Sheila Mwanyigha, media personality and Managing Director at Rembesha Kenya
It’s easy to be afraid of the unknown:
A lot of people have reported heightened anxiety because of the crisis, but when things get tough and I face uncertainty, I always go back to what I know for sure – that there is a God, and there is always a plan even when I don’t see or feel it. And to never act on fear.
I cope by staying active, checking up on my family and friends and trying to keep to my normal routine as much as possible. Self-care for me means not being afraid of being in my own company. So, I’m doing more yoga at home, I’m walking a lot more when I can, and I’m spending less time online on information that focuses on sad news.
I work from home but since the coronavirus crisis, the big change for me has been adopting to even more telephone conversations and virtual meetings. Also, certain aspects of production have been suspended until we get the all-clear. The biggest hit has been on the events front as people can’t gather anymore; all events have been postponed and some even cancelled.
I enjoy what I do:
I enjoy what I do and every day presents a new set of opportunities and challenges. It’s great to chart out your day and map out what works and when it works. It’s great to have a say in what your schedule looks like. I also have a great team of individuals who have walked with me through thick and thin.
My approach to leadership is a blend of democratic and coaching styles:
I worked with different leaders in the past, and they taught me about the leader I wanted to be and the leader I didn’t want to be. I listen to ideas and concepts and allow for expressions of these ideas. When they work, they really work, but when they don’t I try my best to get over the upset quickly, and together with the team, figure out solutions.
Best career advice I’ve ever received:
The best career advice I’ve ever received is to say yes to opportunities, even if you have to learn on the job. Trust that you can learn, that you can be the best, and that you can make something of your life no matter where you start. I’ve grown in ways I never imagined. From being a voice on air to running a station, programming it, and making it the top station in Kenya.
I’m proud of the person I am becoming every day. Life is a great journey if you stay open to evolving. If you’re stuck in a career rut, be honest with yourself. What more can you do? If you need to go back to school, go and get that degree. If the environment no longer serves you, then prepare for new territory. If you need more challenges, ask for more responsibilities. Also, never settle for less.
I’m currently listening to:
I’m currently listening to The Best of Miles Davies and reading The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey. I love the book because it’s a compilation of short stories from different personalities on the question we all ask ourselves (especially when things aren’t always working out): what’s my purpose? Miles Davis was one of my late father’s favourite musicians, and now that I have more time on my hands, I’m making a study of dad’s favourite singers. The music is incredible.
As a media personality, I handle engagements with corporate clients in need of my services, which include corporate communication and media training, marketing, voice artistry and hosting. As Rembesha Kenya managing director, I watch over the operations of Rembesha Kenya, a lifestyle and wellness magazine that has transitioned from a print and digital issue to a fully online magazine. The re-launch has since been postponed due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but we intend to be up and running by our fourth anniversary in June.
My morning routine is simple. I wake up, pray and meditate, spruce up, then have breakfast. I’ve gone off milk, and I really enjoy a plain cup of coffee or tea with no sugar once I’m done. After breakfast, I settle down to work for an hour or two before heading out to the gym. Well, this was the routine before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, I’m adjusting to home workouts but I miss the gym and the camaraderie there.
I try not to have meetings too early in the day, but I do make some exceptions now and then. Depending on the day, after working out, it’s straight to meetings or concept pitches with different members of my team. I usually have lunch at about 3 or 4pm and this keeps the second half of my day going.
On some evenings, I may work late, especially when reading articles submitted by the writers, or scripting and going through edits of the conversations for my online channel. But I’m usually done for the day by 10.30pm. I hardly go out during the week as I could be working late from home, or reading a book, or on occasion bingeing on a series.
I don’t enjoy a meal at night because I don’t sleep too well on a heavy stomach. I will eat something light before 7pm. Over the weekend, I enjoy catching up with friends but this is on hold because of Covid-19, so my weekday routine easily carries through the weekend now.
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