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From a very early age, Andrew Mutuma believed that being rich was the most important thing in the world – a lesson picked from his military father and school teacher mom, the folks he simply describe in one word, phenomenal.
Having been raised by authoritarians, the smiley Country Manager of logistics firm Deutsche Post (DHL) certainly did not struggle with common youthful snags like alcoholism and drug addiction identical to his peers as he first stepped foot onto Nairobi School for his O-levels.
In short, he was ‘unpolluted’ in every sense of the word, so naturally he gravitated toward a career pathway entrenched into his family DNA until he successfully advanced with a Bachelor in Commerce at Daystar University.
“Having been brought up by strict parents I don’t think I had a chance to be in a place or an opportunity to relax. The biggest impact this gave me was to fully concentrate on what was required of me. There were consequences if I went contrary to those demands,” opens up the 41- year old during an interview in his office on Lusaka Road, Nairobi.
Andrew’s reflection on his job placements as a young job seeker saw him take up career in prestigious companies including TNT Express (another logistics company), British Council and Nokia International among others – and somewhere along that period he was retrenched three times from three different firms.
As you would expect, those were trying moments for him.
“They were being caused by change in business directions and I would be declared redundant, but you bounce back from those experiences. I made a few steps backward but ultimately it paid off over time,” says a man whose desire to be a priest is still buzzing.
“I’d wanted to be a priest while growing up but over the years you find yourself intertwined by responsibilities and you are forced to put such dreams on hold,” he says glowingly.
Remarkably, Andrew who has ambitions in politics has come into his own as a high-profile leader of DHL-Kenya, not merely tolerating the spotlight but leaning into it to focus attention on issues affecting the business and his team.
His employer recently ranked the best company to work for in Kenya, in a statewide survey overseen by audit firm, Deloitte.
His typical day starts as early as 5am and leaves the office slightly past 7pm and when not in his day job, Mutuma is involved in training on strategies in sales and business management.
He’s however not ashamed to reveal he occasionally grinds Miraa or Khat as a reminder of his rich tradition and heritage. “I’m not ashamed, where I come from it is normal to fodder Khat.’