The East African - - OFF DUTY -

Au­then­tic. I try not to be some­body else. I try to be who I am in the mo­ment. I don't be­lieve who we are is a con­stant. The Eastafrican

Com­mu­nity and com­mu­nity change. I am ac­tive in my neigh­bour­hood com­mu­nity of Kil­i­mani, in Nairobi, through the Kil­i­mani Project Foun­da­tion. Kil­i­mani gen­er­ates some of the high­est tax rev­enues for the county yet the roads and se­cu­rity are ter­ri­ble, and many sys­tems do not work.

I am also pas­sion­ate about gen­der is­sues hav­ing grown up in a fam­ily of girls, and com­ing from a com­mu­nity that val­ued boys more. The adage that says, if you give birth to only girls, then you do not have chil­dren. My fa­ther went against the grain to dis­re­gard these stereo­types. I am a fem­i­nist. I am pas­sion­ate about help­ing women close the gen­der gap, but at the same time not cre­at­ing an­other one with the boy child. It changes based on life's ex­pe­ri­ences and the en­vi­ron­ment.

I wear ev­ery­thing from new ready­made out­fits to tai­lored ones; ex­pen­sive to cheap clothes. I have ev­ery­thing. Lately, I am wear­ing more of African print. This is part of me ma­tur­ing as a woman, and be­ing com­fort­able in my own skin.

There is no one place. In Tanzania, I like the Cape Town Fish Mar­ket in Dar es Salaam. In Nairobi, it's dif­fer­ent places de­pend­ing on the food, be­cause I eat out a lot with my daugh­ter.

The place where I find peace is up­coun­try in Meru. I visit mostly dur­ing the holidays. I used to, and Hawaii was top on the list. Then I vis­ited Hawaii and now it is In­dia and Ja­pan. Ja­pan, be­cause of tech­nol­ogy and the things they are do­ing with it, like ro­bot­ics. I would like to take my daugh­ter there be­cause it is im­por­tant the next gen­er­a­tion be­comes com­fort­able with ro­bot­ics.

Di­ver­sity. From a peo­ple's per­spec­tive, we are very di­verse, which is ex­cit­ing. Also, the eco­nomic sec­tors are quite di­verse, with huge op­por­tu­ni­ties. We just need to work to­gether and put poli­cies in place to tap into the op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Mu­sic. I have a large col­lec­tion of mu­sic from coun­try, South­ern hip-hop, old school... and now I am get­ting into African mu­sic. I have an eclec­tic ear.

You hear so much about it. When I fi­nally read it, I re­alised it is re­ally a pow­er­ful book. We all need to read it again and again be­cause we seem to have for­got­ten how so­ci­ety op­er­ates.

An air fryer, which al­lows you to fry food with lit­tle or no oil. That was a very thought­ful gift be­cause in my house Fri­day is chips day.

Time. I have so much go­ing on and my time is lim­ited. I host peo­ple a lot in my house. I have slowly come to ap­pre­ci­ate that time is the best gift you can give.

Twit­ter, be­cause it is like a mini-mba. If you fol­low the right peo­ple you gain in­sight that may have taken years to form. You take it and in­ter­nalise it and you be­come more in­formed. It also gives you an op­por­tu­nity to ex­press your­self. Toma­toes. A funny thing about toma­toes is that they are part of the pro­duce that in­forms how in­ter­est rates are priced. Some­times we for­get how a to­mato is cen­tral not only in a house­hold but also in an econ­omy.

Pic­ture: Cour­tesy

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