You could be forgiven for describing Angela Murenga as a rainbow. Because if you refract, reflect and disperse her through the prism of what she does and who she is, she scatters under a plethora of hats. First, she’s a child of God, a pastor or what she calls an “ordained minister of the Gospel.”
She’s a CEO of Kingdom Business Solutions where, as a certified leadership coach for more than a decade now, she has trained more than 1,000 marketplace leaders around Africa on how to identify and draw out potential in other leaders and help them connect the dots.
She’s a mother of a daughter she adores and a speaker. She has a YouTube channel ‘Just Angie’ where she talks career, business, governance and life. She’s a mentor, a culture-changer and a storyteller.
She almost always wears a flower in her hair (she owns hundreds of them) because flowers “make me happy.” Angela named her daughter after a flower called Althea that means healing. She met JACKSON BIKO at Nairobi Serena where she tells her story in husky pastoral voice.
Kingdom Business Solutions is a robust, lofty name. Does it speak of God?
Absolutely. We are talking about the kingdom of God. I wanted to change it to “Empowerment Talks” or something but this ‘Kingdom Business Solutions’ was just not going away. I think it’s because of understanding the time. I worked in hospitality for 17 years, managing different hotels. I left and worked for Dormans Coffee for four years, then God told me, “quit your job.”
I quit, went to Mavuno Church served for a year, went to Bible school, then tried to go back. Then I started training, found that my purpose is to mentor people.
What do you think will be written on your tombstone?
That’s so amazing. Njoki Ndung'u [Supreme Court judge] asked that recently. I think it will be written, “She Died Empty.” Because I gave everything, I did not go with any knowledge or ideas. I poured into people, I changed people’s lives and transformed them.
When people call you Pastor Angie, do you feel the heavy responsibility of virtue on you?
That’s a really good question I’ve been thinking about. When I first served in Mavuno Church for one year and people started calling me pastor, I felt like I was an imposter. But now, it’s different, 12 years later. Bishop TD Jakes said “The anointing that you respect, is the one you receive from.” Being a pastor is a shepherding gift. It’s about raising people. I did not see that in myself before but now it’s a reality.
I’m keen to know what your limitations are and how you have reconciled with them.
Mmmh … another good question! My biggest strength is relationships, but my biggest weakness is also relationships. I have created relationships but then I also find myself not being very good at sustaining relationships. But I try to learn from every relationship.
You are an executive leadership coach. Are people born leaders, are there people who run these big corporates but are not leaders?
Yes and no. There are organisations, for example, that have a quota to allow women in leadership positions, for instance. So, yes, some of them might find themselves in leadership positions because of policy. Then we have organisations that really prepare their leaders.
So, anybody can be a leader?
I think so. A good leader has integrity, authenticity, character and passion.
The late Robert Mugabe, or even Adolf Hitler might not have had integrity, but they had passion, character and they were authentic to their causes, no matter how misguided. Would you say they were good leaders?
I would have to say yes and no, but it is leadership. It’s an oxymoron, when you think about it.
If you had a table sitting six chairs, who would you invite to sit with you? All of them Kenyan, except one international.
Wow! I’d have Bishop TD Jakes, Joshua Oigara, never met him, Fred Matiang'i because he is our gift and we should keep praying for him, Justice Njoki Ndung'u because she’s extremely passionate about everything that she believes in and that’s amazing. Then I will have my daughter, Althea Wamiru, she’s 24, passionate, had a double Master's degree and very intelligent. Then the last one …
No, the last chair is yours. Unless you want to stand at your table. Here is a sensitive question — what’s your feeling about wealth and church leadership. Should church leaders be wealthy from their churches?
That question can’t have a simple answer. But let me say that wealth does not come without anointing. And anointing means empowerment, equipping, a grace. You are a good writer, you are anointed with words, it follows then that wealth should come your way. You should read the parable of talents in the Bible. But let me say that giving brings back. Look at Warren Buffett, Manu Chandaria, they give and they have never depleted, because they receive back. But I feel Biko, that there’s abuse and greed on both sides. There’s greed from the pulpit and greed from the congregation. From the congregation, they give hoping to get a miracle, which is wrong because there is a process of growth; I mean Jesus did not come here at 30 years and start doing ministry. He grew for 30 years. On the pulpit, there is greed because one takes advantage of people.
Is God a man or a woman?
He’s a man. However, that is an oxymoron because I too I’m a father, a spiritual father to many, and I’m a woman. But I feel like God is a man — there’s an authority about him.
Are you married?
No! I’m divorced, which is another oxymoron. (Chuckles) Because since I’m a pastor, I’m supposed to be married. That’s another place I’ve had to be very authentic about, which sometimes doesn’t augur properly with people — especially faith-based people. I don't mind speaking freely about my divorce, it’s not something I hide. We are good friends now with my ex-husband, but that’s also because for the longest time I was convinced that I was blameless in the ending of the marriage, that he was the villain but I have realised that I played a big part in it not working out. When you find honesty within yourself, you find freedom.
Earlier you said, “God told me.” I always wonder when people say things like that. Do you actually hear God telling you?
How come I never hear God telling me things, am I listening wrongly? But how do you even know it’s not the devil telling you?
That time I wasn’t the Christian I am today, but I heard the voice very clearly. How do you know it’s not God but the devil? Well, it depends on who you’ve been walking with. If you walk with the devil, then you know his voice, if you’ve been walking with God, you know His voice. How does a mother know the crying of her baby among many children playing outside? You only hear the voice of who you walk with.