Differences are a unique selling point

Episode 2 of the African Plug focused on the personal and professional journey of Aubrey Mvula. Aubrey Mvula is a content producer with Shawbrook Bank, father of 2 and fiancé to Jenny Marie, Chartered Accountant qualified with ACCA and qualified Risk Management professional, and a level 3 trained personal trainer affiliated with MyProtein and MyVegan.

Aubrey Mvula did his high school and part of his A-levels in England. During his high school days, Aubrey grew his passion for hip-hop music and finance. In the African Plug podcast, Aubrey mentioned that during his high school days, he experienced racism.

‘I went through some experiences I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy when it comes to racism.’- Aubrey.

In the podcast, Aubrey argued that ‘Children can be the worst bullies and the worst racist because they do it in an innocent way that starts to convince you that you deserve this negativity.’

In the podcast, Aubrey also mentioned that his son, Josiah, has had his experiences with racism as well. This experience drove him to focus on Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in his work. 

When Aubrey returned to Malawi, he applied to the University of Malawi to study a finance-related course. However, he did not make it to the list of the students who got admitted into the University of Malawi.”

‘Therefore, my next option, and I want to be honest in saying this, my next best option was the Malawi College of Accountancy’-Aubrey.  

He enrolled on the Malawi College of Accountancy, where he excelled during the foundation years. However, when he got into advanced classes, Aubrey struggled. 

‘I failed several times, and this was when I was introduced to humility’-Aubrey. 

When Aubrey struggled in school, his siblings seemed to excel in their school, which put pressure on him. Eventually, Aubrey passed the subjects and landed a job with Deloitte as An Audit Assistant. Deloitte is a global firm focusing on industry insights and audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services. Aubrey Aubrey worked with Deloitte for two years. Whilst working with Deloitte, Aubrey qualified as a chartered accountant. 

Aubrey landed a job with KPMG East Africa as Senior Auditor. Whilst working at KPMG, Aubrey got married and moved to the United Kingdom as a family. Aubrey joined KPMG UK as an Assistant Audit Manager. Aubrey admitted that he struggled to transition from working in Malawi to working in the United Kingdom. 

‘I am not just talking about the logistical complications, but what that does to you mentally…Mind you, at that time. I had just recently joined. I have this young marriage. It’s a lot of things to deal with in someone’s mind. I did not do as well as I could have done that transition.’- Aubrey. 

During the early years of his work in external audit, Aubrey often found himself the only black person in the boardroom when meeting his clients. While others might perceive this as unfavourable, Aubrey saw this as a unique selling point. 

‘There I was, the only back guy in this boardroom. You had to notice me…It is easy not to forget the one thing I said at that meeting because I look like me’-Aubrey. 

To listen to the entire conversation, click on the link below.