By Prudence Minayo
Eunice Mathu is the founder of Parents Magazine, a popular monthly publication. Established in 1986, the magazine primarily focuses on family and relationships. Over the years, the monthly magazine has featured celebrities and politicians’ family stories among other topical issues affecting Kenyans.
Here is her inspiring story of Eunice Njambi Mathu as told by WoK.
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The entrepreneur was born on 7 April 1952 in Kikuyu Kikuyu Constituency, Kiambu County.
Background and Education
Her mother was widowed when she was four-years-old. Despite the challenges, she made sure that all her nine children got an education.
In school, she was very good in Mathematics and hoped to pursue a course related to it. Her desire to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce degree hit the rocks when she found the class full.
Disappointed, she enrolled for a BA course which she did not like. During admission, she explained her predicament to a lady who informed her about a journalism program that offered a scholarship. That was how she pursued journalism.
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After completing university in 1975, she became a writer for Nation Newspaper Limited, now Nation Media Group. Njambi went on to join Unilever, then East African Industries, and founded the communications Department.
She was in charge of producing a magazine for the company. This is what inspired her to start her own magazine.
She registered her company in 1981 and left her job in order to start her own magazine. At first, her boss thought she was leaving because she was newly married but she informed him that was not the case.
Njambi started a magazine called Consumer’s Digest after working with a consumer goods distribution firm where she was in charge of communication.
It was hard to give consumers the right information on how to use products and this inspired her to start the magazine.
She wrapped up Consumer’s Digest and in 1986, started Parents Magazine. It had taken two years to come up with the name. As a young mother at the time, she knew the challenges that mother’s were facing.
This inspired her to start Parents Magazine in order to speak on these issues among other things. They wanted something that would help young parents bring up their family.
The other inspiration to start Parents Magazine came after she worked as the assistant editor for the official publication of the United Nations Third World Conference on Women in 1985. The conference held in Nairobi challenged her to speak more about women issues.
They released their first issue in July. The magazine became a hit and at first edition covered topics, like, male infertility, pregnancy sickness, preparing for delivery and potty training.
They also became the first magazine to elaborately speak about sex despite the unease associated with the topic at the time. The editor and founder thought that there was nothing wrong with the topic and parents also needed to speak to their children about it.
“Growing up, your mother will guide you and later on you realize what she was talking about. So I decided that we should start talking to our children about sex when they are young because nobody spoke to me about sex when I was young. If I heard anything, it was from peers and older students, I think that is a wrong way of getting information,” she told The Standard in a past interview.
As she juggled between work and family, she made sure her family had her support. She never neglected her family as she put them before the business, managing to raise three children and turn Parents into an award winning magazine.
It helped that she has a very supportive husband. All her three children went on to have successful careers.
A tea farmer, Mrs. Mathu is the founder member of:
- Public Relations Society of Kenya
- Association of Media Women in Kenya
- Kenya Women Financial Trust
- Media Owners Association
She is also the founder of the Bodywise Fitness Center and Stellan Consult Ltd. The mother of three has also won several awards including: the Lifetime Achievement in Business Award, Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW), and Top Women in Business and Government Award.
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