I help people with their money matters
Life always offers twists and turns, but with focus and determination, one can always strive to achieve the best they can.
For Liz Nkukuu, a mother of three girls, the pain and agony of watching her mother struggle to fend and educate her and her siblings fuelled her spirit to work hard to see to it that she could achieve the best in her life and profession.
“My mum really had to struggle with an unsupportive husband. It was those moments where as a child, you watch how she toils by herself and it breaks you leaving you wishing that you could do something to assist.
As I grew up, one thing I told myself is that I would make my mum proud,” says Liz.
Born in a family of four siblings, three girls and a boy, she grew up in Narok and immersed herself in farming right from an early age. “I was brought up in Mau Narok, a place called Melili.
This is an agricultural place. My mum was and is still a farmer; hence we did a lot of farm tilling while growing up. She planted potatoes, cabbages, peas and later on ventured into wheat farming,” she says.
She offers: “I was enrolled to boarding school (Ole Ntutu Arid Zone) at a very early age in Class Three.
During school holidays, we had to help in the farm hence there was a clear routine; wake up, prepare breakfast if it’s your turn, prepare and be in the shamba by 8am.
This discipline strategy worked quite well for us and proved to be important in our lives.
We had to work with other paid labourers and keep up with them, if not set the pace. This continued into my secondary school and campus days.”
Despite the struggles, Liz counts herself lucky to have attended some of the best schools in the country, including Moi Girls’ High School Eldoret, Strathmore School and the University of Nairobi (UoN). She holds a Masters in Business Administration (Finance option) and is currently pursuing a PhD in finance.
“My mum was a typical African mother. She protected us with all that she had and despite having not too much money, she organised her life in such a way that we did not lack.
We did not know neither enjoyed much luxury, but she taught us the importance of hard work and planning,” Liz explains.
Today, she is an accomplished investment professional and an entrepreneur.
She conducts investment trainings for individuals and corporates, something that has seen her climb the ladder in her finance profession.
“My aspiration is to help people make sound investment decisions for sustainable wealth creation.
We are living in difficult financial times, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic that has rendered many jobless.
Hence it’s important for people to plan and manage their finances wisely,” she says.
According to Liz, while growing up, she never thought that she would have a liking for the financing profession.
“I did not even know there was such a profession. In my mind, the options were an engineer, a doctor, an accountant or a lawyer.
From these options, my choice was either being an engineer or an accountant.
To fulfil the last part, I studied Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) at Strathmore University immediately after secondary school, which introduced me to other things. I am also a chartered financial analyst,” she says.
“I went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science at the UoN through the influence of some of my classmates in Strathmore, but was lucky to get an internship in an investment management company and that is how I got myself into the field of investments.
Lately, I am more focused on money matters at the individual and business levels because I believe that if I had known about investments earlier, I would have been more disciplined.
I would also have known the options that existed for me and taken advantage of them,” she adds.
The right path
Coming from a farming background, Liz tried her hand in farming a couple of times, but that did not work well for her, hence she knew where her passion and breakthrough would emerge through investments.
“In this field, there are many ways of giving back to the society and personally, I have chosen the path of financial literacy.
This is aimed at helping people make sound investment choices and even when one is not making the choice, they still remain conscious of the path they take regarding their finances,” she explains.
According to her, close to 200 people have gone through the investment training programmes.
“The aim is to ensure that we lay a foundation for investments. For the people who are ready to graduate into action, we now get into a 10-week programme of actualisation of the investment journey.
The path include creating a feedback loop and having some accountability frameworks for anyone engaging with us,” she says.
As a parent and career woman, Liz says she is happy to be a mother of three adorable daughters.
“They are so different in personality, which always brings me back to the point of thinking and meditating on the fact that we all have our different paths and despite being in the same environment, we are enabled and gifted differently.
I am that auntie who has turned out to be the mum to all my nephews and younger siblings, and who is always pushing people to achieve more for themselves,” she shares.
She is a strong proponent of work-life integration. “If a work opportunity presents itself and I can be able to drag my children along, I do it.
When on holiday and work needs to be done, I always excuse myself and attend to work. I have not felt the need to select one over the other.
I am have good nannies who do an amazing job with the children. I have a strong family support system in place too,” she says.