Back in my high-school days, a teacher saw potential in my accounting skills and encouraged me to pursue it as a career. Then, when I was working alongside a qualified finance controller, implementing various policy improvements at a car dealership, my desire to be an ACCA was cemented. I have since worked in fast-moving consumer goods, telecoms and the charity sector prior to setting up my own practice.
Nelson Mandela’s commitment to positively impact and change society inspired me. My own aspiration is to change the accountancy profession to positively impact the world, helping unleash suppressed creativity. On the personal side, my grandmother, Priscilla Abwao, showed me what it is to live a life of legacy that benefits others in society.
I set up my own practice for two main reasons. I had a difficult time climbing the corporate ladder, despite achieving some record-breaking results throughout my career. I also wanted a balance between income and impact. I realised that my strengths bloom in environments of high uncertainty, more often encountered outside a corporate setting.
My aspiration is to change the accountancy profession to positively impact the world, helping unleash suppressed creativity
Supporting SMEs is the perfect fit for me. It allows me to work on the ‘hardware’ of the business structure and the ‘software’, or mindset, of the business owner.I particularly enjoy working on the ‘software’ aspect through coaching. I find it satisfying to help a self-doubting entrepreneur work through the blocks in their mind. Coaching and transformational speaking come naturally to me.
Creativity is inside of us all. We have it in us growing up, but then it gets taken away from us. Reclaiming your creativity involves taking back the core of your identity, detaching it from your test scores and getting back in touch with your dreams. This permits you to think freely, create unapologetically and live abundantly, which has a positive impact on the profession and greater society. I’m proud to have been selected to sit in ACCA’s Global Forum for SMEs. I’ve also written a book about creativity called Blow the Lid Off!
Most of my career has been outside my comfort zone, especially outside my core function of finance. My biggest career risk was taking a business development role in a telecoms company where most of my salary was tied to sales commission. It meant learning to change my compliance-based approach to more of a growth-and-results mindset.
If I had law-making powers, I would remove the borders in Africa, allowing for free movement of people and resources. And if I weren’t an accountant, I’d be an engineer – I had plans to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and study electrical or robotic engineering, but life took me on another course.
Outside of work I love scuba diving, snorkelling and other water-based activities. I also enjoy travelling, hiking and meeting new people.