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Don't be afraid of disappointing

Achieving Woman
 Ruth Mueni works with the Presidential Communications Service as events and branding officer (Photo: Ruth Mueni)

WHAT DOES YOUR JOB AT THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE (PCS) ENTAIL?

As events and branding officer, my role is pegged around public communication, events as well as the press. It is about working with the PCS (previously the PSCU), which helps to execute diverse roles according to daily functions and projects. It is a privilege to serve in government at a young age, and being here is quite different from what one experiences in the corporate world.

YOU RECENTLY WON THE 40 UNDER 40 AFRICA AWARD UNDER PUBLIC COMMUNICATION AND ADVOCACY.

I was elated about the recognition, which put me in the global space. The win gave me a platform at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), where I am the East African regional coordinator. It also helped get me a Head of State Commendation. I have since started to get good referrals from across the region.

MANY YOUTHS DO NOT FIND IT LUCRATIVE TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNMENT. HOW HAS IT BEEN FOR YOU?

I would say coming from a radio background this was different and at first, rather hard. Besides, I always wanted to work with the government more so in State House, even when I was on the radio. Being in government is like being a student of everything. Here, protocol is everything as the government has a bureaucratic way it operates. If you are mentally prepared, the government is a good place to work. Being civil-centric here is key. It takes teamwork to succeed, so it is never about who is taking the shine. There are many opportunities in the government that young people can take up.

WHICH OPPORTUNITIES ARE THESE?

Most young people are aware of these opportunities but do not pursue them since they might not want to go through the processes. The National Government Affirmative Action Fund addresses the plight of vulnerable groups through enhanced access to financial facilities. They can access government tenders. Through government support programmes, the young can access education outside the country for higher learning, where they would increase their exposure and networks. The Ministry of Youth and Sports has opportunities to create entrepreneur hubs that can be used for training in various youth-related careers.

 HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY WORK FOR YOU?

I have a financial advisor, who helps me set financial goals. I have invested in shares, a lot of shares. I am positive about the money market. For money to work for you, you need to be disciplined. Also, plan well and be firm in the decisions you make. You do not need to have millions to acquire property. You have to have goal value for your money. For example, I have six bank accounts for different purposes. Banks are more friendly and can advise you on financial issues too. I always tell my friends to spend less and save more. I believe people should live within their means and avoid peer pressure. It helps to have a side hustle that brings extra finances to the table.

WOMEN SEEM MORE ADVANTAGED THAN MEN WHEN IT COMES TO FINANCIAL MATTERS...

Indeed, women have more financial options. More than ever, financial institutions are willing to offer women loans to fund their projects. In addition, women seem to have more solid financial goals. They have cell groups where they discuss financial matters at every opportunity they get, and they have partners for different financial agendas and goals.

WHAT PRINCIPLES DO YOU EMPLOY AT THE WORKPLACE?

I insist that people should learn to be honest and articulate issues from their hearts. They should also learn how to say no. My inspiration came when I realised I do not have to please everyone. That is when I started to follow my instinct. I learned to get mentors who can inspire me to the next level of my career. I started learning from coaches how to survive and when faced with challenges that it is not always when you win. It is good to live a life where decisions are pure and more so aligned with the agenda of your life. It has to be high vibration from positive energy.

YOU ARE SAYING THAT PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID OF DISAPPOINTING IF THEIR INTENTIONS ARE PURE?

I realised that it is okay to disappoint people, as long as I am comfortable with my decision. People who genuinely care about you will not judge you for making decisions that suit you. I have a ‘kitchen cabinet’ with a list of friends - my partner, business associates, my spiritual leaders, and my mentors. I also take time to learn from other people’s mistakes, failures, and victories. 

WHAT DRIVES YOU?

I love to achieve, push every goal and meet my dreams. Succeeding in life is key for me. I am a leader, and I am intentional about by set goals, so every win is a stepping stone to the other. I am also intentional about how I profile myself and have clarity on where I am in life. My father taught me how to pray and remain focused.

IT ALL SOUNDS LIKE WORK AND NO PLAY…

I have fun and always create time for myself to rejuvenate. I do travel a lot and do diplomatic dinners. I dance a lot and attend concerts because I love creativity. I also go to church and create time for that special one. And when I say that special one, well, yes, there is someone whom I will introduce to the world shortly.

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