Persons Of Interest: Phannie wa Kwega
She has a profound love for Heineken, tea, chicken and AFC Leopards but not in that particular order. In fact, when I asked her about it she added her love for God, her family and career.
She was recently featured on the tabloid Nairobian (published by the Standard Group) as one of Nairobi’s hottest female lawyers.
Phannie A. Kwegah, a firstborn in a family of five girls with the pressures of setting a good precedent to her younger siblings talked to us about her professional and social life.
Did you always grow up wanting to be a lawyer?
Yes. I never wanted to be anything else. I grew up playing roles with my dad aping courtroom situations. The once-popular TV series “vioja Mahakamani” on KBC provided us with great content for our little courtroom.
I am glad that this childhood dream came to fruition.
Who did you look up to growing up?
Growing up, I was not as exposed to the legal profession as much as I’d loved to. I did not know any lawyers until when in high school, but still, none tickled me as much save for Barack Obama who had just authored two amazing books by then.
His speeches were captivating, very intelligent and well thought. The eloquence with which he delivered them, his great personality are some of the things I admired most about him. As a lawyer, you’d want to be like that. So I started listening to his speeches, read his books and here we are today.
Would you call yourself “self-made” in that case?
I’m God made if I say “self-made” that would be mean.
What are some of the worst assumptions someone might have about you in the courtroom?
1. “She looks young“, which of course I am and as such I may not be fully or well acquainted with the law and the intricacies of the courtroom, it’s still a risky assumption. You might lose the case for it if I am on the opposing side.
2. “Can she fit the bill?” I’m I equal to the task. Happens when I attend meetings too, on behalf of the firm, one might not say it, but their facial expressions say it all. I always smile. A happy one. You know.?
Do you feel that female lawyers are at times judged by their looks instead of competence?
I have never been in such a situation, but I’ve read (and heard) of how largely women are at times judged by their looks rather than their ability and capability to undertake a task. Which I must say it’s downright wrong, and it’s something that should be condemned and not be tolerated.
The glass ceilings that women face is not only in the legal profession. If you look at the corporate world, how many CEO’s do we have who are women. It’s not that they are not qualified either. Those ceiling must come down and I am glad a few women are already cracking them for us.
You have a very active social life from your love for AFC Leopards to enjoying a cold bottle of Heineken, how do you reconcile your career with your social life?
I’ll say it’s a matter of balance, knowing what is required of me, what to do, where to do it, when to do it and how to do it. I work Monday to Friday; 7.30 am to 6.00 pm. That’s given, work unless it’s a holiday or unless something outside work needs my urgent attention. Saturdays and Sundays are my days to attend to other things.
I strongly believe that if one has no social life then they are more likely to be miserable in one way or another. It cannot be work work, work and more work. That would be a terrible way to live your life.
Tell us what it would take for a man to sweep you off your feet?
Would you believe if I told you that I don’t have a list like I want him to be this and that to have this and that?
I always told myself that I’ll know my kind of guy when I meet him when I see him. In a record of 10 minutes, I’ll be able to tell!
Allow me though to point out, that I appreciate someone who has a sense of style when it comes to grooming, one who really cares about his hygiene, an intelligent mind because we can’t really have daft babies (can we?) and above all one who knows God. Well, from there we can have a chat.
That looks like a list to me…
List ni zile tall dark n handsome. Financially stable, has a good home, good job, is kind , is humble, treats me nice bla bla bla…
Marriage, hahaha.. OK, now that you ask, I will. Very soon. Very very soon. And have three babies at most. Kaylah, Kyle and another whose name will start with K.
Finally, tell me one thing I probably don’t know about you.
I’m a Christian, who has enormous faith in the word of God, despite my not being a faithful churchgoer. I have faith that can move mountains – that goes without saying.
I must point out that Phannie did not think I asked her all the important questions. Feel free to ask her whatever you feel that I left out on the comments section.
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