Grad School Diaries: The Struggle Was Real!


I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I updated this blog. Time flies.

What a year! I can admit that this year absolutely kicked my butt – I was the girl who was working full time and in Grad School part-time, all while trying to have a social life and failing miserably most times but as they say, good things take time right?

I am finally at the tail end of my current Grad School program and seriously considering beginning another.

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A chat with Entrepreneur Sanjeev Jandu on the challenges of running a Marketing Agency, the rise of ‘bedroom entrepreneurs’ and her latest business venture, Mahambi Market

You run a digital marketing agency called Breath Media, with an international clientele, that sounds very intense, what does a day in your life look like? 

Well, each day is totally different! Some days it’s admin in the office, while others it’s me on the move from meetings, to shoots, to online conferences. It’s unpredictable, but you know what? I love it! The hustle and bustle really drives me!

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Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020…

credit: GIPHY

Last year was quite a year. It was long, emotional and arduous. Even though I achieved a lot, I was tested in more ways than I could have ever imagined. While I am proud of the woman that emerged, I have to say that there are some realisations that truly broke my heart in 2019. In fact by the end of the 1st quarter, I felt burnt out and emotionally drained. Between a career plateau, a health scare and lots of relationship (family and friends) drama, I decided to take a step back and evaluate my life decisions.

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Binyavanga Wainaina 1971 – 2019

Photocredit: Kalamu

Award Winning Kenyan Author, Journalist and Activist Binyavanga Wainaina has passed on.

Wainaina was a celebrated author who made significant contributions in the field of Literature through works such as; Discovering Home , which won the 2002 Caine Prize for African Literature and Kwani, one of East Africa’s first literary magazines.

In 2003, he was recognised by the Kenya Publishers Association for his contribution to Kenyan Literature while, In 2008 he served as a Bard Fellow and Director for the Chinua Achebe Centre for African Literature & Languages at Bard College.

In 2014 TIME Magazine named him one of the “Most Influential People In The World”.

You can read more of his work here: Planet Binya .

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Kinyanjui Kombani On Winning The Prestigious 2018 Burt Award For African Young Adult Literature, Building A Career In Banking & Finding Time To Write

Photocredit: Kinyanjui Kombani

Congratulations on winning the 2018 Burt Award for outstanding African Young Adult Literature. How does it feel having won such a prestigious African Literary Award and where can we read your winning story, Finding Colombia?

Thanks! Of course, I am very excited. While I have won several awards (e.g. Top 40 Under 40, Kenyatta University Outstanding Young Alumni), I have never won one directly for writing. So this is a special one for me. The Burt Award is one of the most prestigious in Africa. The book ‘Finding Columbia’ will be ready for the market in the next few weeks.

Your career in Banking is quite impressive and it spans almost 12 years, yet you studied Education in English and English Literature at University. What made you shift and pursue a career in Banking?

It was a twist of fate that made me join banking. I was sitting at the Kenyatta University Creative Arts Centre with the chairman of the department, Prof. Emmanuel Mbogo, and my late friend Shibi. We were working on the KU Culture Week and were waiting for budget approvals from the university administration. Without the approvals, our hands were tied, so I borrowed the day’s newspaper. There was an advert for Graduate Clerk jobs. Prof. Mbogo urged both of us to apply. He reasoned that since banks (then) normally closed at 3 pm, it would be possible for us to go to the bank job, close at 4 pm and be back in KU for rehearsals by 5 pm. That is how I got the bank job! Neither of us knew then that when the bank doors close at 3 pm, is when the work starts!

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