Youth Communities Take Charge!

World Aids Day 2023: Let Communities Lead



Today marks the 35th annual celebration of World Aids Day. This year’s theme is” Let Communities Lead.”

In the continent, the youth make up approximately 70% of the population making Africa to having the youngest population globally. In this regard, the youth play a major role while living with and among people with HIV. The WHO African region office is commemorating this day in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe as they remember the lives lost to the virus as well as visit a community initiative in the country.

In the country, the day is being held at Kinoru Stadium, Meru county following increased teenage pregnancies in the county presided over by health CS Susan Nakhumicha. This year alone with adolescents aged between 10-19 years; 88,853 have the infection with 3,244 in this category contracting the virus.

“Currently, 348,408 Kenyan men and 807,576 women are on ARVs”. – NSDCC

According to the National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NSDCC) adults aged 15-24 years, the number of HIV infections stands at 145,142, while new HIV infections recorded stand at 7,307. Nyanza, Western, and Coast regions continue to lead in the number of positive cases. NSCDC is the national council mandated to manage syndemic diseases like HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Young people are at the forefront of numerous cases and our indulgence in unprotected sexual activities puts us at risk of contracting the virus. This year’s theme is a clarion call to lead in the fight against aids and being supportive of those with the virus. We are responsible for lowering the viral load. Let us take charge and know our HIV status as we lead and take charge as a community.

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Adulting 101

Starting Small, Dreaming Big: A Guide for Kenyan Youth Entrepreneurs




We all have needs that don’t fit into our budgetary provisions for a month and asking your parent for more money without the question, “what for?” is impossible. But even with our current economy, it is almost unreasonable for a middle- or lower-income earner to rely entirely on one revenue stream. The best way to break that cycle is for you to enter the business world; have multiple revenue streams and understanding the essentials of launching a small business is key. Navigating the business world can be tricky but lucky for you, we’re here. This guide offers practical advice, highlighting successful models and key financial partners for you to start your business; starting small.

1. Identifying a Niche:

Look for unique problems in your community, things your friends require and fill that gap, find a problem that you can solve: that’s your business idea.
Example: EcoPost, a Kenyan startup, found its niche in recycling plastic waste into durable building materials, addressing environmental concerns and creating a profitable business.

2. Lean Startup Model:

Begin with minimal resources, don’t strain yourself, start with the little resources you have, test that your niche is viable by doing a presale or preservice offering of your product or service, then iterate based on feedback. Decide at that point if you want to go through with the business plan or if you want to rethink and try something else; theres no shame in failing, as long as you continue to invest in yourself and try.

3. Embracing Digital Tools

Everyone’s glued to their phones and laptops, right? Use that to your advantage. Get your business on social media, build a snazzy website, or even create an app if that’s your thing. It’s all about reaching people where they hang out – online.

Social Media Magic: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great for marketing. Post cool pics, engage with your audience, and even run ads without spending a fortune.

Website Wizards: Tools like Wix or Squarespace let you set up a slick website easily. It’s like having your own digital shop window.

App Adventures: If you’re feeling fancy, use app builders like Appy Pie or BuildFire. Create an app for your business and get on everyone’s phone!

Marketing Gurus: Mailchimp or Sendinblue for email marketing can help you reach out to customers with news and deals.

Operation Organizers: Asana or Trello are great for keeping your business tasks organized. Trust me, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

4. Funding and Financial Partners:

For all businesses, one of the most important factors are who your financial partners are. Banks like Equity Bank, KCB Group, and Co-operative Bank are known for supporting small businesses with loans and financial advice, once you have tested your business model, approach your bank of choice and talk to them, find out how they can help and what advantages there are with opening a small business account with them.

Microfinance Institutions: Institutions like Faulu Kenya and SMEP Microfinance Bank offer loans tailored to small startups.

Visit as many as you have to to find one that perfectly accommodates you. Choose financial partners that understand and support small business needs.

5. Government and NGO Support:

Government initiatives like the Youth Enterprise Development Fund provide financial support and training. It’s not just the government; loads of NGOs like enpact are also in the mix. Ready to back you up with extra funding, workshops, and networking events. Keep an eye out for local and international NGOs that have programs for young business owners.

Scout for Opportunities: Always be on the lookout for government grants, loans, or training programs. Keep your ears open and check out official websites regularly.

Network with NGOs: Get involved in local business communities and online forums. This way, you’ll hear about NGO programs that could benefit your business.

Apply Like a Pro: When you find an opportunity, go for it! Put together a solid application or proposal. Make sure to show them how awesome your business idea is and how their support can help it fly.

Tapping into these resources can give you a serious leg-up. It’s not just about the money (which is super helpful, obviously), but also about the training, mentorship, and connections you can gain. These programs can be a game-changer, especially when you’re just starting out.”

6. Networking and Community:

Building a network can provide invaluable advice, partnerships, and growth opportunities.

Starting a small business in Kenya is an exciting venture,even though we are overtaxed, the country’s spending power increases. With the right approach, identifying a niche, starting lean, embracing digital tools, choosing the right financial partners, and building a strong network, young entrepreneurs can turn their business dreams into reality.

Networking: Your Business Buddy System:

Imagine having a group of friends who get the whole business thing. That’s what building a network is all about. It’s like having your own personal think tank. You can bounce ideas off them, get some real talk advice, or even find a partner for your next big thing. Remember how in school we were taugh about how important it is to keep good, beneficial friends? This is where it pays off. It opens doors to opportunities you didn’t even know existed. From landing your first client to finding a mentor who’s been there, done that, a strong network can be the secret sauce to your business success.

Example: iHub and Nairobi Garage offer networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs and mentors.

Jumping into the business world here is like starting an adventure. Yeah, we are overtaxed but the spending power of the country continues to rise. You’ll come across a new car ever so often or a new highrise building. So this is your chance to tap into that resource.

The Game Plan

 Find Your Spot: What’s missing in your hood? Is it a cool coffee shop or an app that makes life easier? That’s your niche.

 Start Smart and Lean: You don’t need a pile of cash to start. Begin with what you have and grow as you go, learn as you go.

Digital is Your Friend: Use those online tools to make noise about your biz. Social media, websites, apps – get on all of it.

Pick the Right Money Friends: Whether it’s a bank that gets small businesses or a microfinance place, choose someone who speaks your financial language.

Network Like a Boss: Get out there and make friends in the business world. They’re your ticket to bigger and better things.

Making Dreams Reality: With a bit of smarts, a dash of courage, and a whole lot of hustle, you can turn those business daydreams into your everyday grind. Kenya’s market is ripe for the picking, so why not you, right?

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