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Real People hunts for CEO yet again

Elizabeth Ndemo
Real People chairperson Elizabeth Ndemo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Credit-only subsidiary of South African micro-finance institution Real People is searching for a chief executive just days after acting CEO Yvonne Godo quit.

Ms Godo had been at the helm of the struggling firm for two years from January 2017 following the exit of another acting CEO Daniel Ohonde who quit in 2016.

“Ms Godo was the chief operating officer of the issuer until December 2018 but has left its employ and is pursuing other business interests in an unrelated sector,” said board chair Elizabeth Ndemo in a notice dated 17 January posted in local dailies.

Ms Ndemo said Ms Godo will, however, remain on the company board. “With effect from 1/1/2019, Ms Godo is a non-executive director,” she said.

Ms Godo, a former Zain (now Airtel) executive, has had a long stint at Real People since 2009 when she joined the firm as regional manager in charge of Kenya and rose through the ranks until 2017 when she was tapped for the top most post.


Earlier in 2016, former CEO Mr Ohonde quit the firm to join the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, a private sector fund that provides catalytic funding to enterprises in 24 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa as deputy CEO.

Last January Real People tapped two Kenyans to the board, including ex-Sidian Bank CEO Titus Karanja.

The troubled firm only in September 2017 released locals Albert Ruturi and Nthenya Muli and replaced them with directors from South Africa.

Real People Kenya said last December it was on course for a third extension of the repayment of Sh1.26 billion bonds that will see it pay noteholders in 2028.

It held a meeting with the holders of Sh267.1 million and Sh1.04 billion notes who agreed to the proposal through a special resolution, subject to it securing a strategic investor.

The firm hopes the extension will alleviate the debt and interest burden.