As we wind up the month of March in which the world celebrates women, we here at Femmehub have been celebrating the women associated with SBM Bank. Earlier in the month, we accompanied the SBM team on a little tour around Upper Hill Nairobi as they went to deliver the gifts and PPEs to women led clinics whose owners bank with them. You can catch that story here.
Still in the spirit of celebrating women, last week we spoke to Beth Muthui on the programs and facilities that SBM offers to uplift women entrepreneurs. Follow this link for her very insightful input.
Today we are a bit out of town (virtually) and we spoke to Angela Ngesa who works at the SBM Narok Branch. When Angela is not at work she loves to dance. So much so that she is even a dance coach. Here is what she had to say.
What is your name and what do you do at SBM Bank?
My name is Angela Ngesa, I am an Assistant Manager – Service Delivery at SBM Bank Narok branch.
How is the banking landscape in Narok, especially uptake by women?
Narok is rich in Maasai culture, livestock and farming of grains like wheat and barley on large scale. Compared to other towns SMEs are at a smaller percentage. Women take part in both farming and business. Most of our clients are farmers.
SBM has banking products that address challenges unique to women. Are the women there taking advantage of them?
Our products are tailored towards both genders. Women have taken advantage of them by getting unsecured loan facilities and credit cards which have improved their businesses. There is an ongoing show, “what women want” hosted by Pinky Ghelani in partnership with SBM on YouTube. It is quite empowering. SBM’s partnership with SheTrades has also been very empowering.
What would you say is the balance of customers between men and women at your branch?
Our branch has more male customers, a majority of whom are farmers like I mentioned. We however still have women who are doing amazing work in a male dominated business environment.
Do you as a branch carry out CSR activities in Narok and surrounding areas?
Yes, we do. For instance, we recently visited the ‘Manyatta’ in support of the ongoing rite of passage (Olng’esherr). This is a four-month event that happens once in the lifetime of every age set. We went to support the community by making contributions to buy food stuffs for the kids who were staying at the Manyatta. We wanted to show support for the community and to appreciate their culture.
You are a dance coach. Is dancing something you have always been into or when did you pick it up?
Dancing is my passion. I like it because it is very expressive. I have always danced and I like a variety of dances like liturgy, afrobeat and salsa.
Is dancing a personal hobby and if so, why did you decide to coach.
I have always loved dancing. I coach salsa dancing, which is a social dance with a Cuban origin. Why salsa? Because it is one of the dances which has remained classic over time and has a wide range of sessions. It’s coming up in Kenya so I coach so that more people know it and can partake.
What would you, as a woman, say to young girls as they seek to join the career world?
I would urge young women to keep improving themselves in terms of skill, to work on themselves more and explore every opportunity there is to reach their set goals. We Can do it.