Dear 16-Year-old me: Serah Katusia, MediaCom Kenya Managing Director

“The world is your stage, go ahead, own it!” says Serah Katusia, MediaCom Kenya MD, when addressing her 16-year-old self.

Dear Serah,

Oh, how I miss the days reading Danielle Steel – by far the best fiction author of all time – under the mango trees in dad’s farm, skiving off chores. Those days seem like a lifetime ago.

What I love about you is that you are a real dreamer. I remember when you aspired to be a big-time lawyer in high heels and fancy shirts. “Yes, your honour,” you repeat in your head (and even out loud). Then there was your dream to become a fashion designer. Serah, I’m sorry to break it you but you can’t even draw. Don’t worry though, it’s natural not to know what you want at your age; things will figure themselves out eventually.

University will teach you that your real passion is in business, and you’ll study at KIMC in Nairobi, Oh, you will love college life! Liverpool University and Oxford School of Marketing! Don’t doubt your confidence. Interacting with students from all over the world is a fantastic way to learn about cultures, people and of course yourself.

After university, you’ll enter the world of business as an ‘Account Executive’ at TBWA/Redsky. However, after some years loving client services life you will find an industry made just for you… media. Becoming a strategist at Universal McCann will open up a whole new world. You will work on Coca-Cola (yes, Coca-Cola!) over eight markets in Africa. Wow, will you learn fast. This job will open up new possibilities and break the glass ceiling for you. Sometimes, there will be long meetings (when you won’t always understand what is being said), and late nights until 2AM (when mum will just think you are out partying). It will be rough, it will be tough, and you will love every bit of it.

After some time in other roles, including a four-year stint in Tanzania for communications agency JWT, Scanad and Round Trip, you will find yourself back in Kenya, this time, as Managing Director at a media agency called MediaCom. Here, you will find a company that will connect with all your core values. And you will quickly fall in love with Mediacom.

Getting to work with a team that is passionate, dedicated, and part of a fantastic global network will show you how much you love your job and remind you that you followed the right direction in life. You will laugh, fight, and argue over concepts, perspectives and data sets, but despite some disagreements here and there, you will truly love your team more than anything.

If I could, I would love to give you a pat on the back and let you be on your merry way, little princess. But, finally, I need to tell you: the world is your stage, so go ahead and own it!



Serah Katusia image today

Above: 16-year-old Serah, and Serah today.

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