Brian Mung’ei is a student of life who was born in Nairobi, raised in Nakuru and is now progressively getting moulded by Nairobi. He lives life through spending time with family, watching rugby, supporting Arsenal, travelling locally, loving a Ugandan and providing support to innovative individuals and companies who want to explore the digital space in Africa. In his spare time, away from the above life, he gets paid to figure out the Social Media strategy for Safaricom. He has a broad experience in the digital and Social Media field with over 7 years experience working for agency, NGO and now a corporate. In his other life, he does farming (website to place orders coming soon!).
We had a few questions for him and this is what he had to say.
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1. What was your first phone?
Nokia 3310. I think that phone used to drop itself on the floor in the middle of the night and sleep there…SMDH.
2. Between Facebook and Twitter, which one do you prefer? Why?
Twitter. Because everyone has an opinion and it gives them all the opportunity to air it. The difference is whether it is informed or just out of ignorance; though both will just fly. Facebook has always had an illusion of being a personal space but this is fast eroding away.
3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Not sure where I will be based, but I will be working hard to impact lives in Africa through initiatives that blend our traditional way of doing things blended with a tinge of digital spicing to make things effective. The focus will be on good governance and innovative agribusiness ideas.
But on a more serious note, I will be married with kids (two kids if still broke or three kids if I am already rich A.F).
4. Any question for us? We’ll publish our answer as well
Why are the questions not 21?
That’s a very good question. I felt that 14 was not too little and not too much. The questions are enough in that they touch on the important things. Also, most people I interview in this series are busy and so it’s important to have a number of questions that they won’t struggle to find time to answer.
5. What would you do if you were president for a day?
Well, I have been waiting for this all my life! I will do four simple things:
- Give a speech on live telly (..I do not promise but I may plagiarise bits of it. I will be President for only a day anyway, right?).
- Immediately bring back caning to all primary and secondary schools.
- Put in place measures to reduce road carnage by ensuring all roads across the country are marked (relevant painting and all signs erected etc at every single point) and then advance NTSA the mandate and power to arrest and prosecute offenders. NTSA has been highly effective (in putting fear in irate Nairobi drivers) despite the circumstances it operates in and thus warrants to be made an autonomous arm of the law working directly with the law courts requiring no need for a middleman (in this case, police officers).
6. What’s your favourite book & movie?
Favourite Book – Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. The book was recommended by one of my college professors during our MBA Strategy course. I have now read it twice! Yes, it’s all about strategy.
Favourite Movie – “Movies” boss, I think you missed the ‘s’ in the question, ama? Ok, top of mind I have The Godfather, American Gangster and of course, Star Wars. I also have a thing for movies done by The Wachowskis’ and Quentin Tarantino. Epic stuff there. I love movies.
7. Who or what inspired what you do now?
I will just generally mention them for now if you don’t mind. Details are for another day.
- My parents.
- AIESEC in Kenyatta University
- And finally, three different people that I have had the privilege of working with i.e at a digital agency, an NGO and in Safaricom.
I am not kissing anybody’s ass by the way, I have just been lucky to have great bosses so far in my career!
8. If you were to change jobs, what profession would you get into? Why?
I would totally get into full time farming. The fulfillment one gets after a successful harvest is quite something. You basically feel like you have created something from nothing. With some bit of tech in it, I think Agribusiness is what will make Africa shine. We are heading to what I now want to decree as the African Tech-agrarian Revolution.
9. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
10. Which 5 things would you want to have if you were deserted on an abandoned island?
- A phone – the Chinese ones with torches, power back up and TV – all these features in built.
- A book – to read and maybe use some pages to start a fire if the wood is too wet.
- My spectacles – to read the book with.
- An axe.
- And finally some whisky (10 litres or more) – Fuel for the fire as well. Yes, really.
11. If you were a car, which one would you like to be? Why?
The Batmobile. Because, geekiness!
12. If you could be in any band in the world, which one would it be? Why?
Bob Marley and the Wailers. Because, they always sang a lot of sense even when high. Which was, well, most of the time.
13a. What can you say are the outward signs of an organization that takes digital seriously?
High performance and increased ROI (return on investment) from the digital investments. You also get a perceived ‘increase in criticism’ as the organisation embraces open engagement with its customers. This is good, though the first reaction for most people is to think there is a drop in customer confidence in the brand which may not necessarily be the case.
b. What do brands look at before investing in a digital property (blog, website, app) or influencer?
This varies depending on what the goal is. But the key things that usually cuts across all campaigns are reach, quality of the reach and conversions.
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14. Share something interesting about yourself with our readers.
I find cutting vegetables really easy; specifically sukuma wiki and cabbages. How you ask? When on holiday breaks during my high school years, I used to help sell stuff at a mama mboga kibanda. This was back in Nakuru in the hood I grew up called Shabab.