If you are born poor, it’s not your mistake but if you die poor then it’s your mistake- Bill Gates.
Financial awareness and management is an important area of our lives but few of us actually realize this. That is why our economy faces challenges in its growth. We should motivate ourselves to discover ways of investing and creating businesses. Only then can we create massive opportunities for ourselves and for posterity.
Meet King’ori Muito who is making a difference by using his financial expertise to empower Kenyans to secure their financial futures.
Presently, he is in his final year of a Masters in Finance from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in collaboration with the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. His postgraduate degree builds on an undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce (Finance option) degree awarded in 2010 from Strathmore University.He has undertaken several courses in Law, Banking and Finance at Monash University in Australia.
WHO IS KING’ORI?
He is a thirty five year old accomplished financial consultant who is committed to developing this country by increasing economic activity especially of vulnerable people groups particularly the youth. He has been variously involved in advocating for a sustained and constructive engagement between youth and various stakeholders on development. In 2015, he was a finalist in the World Bank Kenya #EndPovertyinKenya Blog Contest and also participated, as part of the local organising committee of the inaugural UNCTAD Youth Forum.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am the Managing Director and Lead Consultant of Longhorn Capital Investments Limited. I work on conceptualising and developing investment vehicles that are premised on offering investments to ‘below the pyramid’ individuals that are low cost, high volume and commercially viable.
My consultancy assignments have been in various areas including agribusiness, renewable energy, medical diagnostics and real estate. Presently, I am a financial consultant with Markem Limited. Markem offers a comprehensive suite of skills including project management, design and construction for real estate developers and investors. At Markem, I am principally involved in financial modelling, analysis and transaction structuring for our clients.
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION AND MOTIVATION?
I am passionate about demystifying financial services. My desire being to see Kenyans increasing their participation in the economy through ownership of entities other than those they have started. I wish to see people developing businesses of their own and to sustainably grow these businesses.
I am also passionate about mentoring young people and advocacy for young people and their issues. Most notably, I have served in an advisory capacity on the Board of Directors of ANPPCAN (African Network for The Prevention & Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect) and SAPTA (Support For Addiction Prevention And Treatment In Africa), both NGOs working on children’s rights and substance abuse amongst youth, respectively. In July 2004 to November 2005, I was a Lead Tenant with the Melbourne City Mission (CIAO programme) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia dealing with youth transitioning through the Australian welfare system.The programme gave at-risk children the possibility of interacting with adults and preparing them for adulthood outside of the welfare system.
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE?
Age is a major hurdle. Few people can trust a thirty five year old with their money. There is a misconception that we as the youth cannot deal with finances which is quite sad because a lot of young people have proved the opposite.
Financing investment related businesses is very expensive as I have witnessed this in my own enterprise. The entry level investment capital and working capital act as high barriers.Lastly, the space for engagement is very limited for personal financial consultants. A lot of people do not realize our importance and hence it becomes difficult to engage with them on matters related to preparing of financial models, investing and others.
TELL US ABOUT #BLOG4DEV
The blog for development contest is run by the World Bank. It gives Kenyan youth an opportunity to voice their ideas on development, in line with one of the major goals of the World Bank that is to end extreme poverty.
My submission was based on changing people’s mindsets. It is my belief that one’s advancement or lack thereof begins in their thoughts and thought process. Unfortunately, the problem with poverty is not found in lack but rather in the situation of sustained lack; that I will be poor tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after…A situation that deprives one of hope.
Without hope one has nothing to live for, nothing to justify their daily existence but also no future goal or endeavor to work towards; a most dangerous predicament.
I have found that the above holds true so much so that the reason poverty continues to prevail in Kenya and generally in Africa, despite the numerous efforts at its eradication, is that poverty robs the individual of hope by subjecting that individual to a basic hand to mouth existence. This has been further compounded by the myriad of interventions that have been premised on handouts with limited impact beyond the project. This coupled with poor planning and divisive ethnocentric politics have entrenched poverty as a way of life.
There is also something to be said for a need to shift the mindset of benevolent actors. So often people classified as poor are treated as though they are helpless. Thus, and most unfortunately, many interventions are designed largely as handouts that justify the existence of the actor more than they uplift the lives of their beneficiaries.
So how then can poverty be eradicated albeit even slightly? I believe the real solution lies in addressing the individual and their mindset through a series of interventions that reward and reinforce personal initiative and enterprise.
My focus was on the fact that we need more social enterprises which solve problems and generate income at the same time. We also need to support what people are already doing by basically supporting their ideas. This will enhance ownership and move them to a higher level. This approach can be extended to realise opportunities for youth especially in emerging areas in the creative economy, entertainment, sports and social media.
The competition opened many doors for me such as having lunch with The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yon Kim and also an opportunity to engage with the World Bank Kenya team on various development issues. Through these avenues, I have been able to pass the message that we need to change the way we look at issues and the engagement with youth as a key stakeholder in Kenya’s economic and social development.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS?
In February 2016, under the Global Youth Trade Alliance, an initiative spearheaded by the Vision 2030 Youth Entrepreneurs Associates, I participated in the formulation and pitching of a concept note to the Office of the Secretary General UNCTAD proposing a 3-day Youth Forum alongside the UNCTAD14 Ministerial Conference. This resulted in my co-option into the Local Planning Committee where I served as the Chair of the Finance and Procurement Sub-committee and the holding of the inaugural UNCTAD14 Youth Forum on 18th – 22nd July, 2016 at KICC in Nairobi Kenya. This provided an avenue for youth to voice their ideas in areas of development, infrastructure, education, finance, trade and development among others.
I have also been a guest speaker on Personal Financial Management, Investments, Business Planning and Strategy and Personal Development. In addition, I have been featured at the Barclays Shared Services Team (2012), the Awaken Your Potential Program by Gibebe and Nimira School of Leadership (2011) and the Sista2Sista Pennywise! Make money work for you Forum (2010).
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE YOUTH?
We are the future and it is our responsibility to know what we want and pass the message to those in power in a sustained and co-ordinated voice. We must also understand the key issues in our country such as those related to employment, financial services, health, education e.t.c. We must be ready and willing to participate in all facets of our lives including the political including such as elections and voting for the right leaders.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH?
Let us get together and be really good at what we do. Further, let us learn to engage with older people and learn from them. We ought to understand the system that runs our country.
WHAT IS YOUR PARTING SHOT?
Life is good, life is fun, seize the opportunity!