Nuru Mugambi is among the top brains in the country breaking all gender stereotypes by scaling heights and receiving international recognition.
Mugambi, who in 2016 was recognised by the former US President Barrack Obama and Eisenhower Fellowship programs, is again making headlines.
Mugambi, Director of Public Affairs Bankers Association (KBA), has won the Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement, joining Georgia State University’s international graduates celebrated for exemplary and long-standing professional reputation of achievement worldwide.
She graduated from the university’s professional MBA Program in 2008, and she is celebrated for her contributions to sustainable finance, spearheading inclusivity, and supporting SMEs to better run their business.
However, her journey to greatness has been full of challenges. While in the US, she was forced to work as a waitress. She woud work during the day and attend classes at night.
Despite the fact that being a waitress helped offset bills, Nuru slowly came to the realisation that she could do more to build her career. This renewed drive landed her an internship at the world’s largest public relations firm, Edelman PR.
“I almost quit three times because my friends who worked in gas stations and other casual jobs made more money than me but my bosses reiterated that I was gaining invaluable experience. I was 19 and I desperately needed money so I scoffed at ‘experience’ but it paid off,” she stated in one of her interviews.
She further expounded, “My parents instilled in us the idea of striving for excellence and being the best in the room which helped me keep my compass because my friends could have easily influenced me. I’m glad I stuck to my guns and built up my experience, whether it was taking extra work or working extra hours."
In Kenya, her contribution to the banking sector is beyond measurable. She is the brains behind many technological advancements in the sector.
Mugambi spearheaded Kenya's Sustainable Finance Principles and a Capacity Buiding Program that has trained over 33,000 bankers. Apart from that, she is part of the team that drafted the Kenya Economic strategy.
She takes credit for designing the Kenya Green Bond Program, which established a green bond market in Kenya and facilitated the first green bond in East and Central Africa.
People living with disabilities have also a lot to thank Mugambi for. She developed the first digital accessibility for persons with disabilities framework for Kenya’s banking industry, democratizing access to banking services for people living with disabilities. Her design was a game-changer in the entire African continent, as it enabled more people with disabilities to gain access to mobile banking products.
Additionally, Mugambi is a single mother. At the age of 33, she was told that she could not make it past the age of 40 after being diagnosed with Lupus. Now at 43, she is more than grateful to be alive.