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What you must know about career and finances

 What you must know about career and finances (Photo: iStock)

Eunice Mathu, a wife, mother, and grandmother is a businesswoman with several enterprises, and a professional in communication who enjoys giving back to society.

Starehe Girls’ Centre knows her as the Board of Trustees Chair. She is also the Vice Chair of the International Board of AMREF, among other major roles.

She proudly built her empire from scratch and now, the effort she put into her life speaks for itself.

“My father died when I was young so my eight siblings and I were raised by my mother. We knew what suffering was and we were aware of the hardships mum had to go through to make ends meet,” said Eunice.


With such a background, Eunice was so focused on success for herself and to make her mother proud. She watched her break her back to make sure they were dressed, fed, schooled, and had a roof over their heads and all Eunice had in mind was to pay her back for that.

“I had just completed my university education and was eager to go on with my career knowing my life depended on myself, not anybody else.”

Decision-making at this age can be challenging during this period and yet every decision you make affects your later years either positively or negatively. When in university, Eunice decided to never get married until she was fully independent.

“A lot of my colleagues at university got married when we were still students so when we were graduating, they were already mothers with children. I had made clear to myself that I would never get married until I had a stable job, a car of my own and I have an apartment where I am renting. That is my joy and pride because I managed to live up to it.”


Relationships, and not just romantic ones, are a big part of your 20s. Eunice, just like any senior in society emphasises the kind of friends young people hang around because they can either make your future or scatter it into a million pieces.

“What I tell young people is that they should know themselves and have values. This way, they will not be swayed by anyone who comes their way.”

According to Eunice, values keep you away from settling for anything interesting that is presented to you or that seems to serve a purpose at that particular moment.

“If you look at the current generation, some of them are in toxic relationships and quite a number are involved in alcohol and drug use. Your 20s are defining years. If you don’t do the right thing at this time, it may be too late to change when you’re 30.”


In terms of career, young people get confused and you hear them say that they are not sure whether to continue hunting for a job, to open a business, to start a church, or to go back to school.

When joining campus, Eunice wanted to do BCOM from Makerere University. However, this was during the Idi Amin time and the university was not taking Kenyan students. She went to apply to the University of Nairobi but the class was full.

Eunice ended up doing journalism ‘by accident’. As much as she wanted to do business administration, she was advised on a new course, journalism, and she decided to try it.

“I took the opportunity and I do not regret it. I don’t think I would have been anything or anybody else in life and enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed journalism. Young people should not tie themselves to one thing, they should have an open mind. It is important to also note that God sends you into paths that you thought would not work but they end up working even better. Grab the next opportunity and run with it.”


Advising young people on finances is not easy. This is a group that does not have a job, they are either in university or have left and they don’t have money so they are dependent on other people.

When Eunice was at this age, she had a lot of opportunities coming her way. She did freelance journalism while still a student since at that time, employment was easy to find as long as you were well-educated.

Students had access to finances including boom funds from the government and many of them had savings when they finished school.

“Young people, there is no little money not to save. If you are getting a thousand shillings, put some aside for a rainy day. Money management is important and the earlier you train yourself the better.”

The background Eunice had when growing up instilled a saving culture in her and for this reason, she managed to buy her first car during her second year of working. “Of course, I took a loan from the company but I had the confidence to know that I would repay because I was managing my money.”

In addition, Eunice urges young people to live within their means and not try to have a life someone else has. “Young people ask for unbelievable salaries and you can tell it is because they want to have the life the employer has not knowing the he/she has put in a lot of effort for her to be where she is.”


Sustainable self-care in the 20s is crucial and comes in many ways. It could be spiritual, mental, or physical. “Invest in your body when you are young. I have seen many people who are my age asking how I maintain my body and it’s because I invested in it when I was young. I have always been very active and a gym person.”

Because of her love for physical exercise, Eunice invested in a gym, which was one of the first and most successful fitness centres in the country.

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