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Out of graduate school, Amandla spent three years with McKinsey, first as business analyst, and then as a junior engagement manager. After a four-year hiatus to continue her studies, she found her way back and now serves as a partner in Nairobi

If we get it right, it will impact the livelihoods of more than 15 million people.

I grew up in Kenya and spent the last two years of high school at a boarding school in England. From there, I went to Yale to study economics and mathematics, which is where I stumbled into a McKinsey info session. I had no idea what management consulting was; I went for the free jumbo-shrimp cocktail. The way the McKinsey team talked about leadership—a skill to be learned, honed, and developed—got my attention.

I was considering other companies, too, but ultimately chose McKinsey.

A simple request takes me across the globe

After two years as a McKinsey business analyst in Minneapolis, I was ready for a change. I hadn’t worked in Africa as much as I wanted, so I called the manager of the Lagos office and told him I wanted to transfer.

There was no formal transfer program at the time, but he said, “I trust you’ll figure it out. Call me if you need anything. See you in August.” I figured it out and had the best year of my professional life. I was young, debt-free, and surrounded by excellent Black talent every day.

After one year as a junior engagement manager in Lagos, I left the firm for four years. I earned my master’s in economics and MBA at Harvard, and I started to write a book, a labor of love about the life of my late father, who is my hero and a coauthor of the Kenyan constitution. I then rejoined the firm as an engagement manager in Nairobi. (Spoiler alert: I am still writing the book)

The project that changed my life

I’ve worked on dozens of projects, but the one that meant the most is to me was a ten-year agricultural-transformation strategy and implementation plan for an East African country. Our proposed changes will impact the livelihoods of more than 15 million people.

Through my work, I’ve worked with some incredible clients, including high-profile people. I also get to work with—and learn from—compassionate, smart, wickedly talented McKinsey colleagues every day.

More about me

I am a member of the McKinsey Black Network and McKinsey Women. I am obsessed with all things agriculture, food, and Africa. I love to be outdoors working up a sweat. In a former life, I was training to be a professional dancer. Now, I settle for long runs, CrossFit, and dancing for fun.


Harvard Business School 
MBA, management

Harvard Kennedy School 
MPA, economics, international development

Yale University
BA, economics, international studies

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