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#WCW: Njambi Mungai - From Software Engineer to Head of entertainment

Celebs 101
Njambi Mungai
 Njambi Mungai is the head of SDE  Photo: Courtesy


By Sheila Kimani (@sheilakimm)

SDE is currently the largest entertainment website in Kenya and the person behind it; a software engineer. Njambi Mungai has been instrumental in starting and growing this Standard Digital brand, but it hasn’t been all smooth sailing.

Born and raised in Nairobi’s Dagoretti estate, Njambi attended Riruta Satelite Academy for her primary school before proceeding to Pangani Girls’ School. Her choice of career at that point was Law or Veterinary Medicine owing to her love for animals.

But mother dearest stepped in and gave her different campus options. This saw her go to Finland, Helsinki for her undergraduate degree in Information technology at the Helsinki Metropolia University.

“My mother was determined to get me exposure so she got me to Helsinki and I must admit I was not very excited to leave the country.” Njambi said.

While in school, she juggled classes with different casual jobs to make ends meet.

“I grew up so fast when I landed in Finland. There was barely any time for play. It was either school or work,” she pointed out.

Soon after school, she worked in Nokia Siemens, a telecommunications company based in Finland where her she got to exercise her software engineering and technology skills.

After several years, she returned to her homeland, Kenya.

“The course I had done for my undergrad was not one that made me happy. It was impersonal while I like interacting with people and seeing change happen. I needed to find something that would make me happy. To realize my passion,”

On arrival to Kenya, Njambi was determined to make a fresh start despite not knowing where to start.

While looking for a job, she started writing about the matatu culture and the habits that are uniquely Kenyan. Unknown to her, the blog developed a following and soon enough she discovered that people enjoyed her way with words.

Meanwhile she got an internship with a travel agency, Africa Point where she not only worked in the IT department but also saw her develop content for the website.

"No, I did not see it as a downgrade. I was happy as a writer. I could write morning, noon and night. The secret to happiness is discovering your passion," she insisted when we asked about her move from engineer to writer.

She soon started getting calls to write for magazines, tourist companies and hotels.

After successfully applying for a job at the Standard, Njambi got a sub-editor’s role which saw her start and grow SDE, the entertainment brand that has now grown by leaps and bounds.

"Mine is a combination of writing and knowldege of technology. I understand the backend of user experience and website design while creating content to be consumed on the front end. I also have extensive knowledge of social media and content marketing" she states.

“I believe that SDE is not just writing about entertainment. It is about knowing your audience, listening to them and creating content for them. Above all it’s about mobilizing and encouraging the team behind the brand to create a unique product. That is the secret to SDE's success” she continues.

Despite the challenges she has faced in her line of work, Njambi prides herself in having mentored many young writers in the job. In a few years, she hopes to have developed her skills, and started projects that will benefit Kenyans at large.

“I have a passion for projects. Seeing it from conceptualization to realization is the most amazing feeling for me. Guess it stems from the fact that I am not afraid to start over.” Njambi concludes.

On the rare occasions that she takes a break from her work Njambi likes to read, travel and enjoy good wine.

With a passion for her work and a determination that has seen many young people look up to her, Njambi is a force to reckon with. It is for this reason that she is our WCW today.


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