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@iLabAfrica Business Manager Emerges Top at the CFC Rising Stars Awards

Tirus Wanyoike Kamau -Business Development Manager at @iLabAfrica Research Centre Strathmore University, is one of the proud finalists of the recently concluded CFC Stanbic Bank Rising Stars competition, the Professional Services category. His award included, a recognition certificate and a chance to enroll in the Rising Stars Network Program; which comprises of South Africa’s finalists from the last four years and Kenya’s 2014 finalists.


The Rising Stars awards begun in South Africa in 2012, and was introduced in Kenya last year through the main sponsors- CFC Stanbic Bank, making the recently concluded competition the second one to be conducted in Kenya. The awards’ purpose is to publicly recognize, celebrate and connect young talented people who have a capacity for achievement and success, who contribute in an inspirational manner to the future of the nation. The candidates must be between ages 28 -40 years old.


The competition had over 100 contesters from Kenya, drawn from various fields of specialization; it had ten competitive categories which included: Banking and Financial Services, Construction & Energy & Chemicals, Entrepreneur, ICT (Telecoms & Technology), Manufacturing, Retail and FMCG, Media and Marketing, Professional Services: Public and Private, Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality and Transport, and Logistics & Supply-Chain. Each category awarded 5 finalists.


The competition comprised of three phases. An initial assessment form/questionnaire filled by the contestant; those who qualified moved to the semi-finals where  each contestant was required to send a report from their boss or supervisor, and write a 2000-word essay about themselves  including their achievements and education. The final phase involved an interview before a panel of experts. 


Tirus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Science and a Master’s Degree in Molecular Medicine, although his professional life is on Information Technology (IT). He has worked with various IT organizations over the years and his motivation and commitment comes from wanting to lead by example. He mentors young upcoming entrepreneurs as well as his teammates, and watching them succeed gives him the determination to improve the IT industry. The chance to join the Rising Star Network, and a pool where he can interact and exchange ideas with likeminded individual will aid him to achieve his goals.


The Rising Stars Award not only assesses and recognizes young, inspiring and exciting leaders in the country, but it also establishes a development and communication platform where young Kenyan talent will be nurtured and mentored, enhancing their capabilities as role models, opinion leaders and motivators.


“The unique thing about this competition was that it was interactive. It was based on a series of interviews and not from general voting by people. You are taken through a vetting process that validates those achievements. It is a once in a lifetime chance, and now that I have had a chance to participate in such an enlightening competition I’m looking forward to other competitions in different fora,” says Tirus.