Meet the Team: Leilah

We’re back! This March, meet Leilah Ruto, BitPesa’s Senior Accounts Associate.

Who are you?
I am Leilah Chepchirchir Kipruto, but since it is quite a long name, I shorten it to Leilah Ruto to make it easy on the tongue.

Where did you go to school?
All my years in school were spent in Nairobi. I went to Harambee Primary School whose estate literally shared a fence with Buruburu Girls Secondary School which I later attended. So the farthest I went was Strathmore University for my ACCA and Bachelor’s Degree in Finance & Accounting. I wish I had studied in another county like Mombasa or Kisumu so I could meet other people and learn diverse cultures. I think that would be great but it’s never too late.

What team are you on?
I am part of the Finance Team at BitPesa where I serve as the Senior Accounts Associate.

How did you become part of BitPesa?
I was contacted and I grabbed the opportunity to join. Even though I didn’t know much by then about digital currency, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
First things first; I log into Slack and email to attend to urgent tasks and respond to queries especially those coming from different time zones. After this I get into the core business of my role: reconciling BitPesa’s accounts and transactions. This requires interactions with colleagues in the customer service, trading, tech and analytics teams. I get to mingle with everyone. Another key role is working on monthly accounts. I work with our very able and passionate Finance Team on the financial statements and auditing. BitPesa has a very intricate set of accounts on the financial books which makes it interesting to work on and mind-opening.

What tools do you use on a daily basis? Favourites?
Excel, Excel and more Excel. I also work with Xero, our accounting system and Slack for communicating with the team. Then there is Google Sheets for collaboration between teams around the world. I love Excel because I learn something new I can do with it every day.

What sites do you spend most of your time on?
I like African Tech Roundup and Quartz Africa for the news they offer. But more so, I love podcasts. My favourites are documentaries, especially on BBC. They feature very interesting stories from people all over the world. I also love listening to stories on developments across the continent, Pan-African stories. You might be surprised, but I also love history.

What is the next skillset you would like to learn or expand upon?
I would want to expand my skillset in my role as Senior Accounts Associate, as the job is quite intensive. I’m currently learning more about trading and FX by working closely with the Head of Trading. I find the sales side of it pretty exciting. I am also learning a new language, French, to be specific. It’s fun and rewarding!

What’s your least favourite thing about Nairobi?
Traffic and the way people drive. A lot of people are bullies on the road. We don’t follow rules. In the same breath, we will always complain about the traffic and reckless driving.

What is the last movie you watched?
Sheeps and Wolves. Oh wait, that was boring, didn’t even finish it. (Laughs) Passengers is the last one I watched and loved. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. It delves into a subject I love – Sci-Fi. I don’t necessarily love the whole Sci-Fi genre, but specifically movies that cover space exploration.

What book are you reading?
Death in the Congo: Murdering Patrice Lumumba. See I told you I love history! (Laughs) The book is all about Lumumba and his efforts to liberate Congo. He was one smart and eloquent Nationalist.

Dream vacation?
This one keeps on changing but for now, I will go with Greece. Its beautiful white islands make me think of Lamu (one of my favourite destinations in Kenya) which is also a place of natural beauty & ancient history.

What’s your favourite part of working at BitPesa?
The people and the vision. BitPesa is made of a dynamic set of individuals from different backgrounds. By working with everyone you get to see different views of life and learn different things. It is also a unique company that I believe is part of a revolution in the financial industry. We are spearheading something that will be huge in the future and I love the challenge that comes with that.

What goes on in your life outside of BitPesa?
I love the outdoors, so you will find me camping, attending events, hiking and going for long walks in the forest. (Giggles) I love going out with friends and family and enjoying the sun, especially with this Nairobi blue sky. Clearly I am rarely indoors.

What is your favourite place to hang out in Nairobi?
Karura Forest, apart from when there is a hyena on the loose! There was one last week and they had to close the place down for a while. I also love Alliance Française because there is always something cultural going on in the form of plays and performances.

Where do you want to be in 15 years?
Retired. Haha! Seriously though, I will have a family. I want to live in the countryside, especially because I grew up in the city. I want to experience the opposite – live in a farm next to a river with a beautiful view! The beauty of nature makes my mind wander and fills me with peaceful happiness. Maybe by then I will be able to trade milk from my farm using digital currency. I would like to see this happen!

Tell us something fun about you!
I love traveling and driving, but I cannot park a vehicle. I cannot park and I cannot explain why. Eventually I will get there.

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