Known for his groundbreaking interviews with A-list celebrities across the globe, Harun Momanyi is a Kenyan-born and raised lifestyle and entertainment journalist. He covers all things fashion, luxury, music and pop culture.
He has notably interviewed top international celebrities, including Hannah Lux Davis, Yemi Alade, Vanessa Mdee & Susan Bennett.
His work has appeared on reputable publications including Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa, OkayAfrica, The Star and others. Apart from being a journalist he is a youth empowerment expert and career advisor. He has worked with UN SDSN Youth as a Global Schools Ambassador. He has also had several accolades, including being a BBC Komla Dumor Award finalist and a Forbes Africa 30Under30 nominee.
For people who don’t know who you are, who is Harun Momanyi? What is he well known for?
Harun Momanyi is a Kenyan celebrity interviewer, lifestyle writer, talent manager and brand communications strategist based in Nairobi. Harun is a Contributor for Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa and OkayAfrica. He has been a P4G Young Influencer with the DTU Skylab at the Technical University of Denmark and a Global Schools Ambassador with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. In 2018, he was nominated for the Forbes Africa 30Under30 list and shortlisted for the BBC Komla Dumor Award.
What intrigued you to start your blogging platform?
To share practical knowledge with young people in Kenya on education, training and career advancement. I myself have gone through tough phases in life, from struggling to work from age 18 to fund my campus education to working hard to advance my career.
Through the in depth interviews I do with movers and shakers mostly entrepreneurs in Africa and around the world, I impart knowledge on young people on how to gain the necessary skills to be successful in their own right. From CEOs to musicians to film directors, all have offered amazing insights into their day to day career undertakings, inspiring others to be the best they can be.
What has been your greatest achievements so far?
In 2018, I was nominated and shortlisted for the Forbes Africa 30Under30 list by ABN360. I was also finalist in the prestigious BBC Komla Dumor Award. I was also made the Country Ambassador (Kenya) for Youth Opportunities, the largest opportunity discovery platform for young people across the globe. Through this role, I act as a bridge between young people and personal development opportunities.
Economic inequality is at an all-time high and could pose a threat to the Kenya Vision 2030 goals. How can the government turn this around?
One of the things hindering this goal is corruption. It is quite hard to land even the simplest of jobs in Kenya without parting with something in return. However, as part of measures to fight economic inequality, I believe the government should increase technical courses in higher institutions of learning. Doing so will give rise to a new wave of entrepreneurs and thus fight unemployment in the country.
Among the many hats you wear is being an SDG advocate. How did you figure out your passion for the global goals?
Being a journalist, I discovered that along the way, a career cannot be fulfilling without giving back to the society. I therefore decided to venture into social missions and more so youth empowerment, which enabled me familiarise myself better with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 quality education.We are heading towards the fourth industrial revelation that will be based on technology and soft skills and hence my main agenda is to create a generation that will focus on education as a tool to change the society.
Which challenges have you had as the Global School Ambassador under the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative?
Lack of funding since this is a voluntary role. But I am in talks with a few corporates in the hope that I’ll get the much needed support to traverse various schools across the country.
Which big brands have you worked with on your platforms?
I have done blog reviews for brands such as Uber Kenya, Crowne Plaza Hotels, Bentley Nairobi, Kempinski Hotels, GQ Insider, Park Inn by Radisson – Nairobi and Condé Nast International Luxury Conference.
You are the head of Kenya of a South African company called Reform Africa Group which seeks to address issues like youth unemployment how do you seek to address this in Kenya?
I intend to incorporate one of my personal initiatives into the group — fashion blogging. The plan is to work with models in the fashion industry and train them on how to build their online brands.
Where can we read your blog & which social platforms can we follow you on?