Leah Nduati left Kenya 11 years ago for business and had made plans to return but the charm in Ghana swept her off that she relocated permanently.
She says that she left Kenya for Ghana for work but love made her stay there permanently.
“Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to work across Africa and experience the African countries,” she tells Alex Chamwada in his Daring Abroad series.
Before her departure in Ghana, Nduati had been working with a communication advertising firm, Oglivy and Mata. One of their main clients Silverbat Cinemas expanded their business in Ghana and asked her to help them with advertising.
That’s how she left Kenya in 2009. Once in Ghana, she discovered that there were numerous business opportunities compared to Kenya. She also fell in love with the culture and the people there.
“After working with Silverbat Cinemas, I set up my own communications consultancy which was called Bold Media Management,” she says.
Working for many companies in Ghana offered her a platform to meet and interact with Ghana’s political class including the then President John Mahama.
“In part of this consulting, we also had a client who asked us to do a brief in 2014 for the Ghanaian president at the time was going to a state visit to Kenya. So we wrote a small brief that he could go to Kenya with and drive conversation there with and from his visit there were trade agreements signed.”
Former President Mahama’s visit was the first Ghanaian leader to visit Kenya since the era of Kwame Nkrumah who died in 1972.
Nduati was the brains behind Kenya Trade Expo Ghana where a lot of existing trade opportunities were highlighted in May 2015. The Expo has been held severally since its inception in 2015.
Her ultimate goal is to unite Ghana more with Kenya through “trade, business and investment”. She has showcased Kenya as a top travel destination in Africa for holiday lovers in Ghana.
“I usually say I came for work but I stayed for love,” she says as she explains how she met her Ghanaian husband Nana Yao Lee who doubles up as her business partner.
Together, they have accomplished a lot in the business sector especially by fostering trade deals between the two countries.
The couple has increased awareness of trade policies in Ghana for Kenyans and fought for lower import-export tariffs to make business easier.
Nduati together with the Kenyan Community in Ghana were the forces behind the stationing of the Kenyan High Commission in Accra which has been instrumental in fostering trade ties.