TD Jakes: Building a business and spirituality inseparable

Televangelist TD Jakes (centre) addresses a press conference in Nairobi in the company of KCB Chief Executive Joshua Oigara (right) and Safaricom Chief Customer Officer Sylvia Mulinge in Nairobi yesterday. [John Muchucha, Standard]
American televangelist Thomas Dexter Jakes Senior, better known as TD Jakes, has stressed that building businesses is part of spirituality as he prepares to share tips on how to grow startups at an entrepreneurship summit.

Mr Jakes, who yesterday expressed his happiness to return to Kenya for the second time after more than 10 years, recounted how he started his business.

“I was first the CEO of TD Jakes Enterprises before becoming a pastor of the Potter’s House. And, TD Jakes Enterprises has all along been a part and parcel of Potter’s House,” he told a press briefing in Nairobi a day after his arrival on Tuesday night.

Common goals

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Jakes said he understands how start-ups work, how to survive and also how to bring like-minded firms into partnerships around sections with common goals and enhance everyday lives.

The businessman and author will be the main speaker at the 2019 Soar Africa Leadership and Entrepreneurship Summit, to be held at the Kasarani Indoor Arena tomorrow.

The Standard Group PLC is a media partner in the summit.

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Jakes also revealed that he has published a book titled Soar, and was delighted to take part in the summit.

Linking spirituality to entrepreneurship Jakes said: “Building businesses is also part of spirituality. I look forward to engaging in a conversation that will help in growing Kenya.”

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He advised those venturing into businesses that it is good to start small because even his business empire, started small. “You need to start small and be able to learn and correct the mistakes while small,” he advised.

Bishop Jakes reiterated that technology and social media are key in any entrepreneurship.

“If you are in business, digital media is something you should not avoid,” he said, adding that although he was advanced in age, he had not been left behind.

He reminded youths in business and those who want to venture into it that it is the struggles and learning from mistakes that finally bring success.

“This is how I made it.”

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He said he loves Kenya and its great people.

The summit aims to create a platform where leaders and business moguls can have a conversation on Africa’s economic progress.

Another notable speaker at the summit is Strive Masiyiwa, the Econet Group chairman.

Kenya Commercial Bank Chief Executive Joshua Oigara said they were keen on changing lives in Kenya and transforming the African continent using the summit.

“This is the beginning of a movement that is important to us and it is the reason we are bringing different kinds of leaders from Africa, especially from the private sector,” he said.

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Oigara regretted that for a very long time Kenyans have been blaming each other “and until the leadership takes the forefront to initiate change, nothing will change”.

Young minds

He believes youths have solutions to Kenya’s problems. He explained: “I am a strong believer that solutions to our problems will come from young minds. And that younger minds happen to be mostly in this continent.”

He explained that today and even the next 20-30 years, there is a way we can have that conversation and shape how to lead, but unfortunately, this is what we lack on entrepreneurship.

He termed the summit as a defining moment of that change. “Think about demography, the age and diversity of our continent.”

Sylvia Mulinge from Safaricom said the company believes in transforming lives.

“And to transform lives it is important for us to have right conversations, such as what will be taking place at the summit,” she said.

She added that the summit provides opportunities to connect to Kenyans.  

At 9.30pm on Tuesday, normal business at the International Arrivals section of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was temporarily interrupted following Jakes’s arrival.

According to the airport schedule, the plane carrying Jakes touched town at 9pm. However, he exited 30 minutes later, with security details clearing the way.

Jakes just waved at the crowds and traditional dancers who had lined up to entertain and welcome him.

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