June 25, 2010 – Múkami Kinoti Kimotho is her name. A woman who by the look of things is truly going places and after reading this interview (which she found time for despite her very busy schedule) you will certainly not be convinced otherwise… I promise!
CL: What have you been up to since you left KTN?
Múkami: I have been doing everything I can to live my life to the fullest!
I moved to the US a little over 12 years ago, to be closer to my siblings and to pursue my Master’s Degree in Organisational Development and Communications.
On the work front, my degree catapulted me into a dynamic career as a Management Consultant and in various leadership capacities in the areas of Organisational Development, Talent Strategy, and Global Diversity & Inclusion; working for a global USAID-funded management consulting firm and then one of the largest Wealth Management firms in the world.
I continued to engage my passion in media and the performing arts over the years (primarily in the vocal artistry, modeling, production and media relations arenas), including doing quite a bit of work as a freelance, international correspondent.
One of my prouder achievements was being able to start my own media company – maWazo MEDIA – and producing a self-created mini-documentary of the then Senator Barack Obama and his journey’s impact on Kenyans living abroad.
This translated into a full-fledged coverage of the Presidents’ inauguration ceremony and celebrations hosted by the Kenyan embassy last year.
I view service to others as the highest possible honor one can have, with giving back being a critically important element of a fulfilled and well-rounded life.
I am particularly passionate about issues that affect women and girls, so aside from various community-development initiatives I have been involved with over the years, I am on the Board of Directors of the Women and Girls Foundation of South West Pennsylvania, and on the Advisory Board of the Our Reading Spaces Foundation (Atlanta).
Both organisations allow me to help move the needle on two issues that I am passionate about: Gender Equity and Child Literacy.
On a personal front – I feel truly blessed to have met my husband and soul mate here in the US, and together we are growing a family and are aggressively chasing after our dreams and greatest potential.It’s been a whirlwind of a time!
CL: How did you stumble onto this grand opportunity?
Múkami: Timing is everything – and in this case, it was perfect! I actually walked away from an incredible 10+ years career in the Corporate arena just about 3 months ago, so that I could dedicate my time, energy and gifts in the areas that truly mattered to me – one of which was building the flagship WEB Television arm of my media company – MúkaTV.
It’s as if the universe itself conspired to ensure I was truly on my path to destiny; because within a month or so of my departure, Oprah Winfrey made her first announcement about an upcoming Talent Search competition that would present the winner with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host their own television show on her brand new network – the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
When life unfolds in this manner, you do NOT have a choice in the matter (if you want to make the best of it) – you must surrender to it! And so I did….
CL: Break the whole process down – How will the ultimate winner be chosen?
Múkami: Competitors have two avenues through which they can participate in the competition:-
– Participation in a live audition at one of four US cities (New York, Dallas, Los Angeles and Atlanta).
Producers will make selections from both the online and in-person auditions – and these individuals will go to Hollywood for a more detailed screening and selection process. The individuals with the top 5 most votes in the online auditions are guaranteed a spot at this (Hollywood) selection process.
The votes only get you to the judges table in Hollywood! Ultimately, producers will then narrow the list of competitors down to 10 finalists that will participate in a reality-TV series, which will be broadcast on the new Oprah Winfrey Network.
The winner of the reality TV series then gets their OWN show!
CL: If you get this what ideas do you have for your talk show?
Múkami: My mission in life is to leverage powerful communication platforms to tell stories that are globally and socially relevant. I’m also committed to giving a voice to those with diverse perspectives.
The talk show platform will allow me to tell stories that truly matter to a global audience. Stories on ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary feats for themselves, their families, their communities and the world at large; Stories that humanize the celebrity experience – so that anyone listening to them comes away with more than awe…
These stories will reveal those elements of the shared human experience that we can all relate to – that result in encouraged, inspired and motivated spirits!
My show will be relevant to all manner of people, from all walks of life and will tackle topics, themes and ideas that truly matter to all of US. It will be a show that does more than entertain.
It will educate, inspire, challenge and empower us to be responsible global citizens, and to participate in making a meaningful difference in life!
CL: Do votes from other countries count?
Múkami: Unfortunately, VOTES (click on the green ‘VOTE’ button) only count if you are a resident of the United States.
That said, VIEWS (clicks on the ‘PLAY’ button) of the video audition from other parts of the world appear to count and may make a significant difference in terms of the overall visibility of the video. I’m currently on Page 1 of the most viewed video auditions – which is fantastic.
In order to maintain this very visible position that encourages more VIEWS and VOTES over these last 2 weeks of the competition, I’ll need multiple VIEWS (clicks on the ‘PLAY’) button.
So YES! People from anywhere in the world can help by clicking on ‘PLAY’ multiple times a day!
We do not have access to the statistics, but can track views and votes on those of us that submitted an online audition.
These numbers are updated periodically throughout the day and posted by the name and thumbnail of each person’s audition. One is able to sort the information by Category (I’m listed under Traditional Talk Show) and also by number of VIEWS and VOTES.
I should probably add that the actual competition ends at 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on July 3. This gives us less than two weeks to VIEW and VOTE for my video audition.
CL: Is this part of your dream come true?
Múkami: This is absolutely aligned with my dreams and plan for my life! It feels serendipitous and dare I say divinely orchestrated that the OWN Talent Search would begin around about the time that I chose to dedicate myself completely to my passion and mission in life. No matter the outcome of the OWN Talent search… the world has a lot to look forward to from my Web Television company MúkaTV that will launch later this year!
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As you would expect, the competition is fierce, particularly as we get closer to the final date – July 3.
My whole life’s journey has been about stepping outside my comfort zone to be the best that I can possibly be. As with all other arenas of my life, I have consistently applied a few principles and life lessons to this process: I place God first and surrender myself to His plan for my life, I face my fears and inadequacies head-on and with determination, I persistently pursue my goals as if the world is my footstool and ANYTHING is achievable (because it truly is!)
Múkami: The competition is getting heated – with the lead players engaging all their supporters to view and vote continuously. I need family, friends and supporters to do the same – particularly those based in the US.
Please make a point of clicking on the ‘PLAY’ and VOTE’ buttons at least 1000 (yes, a thousand) times a day over the next two weeks. This should keep me on the leader board and surely get the attention of the producers who will be making decisions on who gets to go to Hollywood soon after!!!
And most importantly, I cannot put in words how humbled and grateful I am for the continued support that I have received from my family, friends, colleagues and fans all over the world! The prayers, words of encouragement and inspiration, the hundreds and thousands of clicks on the ‘PLAY’ and ‘VOTE’ buttons have been phenomenal! It is the sheer dedication of this support system to my cause, that has propelled me this far and will help me fulfill my dreams. This entire experience has been life changing! That people would self-sacrifice the way they have to see my life’s purpose come to fruition is both humbling and inspiring to me. I have learned an invaluable lesson in the meaning of love!
I have never been more determined to give my very best now and throughout this journey, in honour of those that have loved and supported me through it all!
I am hopeful that together – we will get there!
…There you have it ladies and gentlemen! A true inspiration or what?… All the best Múkami.