Georgie Ndirangu – Travel, Fashion and Business
For those of you who live in Kigali, the name Georgie Ndirangu is everywhere – on your screens, social media timelines and at different social events and international conferences.
Our reporter, Zwena caught up with him and the Kenyan TV host, MC and budding musician tells us more about his career, social life and future plans.
Who is Georgie Ndirangu?
I am a 29 year old Kenyan, African but a citizen of the world. I‘m a presenter and producer at CNBC Africa, I am a fan of travel, fashion and everything tech and business.
How did you end up in fashion?
My friends and I always loved to dress a certain way, basically being a step or two ahead of current ‘trends’ or the ‘trendiest’.
A very good pal, Afshon was already importing clothes, so it was a lot easier to align with that. The idea for “2DIE4 Fashion”, a company I started at the time, was to utilize this, and then take pictures, shoot videos, to publish on different platforms. A lot of friends grew into the limelight or already were, so organically; it became a lot easier to push events, agendas, projects and more. That’s how “2DIE4 Fashion” and it’s longevity was ideally maintained.
In Nairobi the demand of supply of models, creative directors, and photographers wasn’t as big as it is now and we were albeit lucky enough to spearhead such initiatives.
Tell us about your journey from being 2DIE4 Fashion founder to CNBC Presenter and Producer.
Right before I came to Rwanda, I was working at the ministry of housing in the accounting department.
I had just finished my studies in Actuarial Science and was hoping to pursue my MBA and when my contract ended, Afshon Wallace now running Afri delivery in Zambia, texted me and told me there was a logistic opening, in a company that was being set up in Rwanda.
He explained everything, what to expect and told me to come see him. I had never been to Rwanda so I asked my dad his thought on it. In his heydays, my Dad had been to Burundi, visited and worked as an accountant, and also had knowledge based on that particular time. When I got to Rwanda, I didn’t find what I expected. I was a little bit disappointed because the job or opportunities presented weren’t the realities on ground.
Radio 10 was opened at the time and given the relationship we had developed with the Managing director and Afshon Wallace, employment fortunately came, allowing me to be part of Radio 10. English being my first language and the ideas we had were a strong point.
At that time however, I had no journalism skills – so I would always follow journalists to the studio just to learn how they handled their intonation and voice.
Later I was given a chance to do 5 minutes with another journalist (Fiona Mbabazi), who trained me and taught me a lot, crucial to what I am doing now as well.
A little later, the owner, Eugene Nyagahene, decided to invest in the country’s first private TV, TV10.
They managed to get the people from the radio station as presenters because it was obviously more affordable and easier to get us. So, myself and two other journalists were the first to be called for the audition and we all got the jobs and that’s how I started. One and a half years, and a few interviews later, CNBC was looking for someone to fill in a slot and that’s how I got the job at CNBC.
Did you always know you wanted to be a TV presenter?
No! I wanted to be a doctor back when I was in primary till I reached 3rd year of High School when we had to review options, and then one of my teachers teacher said don’t take Actuarial Science because most people fail and I knew then that I’d always want to take the road less travelled.
What would you say has been the most challenging thing in your life so far and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been, growing in to myself. I was so curious about so much that I always wanted to associate myself with so much and I ended up losing myself. I found myself drown so much into what was happening or what is there. And I was so concerned about people’s feedback. So over the last 3 years, I found a way to give myself feedback and appreciation. I realized happiness was internal.
What inspires you to wake up in the morning?
Waking up itself is enough motivation, but I always set targets and my life is driven by achievable target so if I don’t meet them, I sacrifice all to meet them, I feel like I am indebted and I am always curious about the next challenges so I try to keep myself on my toes as much as possible.
I’ve also realised that since I am determined to be a prominent business journalist in Africa, people maybe look toward a lot of things I say on air. I have to be abreast with all necessary information.
This keeps me motivated to learn and research more, helps me become a good example to my juniors to grow into formidable journalists.
How would you describe your sense of style.
My style is very eclectic; I like to feel comfortable but three steps ahead of trends. I also realise I feel good when I look good, so I wouldn’t want to be in a position where I don’t look good.
Depending on the event and time of the day, it should be comfortable, fitting and portray some sense of style.
What does Ndirangu love doing when he is not at work?
I love listening to music, travelling, laughing; I like movies with cryptic scripts, dogs and interior décor.
Who is George Ndirangu when the cameras are off?
The comparison is pretty easy, when the cameras are off it’s the George that people see on Twitter and when the camera is on, it’s the Ndirangu that you see on Instagram.
What are George’s Hobbies?
Singing, swimming, dancing, athletics, football, volleyball, badminton , basketball, bowling, pool, video games, dressing up, art, travelling and hosting.
What is your one favorite place in Rwanda?
Nyungwe House, the most fantastic place I’ve ever been. I’d love to go for the Canopy walk.
Tell us something in Kinyarwanda
Come on! I’ve been here for a while now, you know I know a lot of things, such as “ndimurugo ndashaka kuryama”.
What next for George Ndirangu?
I am entering a new stage in life- ‘Thirty’. I am planning on investing a lot more, and set up a foundation to help impact up to a million lives.
What’s parting advice to many chasing their dreams?
Make sure you are doing it for all the right reasons.
Two, always try to put in all the time, do research and be knowledgeable of anything you want to become.
Put in the time and the universe will gravitate towards you and trust the process. And remember to stay grateful, prayerful and humble.