How confidence and a clear sense of purpose leads to fulfilling career path

By Candy Margaret Vizengwa

On Monday, March 11, the School of Communication, Cinematic and Creative Arts hosted Mr. David Kimondo, Head of Communications at the East African Breweries Limited. The journalism students undertaking Public Relations and Organizational Communication course with Dr. Daniel Omondi had an interactive session with the guest speaker. Mr. Kimondo shared his remarkable journey from being an economics major at the University of Nairobi to a seasoned Public Relations practitioner.

He recounted his bold move to approach a newsroom during his student days, showcasing the impact of fearlessness in shaping a career. In the words of Mr. Kimondo, “I asked one of my friends who was working for the People Daily, a local newspaper whether I could go in and do something. He was gracious enough to organize a session with the managing editor.” That’s how he confidently pursued business writing at the local newspaper with a promise that he would offer a fresh perspective as someone who has studied economics and is passionate about writing. Having this experience with a media house forged a clear path into the world of Communications and Public Relations.

He soon joined Gina Din, a Public Relations firm for two years where he handled the Kenya Airways crisis in 2007; a plane crash in Douala, Cameroon. He has also worked with SCAN Group, Hill & Knowlton strategies, Redhouse Group and currently at the East African Breweries PLC and managed several brands including Coca-Cola, P&G, Airtel Africa, Microsoft Mobile Devices (formerly Nokia), Twitter, Barclays, Safaricom, KCB, among others.

With an insightful exploration of the Public Relations world, the students were reminded that Public Relations entails crisis management, but doesn’t necessarily mean ‘sanitizing evil deeds.’ During an interactive question and answer session, social responsibility and sustainability efforts undertaken by EABL were put to light. This includes commitment to gender equality, environmental conservation efforts through re-cycling of alcohol bottles, creation of job opportunities through sorghum farms, among others. According to Mr. Kimondo, handling both internal and external communications is core in Public Relations. It is one of those roles that makes the profession important but still not understood by those not familiar with the field.

In his journey from a University of Nairobi economics student to the Head of Communications at a major company, Mr. Kimondo stressed the importance of confidence in pursuing one's passion.
The session was a testament to the idea that confidence and a clear sense of purpose can lead to unexpected and fulfilling career paths. As journalism students aspire to navigate the dynamic world of Public Relations and Communications, David Kimondo's story serves as an inspiring reminder to be bold, always be ready to listen and have a different perspective.

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