- Esther Katiba believes the workplace should be more than just a setting for financial transactions, emphasizing that employees now prioritize a conducive work environment over mere monetary rewards.
- She understands the power of nurturing the whole generation through visiting schools, transforming communities by empowering women, and appreciating security officers’ vital role in maintaining order and safety.
- She urges CEOs and managers to try and understand what the common person down there is going through.
In a world that often seems consumed by pursuing material success and wealth, some rare individuals dare to challenge conventional notions of what truly matters.
Esther Katiba, an author, motivational speaker, astute organizational culture consultant, and certified HR practitioner, stands tall among those who have dedicated their lives to unlocking the potential of others and transforming workplaces into nurturing environments.
Ms. Katiba is also a Legal professional and Workplace Mental Health Champion, and her focus extends far beyond traditional corporate realms.
“I am very keen on employee experience,” she told Scholar Media Africa’s Wanjiru Karangah in an exclusive interview.
She believes the workplace should be more than just a setting for financial transactions, emphasizing that employees now prioritize a conducive work environment over mere monetary rewards.
“Employees are leaving employers for lesser pay if the environment is not conducive,” she reveals startlingly.
A supportive environment affects employees’ productivity and job satisfaction and ripples outward, profoundly influencing relationships within families and society.
While it is important for you to consider your bills and other things, it is also important to consider yourself and whether you’re stable enough to care for yourself and your family.
She urges the CEOs and managers to try and understand what the common person down there is going through.
“The iceberg of ignorance says only 4% of CEOs know what’s going on; 96% have no idea,” Ms. Katiba shares.
Self-care is not selfish
Today’s world is demanding and fast-paced.
Ms. Katiba has, over time, been passionately advocating for a paradigm shift in our approach to self-care.
She reminds us that when our bodies whisper “rest”, we must resist the urge to push ourselves further.
Instead, by truly listening and responding to these signals, we can experience transformations in our well-being and productivity.
She emphasizes the importance of understanding our capacity and not pushing beyond limits.
That way, we open the door for renewed energy, enhanced focus, and the ability to think more clearly about our achievements.
Rest is not a sign of laziness or weakness but an important part of sustainable success and personal growth.
With digital connectivity, it can be challenging to separate consuming social media and work emails.
In efforts to impact the police officers in society, she has visited Westlands Sub-county Police Headquarters and spoken to Gigiri, Runda, Parklands, and Spring Valley police officers, in an event hosted by their Police Commander.
You may find yourself carried away with work. Ms. Katiba encourages us to disconnect, unplug, and enjoy some alone time with ourselves and our family.
Switching off from the constant noise of technology allows us to reconnect with ourselves, fostering a deeper sense of inner balance and calm.
Self-care may manifest as moments of solitude, engaging in hobbies that bring us joy, or simply creating boundaries to protect our well-being.
Conversations with Esther
Conversations with Esther is not just like any other platform but a transformative force that seeks to inform, educate and rebuild mindsets within organizations and communities.
With a focus on matters affecting the workplace, relationships, productivity, and progress, this professional YouTube platform provides a safe space for candid discussions and deep insights.
Every Wednesday, Ms. Katiba, the driving force behind the insightful digital space, hosts fireside chats with diverse guests.
Such include decision-makers, industry players, and key stakeholders in diverse professional fields and ranks who share their expertise on various topics, from mental wellness to professional behavior and otherwise.
The discussions aim to promote accountability and excellence.
Drawing from her experiences in the workplace, she understands the significance of creating open dialogue.
“I have both good and challenging experiences,” she shares candidly, acknowledging the breadth of realities individuals face in professional environments.
She explains that this platform was born from a collective desire to address common workplace issues.
By bringing together influential voices and thought leaders, Conversations With Esther sparks discussions that challenge the status quo and inspire growth.
Passion radiates from Ms. Katiba as she devotes herself to empowering three distinct groups of people: women, children in schools, and security officers.
With women at the forefront, Conversations With Esther hosted a maiden event dubbed Wanadada Tufunguke, uniting ladies under one shared goal: promoting self-care among women.
Driven by a deep understanding of the needs expressed during virtual check-ins, she felt a profound calling to create a platform for women to speak up, be pampered, and prioritize their well-being.
With meticulous planning, she ensured that women could attend the event without the burdens of childcare or cooking, guaranteeing a much-needed space for rejuvenation and rest.
Wanadada Tufunguke left a lasting impression on the women who attended, shaping and equipping them for the future’s demands.
It provided a space for life-changing lessons, including taking pauses in life, involving God in everything, practicing self-affirmation, prioritizing “me time”, and embracing the strength in asking for help.
