The founding editor of The African Professional magazine has been ranked in the top 35 under age 35 chartered accountants in South Africa. Thirty four year old KC Rottok Chesaina was featured along 34 others in the shortlist published in Accountancy SA magazine's July issue released last week.
The magazine is a publication of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, an organisation of 36,000 bean-counters. Unlike in many countries, it takes a minimum of 7 years for one to qualify as a chartered accountant in South Africa.
Chesaina moved to South Africa at age 21 and proceeded to obtain his bachelor's degree with distinction. At age 28, he was appointed a partner of RSM, a Johannesburg audit firm affiliated to a network of 37,000 staff in 112 countries.
In 2010, he together with his wife Mueni, launched The Expatriate (later rebranded to The African Professional), a quarterly magazine with an audited circulation of 5000 copies that focuses on promoting the corporate image of immigrant professionals. The magazine hosts various events including charity golf days and an annual ball.
Chesaina is also the founder of the bi-annual South African Professional Services Awards, a competition sponsored by a leading insurance company that recognises the best professionals from various fields.
As founder of the awards and the publication, he has given numerous interviews on South African television, radio and print media.
"I feel very honoured to have made this coveted list. I take it as an endorsement of the 'portfolio lifestyle' I have adopted which allows me to deploy my time to different things that match my various talents rather than an office career with a fixed job description," said Chesaina who resigned from RSM in 2013 to set up his own accounting consulting company.
Chesaina is also a television presenter on a DSTV documentary channel. He had a brief role in popular Jacobs Cross series and was the male face of Visa's World Cup campaign in Africa. His public speaking engagements to date include directing the programme for President Kenyatta's South African diaspora meeting in 2012 and giving a talk at a TED event in Johannesburg in 2014.
Later this month he will have the opportunity to present his career achievements to a judging panel who will decide who from the crop of 35 is South Africa's top young accountant. The winner will be chosen based on a set criteria that includes the finalists demonstration of leadership qualities and impact on his/her community.
Chesaina frequently writes for Kenya's Business Daily and South Africa's Accountancy SA.