Corporate social responsibility (CSR)  is basically what businesses do to help their immediate society pro bono.

I’d like to think that all companies, regardless of their size do this. Large corporates are popular in this turf because, they get a lot of positive media coverage. Sure, you might say they do it to charm customers but, as long as someone is benefiting, I don’t see why you should be complaining.

Photo source: citycauses.com

One corporate that stands out for me when I think of CSR, is a lucrative big wig in the telecommunications sector that has clearly left a mark in most Kenyans.

From the revolutionary mobile money transfer Mpesa to Agriculture, one can say Safaricom has gained a strong foothold in our country. It’s charm has wooed most if not all of us but sadly, the world is not a ball of fuzzy pink bunnies. The phrase “Safaricom Ni Wezi” (Safaricom are thieves) is a familiar phrase, depicting Kenyans’ dissatisfaction in their services especially when your airtime is depleted abruptly, mostly when using data.

 I’d like to mention three key things that made me use this example to clearly elaborate on CSR.

 Safaricom Jazz Festival 2016

Number 1: The Safaricom Jazz Festival  held annually, is a series of events that ultimately culminate into an amazing concert that brings both local and international artists to one stage and that’s not even the juicy part, all the proceeds from the event go to an amazing group of young people known as The Ghetto Classics  and yes, they are majorly slum dwellers who have been brought together by music. I can’t begin to imagine what it must mean to those kids, having such an opportunity. Instrumental music has long been left to a certain status in society; especially when you consider the huge financial investment involved.

Number 2: I think Safaricom has sponsored and partnered with more events than any other corporate. From small music gig’s to large gala events, I’d say that the youth have been given a great opportunity here. If I was planning an event, I think they would be the easiest to approach.

Number 3: The Safaricom’s Kasarani Stadium. Undoubtedly, Kenya’s premiere sport hub. Safaricom took up the task to maintain and rebrand the stadium. Sure there was a little fus about the naming but, eventually the stadium got an amazing upgrade. If this isn’t a major boost for sports, I don’t know what is.

Just to squeeze in a fourth one, The Michael Joseph Centre. I don’t think it stands out as much but, i have attended events there and I love the place and the forums. From Music to Business, sounds like the kind of place I would hang around.

So why all the praise you might ask?  Simple; to challenge other companies to do even more but, moreso, to help see you beyond the face value we restrict our vision to and beyond the bursts of emotion that lead us to react irrationally at times and deny us dozens of opportunities. You have the opportunity to be the better “man”. By taking a step back and carefully analyzing everything from your own point of view; with your arsenal of experience and education neatly laid out.

You have the ability to see what others don’t and that gives you power and at the same time, the privilege and beauty of being yourself. Stand back to stand out!

Check out It’s All About You

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