Screw Up Evening – Dealing With Failure

The Screw Up Evening – Dealing with Failure by Rtn. Huma Kaseu

Rotarian Huma Kaseu, a Communication Specialist spoke well about Failure and Self-Motivation. He first requested the audience to write down their failures anonymously then forward them to him.

Rotarian Kaseu briefly talked about the challenges he faced in his early years trying to find a job that he would love. Eventually, he got lucky when he got a job with Standard Chartered as a Sales Person, selling loans to potential clients. His strategy during this time was to target clients that have borrowed before, hence, he sat in the office the whole day making calls. Eventually, this did not sit well with his boss and he was unfortunately fired.  What followed was a 7-month stint at home without a job.

Through a network he had made a salesperson, he was invited for an interview at BAT. His mother was not too happy about this because, well, people think that working around tobacco at a leading tobacco manufacturing plant makes you a bad person! However, his determination and, say the need to have money in your pockets, meant he had to up his negotiation skills and make mum understand his intentions. His mum bought the idea, save for a few reservations! So, head-first, he sent his application.


Don’t mind the leaves …

Luck was on his side, or perhaps, it was the fact that he had a connection but, he got called in for an interview, so the how doesn’t matter as much!

The first interview turned into four more with the last call a request to sit on the table… well,  not exactly. In Rtn Kaseu’s words, that was meeting with the partners. If you have ever attended an interview in the big corporate firms, then you know how it goes! But, he wasn’t aware of this fact. To him, this was THE call, the final call that HR gives you with an offer on the table.

Rtn. Kaseu, had been riding his bike when he got the call and yes, he was in a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of sandals – that is how he went in for the meeting. The partners weren’t impressed one bit and they dismissed him on the grounds that he was too young for the job!

Ladies and gentlemen, your First Impression matters.


Blessing in disguise, maybe?

Fast forward to 3 months after the foiled BAT deal, 10 months into unemployment and he got an even better job. A job he prospered in and a job that has him boss top guys, most of them older than him, and of course, a good salary.


Do we need to mention that up now that moment, he didn’t have a Bachelor’s Degree, he has a Masters degree though. At present, he runs his own PR and Communications firm!

Take home Points: Three things can make or break you: Heart breaks, Empty Pockets, and Failure.

He finalized the amazing talk by going through the failures that were written down using his own experiences. Then picked five random questions from the audience.


  1. He works hard and plays even harder. He doesn’t tolerate mediocrity and he has a smart little girl who doesn’t see why she should do things the way other kids do! There shouldn’t be a box for you to think in or out of.


After a vote of thanks, the SAA, Rtr. Alex Kahuki took the floor and ten minutes later, the meeting was adjourned.


Prepared by:

Loise Macharia

RCNC Guest


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