Esther Kinuthia: Miss independent

I am curious. What is the story behind your blog and show Miss Independent?

After a heartbreak, I decided to be single and become very successful. Much as I have managed to hit certain milestones, Miss Independent is now a representation of a youth that is not waiting for opportunities, but is going out there to create them.


Like Taylor Swift, ‘I am intimidated by the fear of being average,’ are you? Why?

I just can’t be average, it’s not in my DNA.

What was your childhood like and how did you transition into your teens?

The best. I loved loved my childhood. I had so much fun, I played a lot, climbed trees, fought with kids, extremely creative – I was always so happy. I was more of a tomboy who was also feminine if that makes sense. This contributed to my current confidence and go-getter personality, while still being very lady-like.

Is there a way of getting rid of the handout mentality that majority of Kenyan youth have?

Life will teach them the hard way, unless they are lucky enough to always get opportunities handed to them without much effort.

You seem to have a knack for fashion. Any tips to the young women out there?

A priest once advised me to always dress up as it uplifts your moods. I made it a personal commitment to always dress up. Yes, buy one expensive item on a monthly basis. My wardrobe is full of expensive items, but I have accumulated them over a period of 2 years. Quality over quantity. I also dress my personality; you will never find someone that dresses like me. I say dress the way you like.Be you, do you.


How has it been like working with Suzie Beauty?

There are really no words to describe how amazing Suzie was. Every African youth needs a CEO that will believe in them like Suzie Wokabi did with me. All you need in life is an opportunity to show the world how great you are, I am glad she gave me one when I had no portfolio.

What is it like working and living in a foreign country? What skills do you see yourself bringing back to Africa in the future?

The only downside is that I get home-sick a lot. I love Kenya and my people so much, so it’s tough being away. It’s also a challenge to invest properly as you do not get enough time to do research on existing opportunities. There are many good things about living and working abroad. As a result of working in Google’s EMEA headquarters, I have interacted with people from around Europe, Middle East and other African countries. You learn how to see people beyond their colour, and simply how to talk to anyone from wherever they are from. Sometimes I say things such as “sawa” to my colleagues because I am so used to them I forget they are not Kenyans. I have been here for almost 2 years and so far, I can bring international relationship management skills, an international mindset based on the different businesses I have consulted with from Africa and Middle East.


Who are your mentors and what have they taught you?

At the moment I don’t have specific mentors. I believe in learning from everyone around you, especially if you are around smart people such as Googlers. I am however keen on getting specific mentors this year for certain objectives.

There’s a new YouTube channel in town…how exciting! What is ‘Pan-Africa Youth?’

Pan-Africa Youth is a channel that seeks to equip the African youth with inaccessible knowledge which they could apply in solving challenges as a result of the tough economic situations in Africa today! There are many things we are not taught in school. I try to share it on my channel.


Let’s go back to 2014. Back to the moment you were nominated as a top 40 under 40 woman by the business daily. Did you dance a little?

If I could go back to 2014, one of the things I would change is to enjoy my achievements a little bit more. I was focused on achieving more and more, but now I strike a work-life balance where I take time to really enjoy my achievements.

Top 40 under 40 women 2014
Top 40 under 40 women 2014

On a light note. I have a celebrity crush for Oprah Winfrey because someone told me I smile like her. Who’s yours?

Any CEO that invests in Africa is a crush of mine. For me investing in Africa is the sexiest anyone can do right now.

You once dreamt that you met Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg? What inspires you about these two men?

Barack Obama’s speeches are a guide on how to deal with office politics and undesirable situations. Just when you think you are facing challenges, you realise that The President of the United States has to deal with terrorists, racisms,Black Lives Matter and so much more. He thrived in adversity, with little room for mistakes, so there is no reason why anyone else can’t succeed.

Mark Zuckerberg’s trip to Africa inspired me in a way I will never forget. It was just unbelievable that Facebook’s CEO would visit 2 African countries, eat our food, wear a suit for the Nigerian President, go on Safari, talk to our start-ups and continue talking about Africa with so much knowledge on his LIVE videos. For me that was HOPE and a sign that Africa is growing tremendously.

What is your vision for the African youth and where do you see yourself in five years?

The African youth are moving in silence. My role is to make knowledge accessible to them through my blog and YouTube channel as a philanthropic contribution to the upward trend. I see myself as a happily married wife, mother and entrepreneur in Kenya.

What is the beauty of true friendship in your view?

It’s one of the things money can’t buy, no matter how rich or successful you are.

What is your life motto?

Refuse To Be Average! Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you should. Lead your own Life!

With Dr. Chris Kirubi
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