Accomplished Kenyan Woman Behind Safaricom's Operations

  • While Safaricom has for a long time been synonymous with the late Bob Collymore and the current CEO Michael Joseph, many might not have come across Sylvia Mulinge, the Chief Customer Officer.

    Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge, born in 1977, studied at St. Xavier Primary School and Mary Mount Secondary School, before proceeding to the University of Nairobi, where she pursued a degree in Food Science and Technology and graduated with first-class honours.

    Before joining the telco, Mulinge worked for Unilever in Durban, South Africa, where she served as the regional assistant brand manager between August 2004 and April 2005, after which she returned to the country and served in the Unilever country branch as the brand manager for Sunlight.

    Safaricom's Chief Customer Officer Sylvia Mulinge.

    According to her LinkedIn profile, her career with Safaricom began in February 2006, where she started off as the Prepay Product Manager before she rose to Head of Retail a year later and then General Manager of Enterprise Business, a position she held until March 2015.

    Mulinge then ascended to the position of the Director of Consumer Business in March 2015, staying in that post for three years before she became the Chief Customer Officer in November 2018, a position she holds to date.

    In June 2019, Mulinge was appointed the chair of the President's Award Committee.

    The President's Award is a self-development program for young people in Kenya aged between 14 and 25, equipping them with positive life skills to make a difference for themselves, their communities, Kenya and the rest of the world.

    Mulinge is also a Board member of Endeavor Kenya, a global group that seeks to unleash high impact entrepreneurs through the identification of role models for business and help them scale for impact.

    She also sits on the board of Shofco (Shining Hope for Communities), a local NGO which seeks to transform lives by addressing the impact of urbanisation on slums through the provision of education, healthcare as well as community outreach.

    During her tenure, Safaricom introduced numerous projects to support underserved members of society including the MPesa Foundation, Safaricom Foundation, Ghetto Classics and Blaze Be Your Own Boss project for the youth.

    Sylvia Mulinge and the Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph hold up a dummy ID card during Safaricom's 18th birthday on October 22, 2018.

    Safaricom also became the first African organisation invited to the leadership council of the Unstereotype Alliance, joining global brands such as Facebook, Alibaba Group, Johnsons & Johnsons, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Diageo among others.

    She also featured in's Top 100 Kenyans, 2019.

    Mulinge is also a mother of two children, Jason (12) and Jasmine (9).