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From Hawking Knives To CEO: The Illustrious Career Of Kenya Association of Manufacturers Anthony Mwangi

Anthony Mwangi is the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM). The executive has come a long way from a humble hawker to the top executive he is today. 

Here is his illustrious career journey as told by WoK.


Brought up in Timboroa, he attended village schools around the region. After his secondary education, he got admitted at the University of Nairobi. This was great joy for a boy whose whole life had been in the village. He successfully graduated from the University armed with a BA in sociology then came the difficult task of looking for a job.


On one occasion, he was called for a sales job in Westlands. He went and aced the interview only to realize the job entailed selling knives.

They were tasked with hawking knives in Nairobi estates. Although difficult, he took up the task and for months hawked the knives. 

Executive career 

Later, he got a job at MFI before moving on to work for Samsung for a year. He became their product manager for East, Central and West Africa. In an interview on KTN, he stated he was tasked with selling Samsung printers and at the time it was very hard since it was not as popular as other brands.

He recalled a time he went to pitch the product in Nigeria. Unfortunately, the expert who was supposed to do the presentation missed the flight.

He did the presentation and the Nigerians quickly caught on to the fact that he didn’t know much about the product. This was a very challenging moment.

After a year of working with Samsung, he went back to MFI as a sales manager. 

Then, he came about an advert for a position at Kenya Airways. Despite feeling the chances of getting the job were minimal, he gave it a try and became the acting country manager of KQ in Zimbabwe. However, the job was not very interesting.

He approached his boss and explained his predicament and when asked where he wanted to work he chose the government and industry affairs department.

The father of four had done research and found out there was only one person in this position and he was close to retirement. Hence, he got the job and stayed with the airline for seven years.

When he joined KQ, it was amongst the very few airlines worldwide that was profitable. His role included talking to governments to ensure the airline launched into various markets. 

Mr. Anthony took an early retirement package at KQ and joined IBM as the person in charge of government and regulatory affairs. 

In 2016, he joined Tullow oil as the director of government, public affairs and communication. The job halted during the pandemic and he joined Bolt as the head of public policy until September 2022. 

In September 2022, he was appointed CEO of KAM and the same year became the director of the Board of Directors of Anti-Counterfeit Authority of Kenya. He serves in these roles to date.