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Bonfire Adventures’ best manager shares story of his struggles for success in life

Having spent a night chatting away with a night guard in town for lack of money to go home after a day’s work, Mark Steve Nuguti knows too well what it means to sleep hungry in Nairobi.

Mark, who is currently the marketing manager at Bonfire Adventures, recounted his struggles, seven years ago as a jobless graduate.

He was on Saturday awarded the Best Manager 2017 during the company’s end of year party and while celebrating his achievement he chose to share some background on where it all started.

“I graduated in 2010 from Mount Kenya University in Thika, where I had pursued a Tourism Management course. I moved to Githurai 45 slums where I used to commute from while hunting for a job in Nairobi,” Mark told Nairobi News.

He would sometimes walk for three hours to get to town as at the time the Thika Superhighway was under construction pushing the fares to as high as Sh100.


“It was hard, I would either walk or wake up at 4am before the fares are hiked then after dropping CVs I would sit at Kenya Cinema just to pass time and wait for low peak hours late in the night,” he narrated.

Mark finally landed an unpaid internship and it was his zeal to learn and get experience that made him stay put despite the tough times.

“One day I came to work with no return fare and it happened that my boss, who used to bail me out, had traveled out of the country. I stuck around the office pretending to be working late till 8pm when the office was closed. I walked to the stage hoping that I would meet someone I knew but there was no hope of me getting home that day so I walked back and asked the guard at the office to help me,” Mark recounted.

Mark Steve Nuguti the Marketing Manager at Bonfire Adventures displays his trophy for the Best Manager at the company. PHOTO | COURTESY
Mark Steve Nuguti the Marketing Manager at Bonfire Adventures displays his trophy for the Best Manager at the company. PHOTO | COURTESY

The guard told Mark that even he would have to walk to Kibera at the end of his shift in the morning. So the two just sat there just chatting away their woes.

“We chatted for a while then I requested to access the changing room so that I could wash my shirt as it was clear to me I would be spending the night in town. Luckily I had a sweater so after washing my shirt I wore the sweater and chatted the guard until morning when I changed into my mildly wet shirt and reported to work,” Mark narrated.


It was from that experience that he worked hard and later he joined Bonfire Adventures as a social media admin four years ago and rising to lead a digital marketing team.

“When I came in as a social media admin I had a vision and worked towards moving the company fully into the digital age. I had aspired to one day lead the company to achieving continental awards and indeed this has come to pass. When I came in I decided to change the way marketing was done and ensure we connect with the common wananchi hence the adoption of Twende Mombasa,” said Mark.

The 27-year-old has managed to run different promotions that have resonated well with Kenyans and this is his advice to upcoming marketers.

“Be original, sell your own idea and it will definitely work for you as long as you invest in finding out what your clients want and communicate it to them in the style they use everyday,” he said.

Mark attributes his growth and getting company recognition to supportive colleagues and employers Simon and Sarah Kabu whom he says believed in him.