Waithera Kabiru – Profile and Manifesto
April 9, 2021
Profile of Waithera Kabiru-Membo
Waithera is a seasoned marketing practitioner with specialist capabilities in media and digital. Over the last 18 years, she has led successful marketing campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa with start-ups, small and medium sized companies and with multinational organizations.
Waithera is currently the Head of Media Futures, at East African Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of Diageo PLC, where she leads the Connection Strategy to ensure efficient and effective connections with consumers. Waithera oversees media planning and implementation across over 30 brands in the beer and spirits categories, to deliver ROI. In 2020, Waithera was instrumental in launching the first in-house digital creative team in Diageo Africa to drive in culture connections of the brands with consumers. Waithera is the Responsible Marketing champion, ensuring compliance to Diageo’s Marketing Code, in all marketing activities. Waithera drives the Positive Drinking initiative that promotes moderation in drinking, reaching millions of consumers with this message. In 2020, EABL’s marketing team was awarded the Overall Winner in Marketing at the prestigious Marketing Society of Kenya annual awards and also received 9 marketing awards in various categories.
Prior to joining EABL, Waithera spent 6 years at Coca-Cola Central, East and West Africa as the Digital Marketing Manager in the Integrated Marketing Communications role. She led content and connections in multiple markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, on campaigns such as, the award-winning Coke Studio Africa, FIFA World Cup 2014 and 2018, and Share a Coke.
Waithera was a pioneer in digital media. In 2007, she led the set up of the digital media division at 98.4 Capital FM Kenya where she led the digital transformation of the media house resulting in a key shifts in the way radio and digital media is consumed in Kenya today.
Waithera has international experience, as she started her career at telcom giant AT&T, in Georgia, USA in the Consumer Markets Division. In her 6 years at AT&T, she was twice awarded the prestigious “True Achiever’s Award” an award reserved for the top 3 percent in the organization.
As a thought leader in marketing, her work has been published locally and internationally in Adweek, Fast Company, Biz Community and Business Daily (Kenya). You can read her Blog HERE. She has provided expertise as a Jury Member at the 2017 Loeries Awards (South Africa) and the 2018 and 2019 London International Awards and at the 2020 Marketing Society of Kenya Awards.
Waithera serves on the board of Galana Oil (K) Ltd as an independent non-executive director. She serves as the PR Director at The Rotary Club of Lavington Jioni and is the Chair of the Second Chances Foundation.
Waithera is passionate about empowering the next generation of leaders in the creative industry in Africa. She has partnered with the Association of Advertising Practitioners (APA), Kenya at the 2019 and 2020 APA Young Creative Week and run the first every creative hackathon in 2019 that saw the winners attend the LIAsion Young Creatives Week in Las Vegas, USA. In 2021, she was appointed as a mentor by the London International Awards. Waithera mentors 10 Diageo marketers across Africa, to enable their career progression. By joining the MSK council, she will make a deliberate effort to enable mentorship opportunities for young marketers.
At EABL, Waithera is the champion on Progressive Gender Portrayal in Advertising and Media, which is part of Diageo’s Inclusion and Diversity initiative. Since 2020, she has trained over 700 employees and agency partners to ensure a progressive lens in the marketing work developed. As a Media Investment Activist, she will work with MSK to promote a vibrant and inclusive society to enable all people to be able to fully connect with brands while promoting equal representation of who is infront or behind the camera.