I grew up in a mining town in Zambia. As a small boy, I could never have imagined I would one day be a manager at one of the Big Four firms in one of the greatest cities in the world.
In fact, I never imagined a career in accounting at all. I only got into the profession because, as the best-performing student in my business studies course at Zambia’s Copperbelt University, I won a Central Bank of Zambia scholarship in accounting and finance. After graduating I joined KPMG Zambia, did a master’s in financial risk management at the University of Leeds in the UK, returned to KPMG Zambia and was then seconded to KPMG South Africa. In 2020 I decided to relocate and joined KPMG in New York.
Small talk in the workplace is much more common in the US than in Zambia and South Africa
I have noticed a number of quirky cultural differences between the countries where I have worked. In the US, for example, there are more business meetings than in Zambia and South Africa. And even though all three countries use English, there are disconcerting variations in phrases and terminology in the US. Small talk in the workplace is also much more common in the US than in Zambia and South Africa.
I decided on a role in practice because of the opportunity it gives to work on different projects and gain various business skills. My plan was to stay in practice for a short while and then join a corporate, but as I enjoyed the work so much I never left practice.
Technology and analytics continue to be a key topic for most businesses
What I enjoy most about my job is helping clients solve complex accounting challenges. Every day is different as my job exposes me to various scenarios and transactions, so I continuously learn and develop and always stay up to date.
I also enjoy helping people grow in their careers. I myself benefited greatly from mentorship, and I love that my job gives me that opportunity to help others develop.
My big achievements include graduating top of my degree class and completing my ACCA while working at KPMG. Obtaining a master’s in the UK allowed me to travel outside Zambia and experience a different culture which was enriching. Becoming a CPA in New York and being promoted from senior associate to manager at KPMG US were also big moments for me.
Business communities are facing similar challenges with the current economic uncertainties. That obviously impacts their planning, decisions and capital projects. Technology and analytics continue to be a key topic for most businesses, especially with the rise in machine learning and analytics.
I discovered amapiano dance music when on secondment in Johannesburg
If I had law-making powers, I would implement universal access to healthcare. All people should have access to quality health services.
In my spare time I enjoy travelling and relaxing at the beach listening to Afrobeats, Zambian music and amapiano. A mixture of deep house, jazz and lounge music, amapiano is a funky dance genre from South Africa that I discovered when on secondment in Johannesburg.
Football is also important for me. If I weren’t an accountant, I would have wanted to be a professional football player, preferably – but not perhaps realistically – bossing the pitch in the shirt of FC Barcelona, my favourite team.