Ms. Katiba envisions even more intriguing future sessions, including monthly Zumba sessions led by psychologists and other specialists.
Nurturing the future
Ms. Katiba is passionate about the children in schools.
Reflecting on her experiences sitting on some disciplinary committees, she reveals a chilling reality: the sight of a child carrying a knife, a desperate act of defense, confronts educators and authorities.
However, upon deeper investigation, Katiba unveils a sobering truth—children’s greatest enemy lies within their environment.
The distressing accounts reveal suicidal thoughts among primary and high school students, echoing heart-wrenching sentiments such as “no one loves them.”
Inconsistencies arise, highlighting the urgent need to address the underlying issues that drive children to desperate measures.
Recognizing the immense pressure on teachers, who have become de facto counselors in addition to their academic responsibilities and personal issues, she underscored the importance of empowering educators.
With her heart set on making a difference, she aspires to visit schools, offering expertise and support.
She aims to transform school environments into safe, nurturing spaces where children can flourish by equipping teachers with the necessary tools, knowledge, and resources.
Empowering teachers enables them to address the challenges efficiently and acknowledges and supports their personal growth.
Supporting unsung heroes
In her quest to empower various groups, Katiba’s focus extends to a group often overlooked—our nation’s security officers.
Witnessing firsthand the challenges, she recognizes the urgent need for support and guidance within this essential profession.
An enlightening visit to Gigiri Police in the Westlands sub-county revealed a startling reality—the officers are not immune to daily hardships.
Engaging in a crucial mental wellness conversation, Ms. Katiba discovered a distressing pattern of spousal violence, alcohol and drug addiction, and the detrimental effects of these issues on armed police officers.
Exposure to traumatic events takes an immense toll on their well-being.
Security officers find themselves thrust into unimaginable situations—handling devastating killings, encountering domestic disputes that turn into violence, and bearing witness to the darkest corners of human nature.
Their role is not just one of enforcement but often of first responders in times of crisis.
The weight they carry, both emotionally and physically, is immense.
Recognizing the pressing need for conversations and support, she passionately advocates empowering security officers to thrive.
By providing a safe space for dialogue, she aims to equip these unsung heroes with the tools and coping mechanisms to navigate their demanding roles.
Ms. Katiba has been fully dedicated to doing this, pulling together experts that help fuel the conversations on things that matter.
The joy and satisfaction she feels when she walks away, knowing she has positively impacted someone’s life, fuels her unwavering dedication.
Her safe spaces, talks and initiative help create a community where people can open up and share freely. Every first Saturday of the month, she holds the Zumba class to help participants gain on diverse aspects of life, such as mental and physical health, self-care, professional growth and networking.
She understands the power of nurturing the whole generation through visiting schools, transforming communities by empowering women, and appreciating security officers’ vital role in maintaining order and safety.
Cognizant of the daily happenings in society, Conversations With Esther drives timely discussions set to handle contemporary societal issues.
“The nation has gone through issues of loss since covid, including loss of loved ones, jobs, relationships, divorce issues, childhood traumas and financial stress, among others, which have left our mental wellness dented,” she explains.
In response, Conversations With Esther has organized a grand event to be held on October 7, 2023, in Nairobi to provide a safe space for Kenyans to learn how to cope with loss and grief.
The full-day event will bring together psychologists and prospective employers and recruitment firms to bring hope and strength to the participants.
“It will be absolutely free for the citizens but we are seeking corporate partners to join in in every way and help us fund the event. We are calling on partners like hospitals, food companies, event organizers, recruitment firms, FMCGs, clinical psychologists, first aiders, pharmaceuticals, and any other entities and willing individuals to join in and help with the requirements of the day,” she urges.
Ms. Katiba, through Conversations With Esther, anticipates hosting thousands of Kenyans seeking different support and hopes that this will go a long way to bring emotional, psychological, social and physical healing.
Also, remember that every first Saturday of the month, the safe space hosts a Zumba session to refresh the participants and nurture them on self-care and related matters.
Join the movement
Now, dear reader, it is your turn to join Ms. Katiba on this journey of transformation and empowerment. You have the opportunity to be a part of something greater, to support her projects, and contribute to the lives of those she touches.
By supporting her initiatives financially and otherwise and chipping in wherever you can, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of school-going children, women, and security officers.
Imagine the ripple effect of your support—a child who finds inspiration and hope through an enriching educational experience, a woman who discovers her worth and becomes a catalyst for change in her community, or a security officer who receives the necessary tools and support to thrive in their demanding role.
Are you excited to be part of this initiative and join her in impacting souls? Feel free to reach out to her via her socials or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Remember to also watch past episodes of the insightful fireside conversations and the upcoming ones on her YouTube channel.
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Take action today and be part of this mission!