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How American business mogul Donald Trump made my turning point

Her turning point came after she represented Kenya in The Apprentice Africa, spawned from the American reality show The Apprentice by American business mogul Donald Trump. Since then, Joyce Mbaya-Ikiao, 32, a mathematician, has discovered a formula to motivational speaking and inspirational writing

Who is Joyce?

I am an empowerment champion. My purpose is to empower people to be the best they can be. My personality, strengths, talents and experiences are all aligned to equip me for this very mission. Knowing this, living this truth, has completely changed my life and my work.

Day to day I do this working as a trainer and consultant. Also, I’m an entrepreneur running two businesses; Gibébé Ltd, which is a social enterprise, and CBI 360, a training and business advisory firm.

How do you balance family and work?

My various roles (wife, trainer and entrepreneur) complement each other because I love what I do. Finding the right balance is a process though and I am still learning. Every day I strive to ensure the people closest to me do know they are my first priority.

What is your family like?

My husband and I are opposites in personality, and this definitely creates an interesting dynamic between us. He supports and believes in my work and is constantly challenging me to learn and grow.

Is your life turning out the way you would have liked? And what would you like to change?

I would like to live up to the potential that God has given me. I would like to positively impact many more lives, not just in Kenya, but across Africa.

I have big goals and dreams and I continuously challenge myself not to get too comfortable but to keep growing. When I look at where I am now, I would say I am on the right path. I am happy about the direction my life and my work has taken.

How did you get started on this path of being a life coach and author, yet you have a background in computer science and mathematics?

Joyce Mbaya-Ikiao,32, a mathematician, has discovered a formula to motivational speaking and inspirational writing.
Joyce Mbaya-Ikiao,32, a mathematician, has discovered a formula to motivational speaking and inspirational writing.

As I progressed in my career, I continued to discover new skills and talents, one of them being the passion to empower others.

My real turning point happened after competing in The Apprentice Africa. I started getting invites to speak at various events and people would respond positively to my message.

I realised that this was a deeper calling and after some time, I decided to pursue it full-time.

I still do love Information Technology and merge this skill with everything I do. It has been exciting for me to use my IT skills to enhance my work as a trainer and consultant.

It has been years since you represented Kenya in The Apprentice. Did it have anything to do with your career path now in terms of values instilled, skills learnt?

It did influence my career path – It was a turning point for me. Being in that competition challenged me and also helped me gain confidence as I realised that there is so much more that I could achieve. My thinking expanded after being exposed to that world of successful executives and entrepreneurs.

Do you want to get away from being known as the girl who did The Apprentice? Yes, it has been a long time since, and I have moved on. I am grateful to have gained recognition in other areas. I had the opportunity to give a talk when Robin Sharma came to Kenya last year.

What are your proudest moments?

Having worked with various organisations and seeing the impact that Gibébé continues to have.

Speaking of values, who or what in life has been a big influence on Joyce as a person today?

My grandfather was a great influence and I talk about this in my book. Before he passed on, he challenged me to recognise the potential I have and live up to it.

My spirituality has also been a big influence. Anytime I have to make major decisions in my life, I trust that God’s will for me is greater than any plans I make and I look to my faith for the right answers.

What are you working towards achieving with Gibébé as a business?

Our vision is to champion the empowerment of the people of Africa and we are working towards ensuring that more people have access to quality personal development programmes, that can help them expand their skills, and grow in their lives and careers.

More and more we are using technology to complement our training workshops, this allows us to reach many more people. We recently launched a YouTube channel.

Any mantras you live by?

imaGIne (your success path), BElieve (in the impossible), BEcome (who you’re meant to be).

If you were told that anything was possible, what would a dream day be like for you?

Everyday where I have the opportunity to train and to empower others is a dream day for me.

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