Former Business Daily journalist Kui Kinyanjui has landed a plum job in the United States as vice-president of communications at Wikimedia Foundation.
The San Fransico based nonprofit charitable organization is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content and providing the full content of wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.
Kui, the head of corporate communications at Safaricom, will replace Heather Walls, who transitions from interim chief of communications to leading the department full-time in the newly created role of chief creative officer. “We wanted someone who would bring a fresh voice, an understanding of emerging markets, and practical experience outside our current competencies,” said Katherine Maher the Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation.
This is being seen in Kenya’s media and PR circles as a score for Silicon Savannah, which is now exporting knowledge to developed markets.
As Vice President of Communications, Kui will report directly to Heather and oversee wikimedia’s traditional and digital communications efforts. She will be responsible for overall media positioning and coverage, critical issue management (also known as crisis communications), extending digital media strategy, products, and presence, and supporting organizational leadership with public communications.
“Kui also brings new and valuable skills that we’re sure to appreciate: first, a background in internal communications, which should help with improved information flows in our ever-more distributed organization, as well as a deep background in communications, campaigns, and marketing for emerging markets – sure to be a critical skill for our efforts around improving awareness about Wikimedia in places where we want to reach more people,” said Ms Maher.
Kui will join the Foundation in March after concluding her current position at Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest mobile operator and most profitable company in East Africa region. Safaricom is one of the leading mobile network operators in Africa, providing mobile and banking services to more than 28 million Kenyans.
“She brings deep communications skills, an incredible wealth of knowledge around emerging markets, and a passion for our efforts to reach beyond English-speaking audiences in our organization and movement communications.”
Before joining Safaricom Kui worked for Business Daily and other platforms within Nation Media Group, PC World, EA Magazine, Executive Magazine in Kenya, and 360 Magazine in Washington, DC. She has also worked in communications for IBM, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, and Media Moguls. Kui will be relocating from Nairobi to the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer of 2018.
Ms Maher says Wikimedia needed new skills and experiences. “We needed someone with deep experience in traditional communications areas, from public relations to internal communications. We wanted someone with experience in traditional marketing and product marketing,” she says. “Kui and Heather together bring the best of both worlds. Creative and communications, deep experience, fresh perspective, and a strong sense of our mission and community.”