From a Slum Boy to a CEO- Alumni Wilfred Mwangi
Trizah Nekesa, a student of the Macheo programme under Strathmore Community Service Centre, and an aspiring journalist, took time to analyze her experience after meeting alumni Wilfred Mwangi. Wilfred, (CPA class 1996) has experienced a career journey that is set to inspire many, as the gentleman rose in ranking from a slum dweller, to the Vice President of Citibank New York, to now a CEO of his own company, a befitting achievement.
Trizah – a Bachelor of Communications degree student at Strathmore, writes her impressions from meeting Wilfred, who gave a talk to Macheo students.
Who said that slums cannot produce great people? Who said that the color of your roof determines the kind of a person that you are? And who said that when you are from the slum you cannot make it? BE THE SLUM DREAMER.
Wilfred has written a book, The Slum Dreamer, which seeks to inspire and tell stories of challenges faced by slum dwellers in Africa.
I write this because of one great man who made it out of the slum, Wilfred Wachira Mwangi. Regardless of the many challenges faced in his childhood; robbery, poverty, peer influence and many others, Wilfred has proven that hardwork and determination can yield successful results.
Wilfred’s career path began in the year 2000 when he was a finance expert in Africa, before joining Citi Bank New York as a financier for a period of six year. He then moved back to Kenya and is the current CEO at Afripoint Capital EA.
My dear colleagues, no one knows the future apart from God. Wilfred reminiscences about life in the slum, where the use of a pit latrine was a rare occurrence. He says, ”before I left school, Strathmore college by then, I had to make sure that I visited the washroom so as to avoid many problems while at home. Nobody in school knew where he lived and I needed to avoid many questions from my peers.”
He could only afford one meal a day and during lunch hours, he would find his way to the school library where he would read during the lunch break. In class he sat at the front seat so as to leave as early as the lecturer would leave, in order to avoid questions from his friends; especially on why he never went for lunch with them.
Wilfred has since enjoyed great strides in his path, a factor he does not take for granted. It is with this gratitude that he enjoys encouraging teenagers from humbled backgrounds, not to ever give up.
Chase your dream and be determined. The road may be difficult at first, but with God you can make it through.
Article by Triza Nekesa