Seanice, the high flier
By Shirley Genga
Pulse: How do you feel about being the, Programmes Controller at Capital FM and the Programme Director of the whole Capital Group (CNBC Africa, Capital Radio Station, Registered Capital Digital Division, Capital mobile etc), at only 26 years old?
Seanice: It’s a little overwhelming and challenging but those who know me, know how I love competition and get a thrill from challenges.
P: What do you feel about those who think that you are too young for your job title?
S: Everyone is entitled to their opinion and yes, there maybe others who may deserve the position but they are not as committed. When I first joined Capital I was just a radio presenter and I could have gone home at 10am after my morning show but I love to work and look for challenges, so I asked my boss if we could start a kids’ club for Capital and he loved the idea. In 2005 Capital Kids Club was born. It was such a success, we got a deal with Inscore, the group that owns Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn and DHL later came on board. The client sector has just grown. In 2007 when Somoina, the then Programmes Controller went on leave, she handpicked me to take over. I was a little scared but I loved the challenge. Last year when she was moving to join CNBC Africa, I was appointed head.
P: How did you and your fiancÈ, Christian, meet?
S: We first met in 2004 in Kampala, at the time we were good friends and I was involved in a relationship that was not going badly. When that relationship ended, me and Christian (Grounlud) would just hang out. Slowly our friendship grew and we realised we were meant for each other. We first got engaged on my 24th birthday. We were to get married last year but I lost my younger brother. It was a sad year and we decided to postpone the wedding day.
P: You were really close with your brother, how did you deal with his death?
S: There was a time when, if someone would ask me about my brother, I would refuse to talk about it but let me try. I’m the firstborn in my family, and if you are a firstborn, you always have to be the strong one. I would only break down in front of my brother, we were that close. So when he died, I flew back home and as usual I put on a brave face for my mum, dad, sister and everyone but when I came back to Nairobi, life became hard. I would find it hard to get out of bed. Luckily for me, my fiancÈ who has been through depression picked up on it. So he took leave and stayed with me for a month. My fiancÈ likes to draw so every morning he would draw two ducks, stick them on the mirror and put a beautiful message that would give me hope and make me laugh everyday of that month. When my brother died, I took down all his pictures, because it was hard for me to look at them without crying. Maybe one day, I will be able to put his picture back up. His death anniversary is this April.
P: Have you and your fiancÈ picked a wedding date?
S: I’m not sure if I should tell you but anyway, our wedding day will be on December 31, in Uganda. We wanted to pick a date that would ensure few people came (laughs). Actually, we picked December 31 because it will be around the holidays and our house, which we have been building for three years, will be ready. So we will have both a wedding and a house warming party.
P: Give a little detail about the matrimonial home you have been building in Uganda for three years now?
S: What I love most about the house is that it has a one-acre garden; it’s just so beautiful and green. The house has six bedrooms and three bathrooms. It is a three storied house, the top floor will have the pool, the second floor has the bedrooms and the first floor will have the living and dinning room as well as a kitchen. It will also have an African theme.
P: Can we expect one of those big and exaggerated weddings that most celebrities have?
S: No, don’t hold your breath. My wedding will not be an extravagant affair. It will be very simple. In fact if I had a choice it would be a small marriage ceremony in our garden and then we can have some tea after, but my mother would kill me if I didn’t have a church ceremony. So we will have a church ceremony and the reception will be on the garden in front of the house we are building. It will be a very small ceremony, I want only my family and friends around. I don’t want to have strangers in my wedding.
P: Word has it that you own two horses?
S: When people ask me why I bought a horse, I simply tell them, some people spend more than Sh100,000 on beer in a month but I choose to spend it on something that I love, it’s all about priorities. When I was younger, my dad would take us for horse riding and that was when I fell in love with horses. Also working with horses teaches one patience and perseverance.
P: Where do you ride your horses?
S: Every Saturday I get up at 4am to go riding at Ngong forest. Getting up at 4am on Saturday when I don’t have to work is not very easy but it helps me instil some discipline. When I first started riding, it was all about relieving my childhood moments but because I’m a very competitive person, I began to train seriously and I’ll soon be entering a race, maybe as early this month. My trainer has even told me that I’m better and more disciplined than some of the jockeys.
P: When it comes to handling money, how do the two of you manage?
S: Christian and I are very different when it comes to spending money, I’m flashier and he is very simple. He drives an old Pajero, which we call old lady, and I drive a BMW. Of course we tell each other when we are planning to buy something big, like when I wanted to by my BMW I told him in advance. The other day we both invested about Sh20 million, he provided three quarters of the money and I provided a quarter.
P: You have accomplished so much yet you decided to go back to school to do your masters?
S: My philosophy is, success is the enemy of best and I try to always improve myself and to do something more. It’s also about keeping an edge. The world is very competitive and constantly changing and if you want to succeed you have to be educated. So this year I decided to go back to school, I’m doing my MBA at Eastern Southern Africa Management Institute.
P: What is it that people don’t know about you?
S: A lot of people don’t know that I used to swim competitively; I even represented Uganda in swimming at the nationals. My favourite stroke is butterfly but I started getting broad shoulders so I stopped swimming competitively but I still do it for fun.
P: Have you ever had any stalkers and how you handle them?
S: There was a guy who used to follow me around and even text my location and my car registration number. It was very unnerving and I dealt with it by ignoring him and not fuelling the fire. The other stalkers I have had to deal with were actually nice people to begin with (both men and women) but then it got weird when they wanted to be in my life! Again it was just about ignoring them and being careful not to be in strange places alone — sometimes you never know!
P: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
S: Ten years from now I’ll be 37, because my birthday is on June 3rd! So I definitely want to have good experiences under my belt — loving family and at least 60 horses!! A riding school! I would also like to be involved in the media still. But most importantly I just want to be happy.
Biased against dreadsI watched the grand finale of The Presenter and I was very angry and disgusted. Although Edith won, the manner in which Koome was discriminated against because of his hairdo left me seething with anger. Since when did we start judging a book by its cover? Whatever happened to judging one ‘by the content of his character?’ That is why we as a society are unable to condemn the designer suit, briefcase
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