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What pops into your mind when you think of KICC? For most, it’s just an old landmark. People know very little about the building which is what the CEO is trying to change.
Meet Nana Gecaga, CEO of Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) and a woman who has managed to completely raise the profile of the state corporation As we have known it.
During her tenure, there have been countless concerts held at KICC that, a few years ago would have been considered impossible.
She is working to change the image of the iconic building from ancient museum to a concert and event venue that can cater to different crowds.
She has been elected deputy chairperson of the International Congress and Convention Association–African chapter (ICCA), an international body that represents the world’s leading suppliers in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events.
In an interview with Business Daily reporter Jackson Biko, she gives an insight into her life and the challenges she has had to face to make people take her seriously.
As a relative to the president, most of the headlines you see when you Google her name, has the word president’s niece or something to do with her struggle with alcoholism.
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It must be tough to hear people say you got your position because you are the president’s niece
These past seven years, I’ve been labeled as the President’s niece, before that it was Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s grand-daughter or Udi Gecaga’s daughter. So, there are a lot of labels out there. But I think one that is emerging now is Nana Gecaga. It’s not that it’s been staged or orchestrated.
What exactly happens at KICC?
First of all, at KICC, we wear two or three hats, let’s say. We’re a landlord because we house government officials.
Secondly, we’re an iconic building. As an iconic building, we’ve sort of lost our sexiness. This was a landmark, a meeting point before the era of mobile phones.
Something not many people know is that; KICC’s average age for the staff is probably about 32 years or lower.
What have you managed to achieve as KICC CEO?
These past few years we have been fortunate enough to make a bit of profit for the first time. We’ve positioned it as an event and concert venue.
Every month we get requests for probably six concerts. We’ve had major international artists performing here in the recent past.
How do you ensure that people agree to your ideas because they are good and not just because of who you are related to?
I like to put testers out there. I will occasionally suggest very ludicrous ideas to see if the team will go along with it. I get angry when people agree with me just for the sake of it.
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So one thing I’ve made very clear is ‘Don’t always agree with me just because I’m the CEO’. That story of the emperor’s new cloth comes to mind. I want to be told when I’m naked.
Source: Business Daily