Often times, when one is asked why they chose to attend a particular institution of higher learning, there are certain expected responses but when I asked our Alumnus of the week Mutahi Muriithi this question, the answer I got was definitely not in the list of those expected responses. Mutahi Muriithi is the Founder of Ltcaezar Communications, a company committed towards managing social media and online presence of its clients. He is also an alumnus of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, class of 2013; having graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Microbiology. Yes you heard me right. The founder of a communications company is actually a graduate in Medical Microbiology. I know you’re curious as I am to find out exactly how Murithii found himself in a career so distant from his area of study. Let’s go back to the beginning.
When I asked Mutahi Muriithi why he chose to pursue Medical Microbiology at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, his immediate response, and I quote, “When I joined JKUAT, I pursued Medical Microbiology due to a number of factors. Top on the list was that I was becoming a problem at home, and my old man wanted me in school.” I totally didn’t expect that response, but Muriithi further enunciates that other that, there are several people in his immediate family who are in the medical field and so it was only natural that they advocate for him to join them. Despite the twist of fate that landed him in JKUAT to study MMB, he made a strong resolution to study hard and perform well in his studies.
What was your learning experience at JKUAT?
At JKUAT, I received what would turn out to be the best quality of instruction that I had had in my school life. I practiced a little Medical Microbiology before and after graduating. I found that I easily fit into different work environments ranging from research laboratories and hospital diagnostic laboratories. The course I was studying is heavily dependent on practical experiments, field visits and independent thought. We also had fun time with the practical experience during field trips. By the time I left JKUAT, I had travelled well all over the country visiting different places where Medical Microbiology skills are applied.
So with a professional training in medical microbiology, how did you path divert to communications? Why the shift?
This is always something that few people understand. My talents are in organization, planning, improvising, strategy
formulation and other areas. These often find little use in Medical Microbiology since it is a field which is quite rigid and heavily regulated. The regulation is understandable since in medicine we are handling cases of health and any mistakes or errors could result in massive damage including loss of lives. You will not be allowed to improvise or do potentially dangerous experiments in the medical field, neither should you try to be too clever in it. When I graduated from JKUAT, I put my Medical Microbilogy skills to practice for some time. I then started carrying out small campaigns online to expand my side hustle that was in content development for websites. Gradually, I shifted to doing digital communications full-time. I then founded my own company and built networks to tap business. I knew it would not be easy, but I was ready to face the challenges that would come my way.
Has the training you received at JKUAT helped you in anyway? If so, in what ways?
The training I received in JKUAT is very important in my current field. There are key skills that I learned. Carrying out tests, analyzing results, drawing conclusions and reporting are very important in communications. Additionally, I got a strong sense of social responsibility and ethics while at JKUAT. Today, I have built my company to operate as ethically as possible with constant consideration of other people in the areas where we operate. Towards the end of my course, I had a few units in entrepreneurship which came in very handy when I was setting up my own communications company.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
In the next five years I should have firmed up my footprint as a leading communications leader in East Africa and possibly branch out into the African continent.
Any parting shot based on experiences you’ve had so far?
In life there are oranges and lemons. However, they are not the only fruits. If life gives you lemons, find someone who is suffering from a cold, and sell them the lemons at the highest price possible. With the cash from the sale of lemons you can buy whichever other fruit you wanted to have.
Compiled by Susan Mburu