Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Francesc Miralles
My choices change over time but my current recommendation would be ‘Ikigai’, which is about realising what you love, what you are good at, what you can get paid for and what the world needs. If you do things which tick all these boxes, you can live a happy, fulfilled and long life.
Ann McCreath, Founder and MD, KikoRomeo
Who Moved My Cheese? By Dr Spencer Johnson
I really recommend this book for people who find themselves stuck in life. It helps you expect and embrace change, and use it to better your own lot in life.
Vimal Shah, Chairman and Co-founder of Bidco Africa
The Power of Now by Ekhart Tole
This is a game-changing book I read about six years ago. It focuses on life now not in the past or the future.
Gillad Millo, ex-diplomat and musician
Map 4 Life by Glen McQuirk
This is the one I would recommend to everyone because it gives practical tools for navigating life.
Dorothy Nyong’o, Director, Africa Cancer Foundation
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
I call this the entrepreneur’s bible, and it is for any entrepreneur who wants to understand the mindset of a successful entrepreneur. It is a very old book, but the author did great research and once you read it, you realise that most successful entrepreneurs even today have the mindset he talks about. It is easy to relate with and talks about how to handle business, how to dream and focus on things.
Brain Gacari, CEO of Property Reality Limited (PRC)
Living Where You Belong by Dr Cecil Stewart
It has helped me to discover the potential I have in me as a person, in my career, as a woman. It has made me refuse to accept mediocrity. I got it years back when he had come to preach in Kenya so I do not know if it is still available, but I keep re-reading it and it has helped shape my destiny.
Esther Wahome, gospel musician
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
This is a fantastic book - one of Obama’s favourite books as well. I read books because of the language, and this one is well-written and intelligent. It is an account of two different people and it is a very tragic book, but beautiful tragedy. The kind that as you read, you are bleeding but you are also smiling. It is a book, which when you finish, gives you a bad book hangover for weeks and you don’t want to touch another book because you are afraid your life is over and you will never find a book like that again.
Jackson Biko, writer
The Freeing of the Slaves in East Africa by Juma Mbotela
This is the only book I would recommend for people to buy and read. It was written by my grandfather, and it explains our history, from back when some Africans had been enslaved, and how the slave trade was stopped at Freretown thanks to Dr Battle Frere. Most of the people who live there, including my family, are descendants of slaves.
Leonard Mambo Mbotela, veteran broadcaster
Built to Last by Jim Collins
This book is based on research on companies that have lasted more than 50 years, and on companies that were in the same space but have since collapsed. It is a great read that dwells more on timeless principles that get companies and institutions to remain relevant and get results consistently. It also focuses on innovation and talks about how companies and institutions must innovate in order to succeed. I apply a lot of it in my leadership.
Chris Khaemba, director and co-founder Nova Pioneer Academies and former principal of Alliance High School.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
This is a fantastic book that everyone should read as long as they are human. It helps you understand human beings better, how we have evolved and how we got to where we are.
Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom