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words and styling by Terembe Cherono

photos by Guthua Ugo

3 business school applications, 2 offers, 10 scholarship rejections, 720+ study hours, 2 GRE tests, 10s of conversations, 100s of silent prayers... and finally, in September, I’ll be starting a new chapter as an MBA student at the University of Oxford. It’s been a 3-year journey to this moment and I couldn’t be happier about my dream come true.

There’s nothing I’ve wanted more in the last few years than to be back in a learning institution. I’ve always known that grad school was an itch I wanted to scratch (again). So when I started feeling stagnant and uninspired in my current role, business school was a high contender. I wanted to feel excited about life again. I felt that a business program would give me that and also complement my largely social science work and educational background.

For the last 6 years, I’ve worked for a large INGO (international non-governmental organisation) rethinking governance and systems in line with the principles of the decolonising of aid. I’ve worked with the most amazing leaders and teams from all corners of the world! I wrote strategy, facilitated meetings, created videos, managed budgets, published news stories, presented plans, joined a Board and so much more. Despite some challenges in the last few years, I’ll look back fondly, and with gratitude, at my time with CARE International. I know that’s more than the typical millennial stint but it’s been a pleasure to engage in impactful, value-driven work.


Many of you will know about my deep personal commitment to the creative economy. As a consumer of the arts, and a creator myself, I am frequently frustrated at how underdeveloped and underfunded art schools and institutions are. Intellectual Property Rights don’t sufficiently provide financial rewards reflective of artists’ cultural influence and impact. Many artists pursue alternative careers due to low financial prospects and little to no social respectability. Perceptions have started to change with our generation and there are numerous examples of success for creators across the arts spectrum – but they remain the exception as institutional and structural barriers still persist. More is needed to ensure a continued pipeline of African creators positioned for global success. I am dedicating the next phase of my career to advocating, championing and resourcing artists and creators across Africa, tackling the systemic issues plaguing Africa’s creative community. I’d also love to contribute to thought leadership around the value of art, aesthetics and beauty and how it helps us experience happier, healthier lives. 

This journey has reminded me to believe in myself. I’ve faced tremendous self-doubt and imposter syndrome as I’ve trekked this path. But I am capable of more than I can even think and imagine. And so is anyone reading this. I hope my journey is a reference point to someone out there – that with commitment, focus, hard work, community and prayer, the possibilities are endless. At every point I experienced a setback, I’d tell myself it’s not over until it’s over and it encouraged me to see the bigger picture. I was going to keep trying until the case was closed – and thankfully it wasn’t.

I didn’t get here alone. I am filled with gratitude and appreciation to my community – my loved ones, friends, family, mentors and numerous acquaintances who each in their own way, moved me along and got me to the finish line. For all the help, support, encouragement, time, advice and prayers, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And because there is no way I could repay the kindness afforded to me, I commit to offering myself to others on the same journey.

Thank you God and my spiritual guides for blessing me and validating my dreams. This opportunity is truly beyond anything I prayed for.

Thank you mom and dad for the love and encouragement. 

Thank you to my sisters, Tebby and Tania, for never letting me walk alone. Count on me forever.

Thank you my Peso for being a forever muse. My shoulders are yours to stand on.

Thank you my friends for helping me carry my heart when it was heavy from all the disappointments along the way.

Thank you Sarah Ralston, Lindsay Glassco and Debbie Michaud for vouching for me. I hope to make you proud.

Thank you, dear Val, for working through my application with me – for the mock interviews and for connecting the dots of my story.

Thank you, dear Sonia, for troubleshooting and finding solutions with me.

Thank you Bruce for all the guidance on my GRE.

Thank you Jennifer from INSEAD for your belief and confidence.

…and finally, thank you to Saïd Business School and the Mastercard Foundation for seeing and investing in my vision. I am honoured to be part of this years cohort of truly brilliant scholars.

She’s a business school baddie! Can’t wait to bring you all along this new journey. Hope you’ll keep me company.

Outfit Details

Look 1

Purple Jumpsuit – Mango

EarringsBeauty Galore

HeelsTiti Adesa (Onigele Rainbow Mules)

Look 2

Floral Dress – Mango

Earrings – Woolworths (Sarit Centre branch)

Heels – can’t remember

Look 3


Pants – Mango


ShoesConverse x Comme des Garçons

Terembe Cherono is a creator, curator and convenor based in Nairobi, Kenya. For the last 10 years, Terembe has used her social media platforms (particularly Instagram and YouTube), to share lifestyle content using extremely compelling storytelling formats. In the last two years, she has developed a highly popular technique for Instagram Stories known as a ‘Daily Recap’ used by numerous content creators globally. She has supported several influencers and small businesses to leverage social media for brand building and sales.

Join the conversation


  1. Congratulations 😍
    It really works out at the end

  2. Congratulations Terembe. You pursued this opportunity, thank you for not giving up on you. All the best

  3. Congratulations, this made me smile sooo much! I am so very happy for you! Thank you for pursuing your dreams, the world is better for it!


  5. Upwards and onwards dear Terembe!

    As a lover and consumer of the arts, I’m your cheer leader💜

  6. Congratulations Terembe🥳

  7. So beautifully written 😍 congratulations Cherono, feeling inspired..

  8. Congratulations Terembe!!
    Greatly inspired to do get an MSc now!!!!👏👏👏👏

  9. Congratulations Terembe🫂🎉
    Go ace it ❤️

  10. You inspire me, Terembe. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️
    Congratulations on your new journey !!!

  11. Congratulations 🥳❤️
    I’m so inspired by your journey 🥹

  12. Congratulation Terembe!
    Everything always works out, eventually.

  13. So happy for you. Glad you never gave up🥺. This is just the beginning🤍. You are proof that i can make it too

  14. So inspiring. Congratulations Terembe

  15. Wow this is well deserved 👏🏽 congratulations 🎉

  16. ❤❤such an inspiration

  17. Congratulations Terembe!!🤩

  18. This is so beautiful to look at and very well written. I am in awe of who you are Tee. You are brilliant, sophisticated, intelligent and beautiful. I pray that this new chapter absolutely blows your mind! Right here, as always, rooting for you!🥳 Love you Tee x

  19. Congratulations Terembe! Very inspiring and as someone who is also in this footsteps like you am very encouraged! All the very best in this journey 🥰

  20. Congratulations Terembe


  21. Congratulations Terembe, you deserve this and more!

  22. Congratulations Terembe!!! Thank you for sharing your journey, what a great reference point you are! All the very best in your next chapter!

  23. All the best girl. I wish to be in these space one day. May God guide you through this chapter of your life. Congratulations once more.

  24. Stories like these inspire me again and again! Congratulations once more Terembe 🎉

  25. Congratulations 😍👏🏽
    you’re so beautiful!💕

  26. Congratulations Terembe. Well deserved 🚀🚀🚀

  27. Congratulations Terembe on this awesome opportunity 🎉🎉
    Great read as well 👌🏽👌🏽

  28. This is beautifully written and awe inspiring. Congratulations and I wish you all the success in your next chapter 🥳

    #MBATerembs ❤️

  30. Such a beautiful 😍 read. Congratulations 🎉👏
    Onwards and upwards

  31. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.
    1Thessalonians 5:24
    May He bring it to completion 💕

  32. Congratulations Terembe🎊🎊…You are a STAR shining bright✨️.

  33. Congratulations Terembe!💕
    Thank you for sharing this. You have no idea how inspirational this is!
    Go shine!

  34. Congratulations Terembe!! I’m truly inspired by your journey. Thank you for sharing <3

  35. So happy for you. Congratulations Terembe👏👏

  36. Congratulations Terembe! I feel so inspired I could cry 😭😭🙏

  37. Thank You Terembe and congratulations! I feel so inspired I could cry

  38. Congratulations Tee! Oh Business School Baddiee💯💯🙏🙏💕👏

  39. Congratulations Terembe 👏👏

  40. Congratulations Terembe😍😍
    This is wholesome!! All the best in this chapter of your life 🎉.

  41. Congratulations Terembe🎉this is such an inspiration 🙏God bless you

  42. Congratulations🎉

  43. Congratulations Terembe.You are an inspiration in every way.I am right there with Peso standing on your shoulders.

  44. Congratulations Cherono! This world is really yours to conquer,go Girl!♡

  45. Congratulations Babe!!! You Inspire me each and everyday and I love you!

  46. Congratulations Tee

  47. Congratulations Terembe!!Your a force to reckon. Can’t wait to come along this journey with you!

  48. Congratulations Tee🥂. To new levels

  49. Congratulations Terembe🎉
    You deserve this and so much more.

  50. Congratulations Terembe!!
    All the best.

  51. Congratulations Terembe

  52. Congratulations my honey. You deserve this and more ✨


  53. Congratulations Terembe❤️❤️

  54. Congratulations Terembe! You are an inspiration and a force to be reckoned with! 💜

  55. Wow this is a beautiful piece. Congratulations Terembs. May God guide and protect you through this new and beautiful chapter of your life.

  56. Such an inspiration ….All the best Terembe!!!

  57. Congratulations Terembe. You are truly an inspiration, and so beautiful!!!

  58. Congratulations terembe❤️

  59. Congratulations Terembe❤️
    Beyond inspired!

  60. You are an inspiration . congratulations.

  61. Congratulations Terembe. Go go and conquer.

  62. Congratulations, this is truly inspirational and encouraging 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
    All the best🎉

  63. I am so inspired. Congratulations Terembe!
    Thank you for reminding us about falling and getting back at it again.
    It only gets better!

  64. Congratulations Terembe 🥹You inspire me big time

  65. Congratulations ♥️

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