Obituary for Mrs Jennifer Nantale Ichumar (23rd October 1974 – 4th February 2014)

She was brilliant and forthright lady. It is sad that she has passed on too soon. She is deeply missed by the team at Summit Consulting that conducted the MTN project management training.

Oh no, she has gone too soon!

Jennifer was one of the participants at the recently concluded project management training for MTN managers facilitated by Summit Consulting Ltd from 13th to 25th January 2014. She will be deeply missed by us all.

We join MTN team in celebrating her life.

Great teachers understand their students. And that is how we have been touched by her sudden death.

She believed in leading by example. Despite not feeling well during the training, she endured to attend. After seeing her exit the training room twice in a short interval, I asked what was wrong, to which she replied:

“I am not in my element. I’ve not been feeling well. But I must attend this training. It is critical for us in our department. We are leaders, you know… Just don’t mind me… I invited my colleagues, so I must attend in person.”

That was Jennifer. Few words with great meaning.

We were with her for just three days but she made an impact on us.

She was a brilliant lady with a great future. Many Ugandans dream of an opportunity to work at MTN. She was already there at a senior management level. She loved the MTN brand with a passion and had the brains to match it.

She scored 8 out of 10 (that is 80%) in our end of training project management test. The average score on that test by attendees is usually 5.5 (55%). And keep in mind she was in the very first group. It was the first time she attempted the questions.

And had great business ideas to springboard the brand to the business vision.

Below is how she answered the question: “Identify a possible initiative in your department as a case project using the project mandate template in PRINCE2”

For confidentiality reasons, I won’t disclose much.

Her project was a 360 degrees marketing intervention for a new product under MTN mobile money – with a target of 30% up take in three months, and over 70% market awareness about the product in 6 months. The project benefits were (i) increase in revenue, (ii) increase in retention and (iii) growth in subscribers.

You need to look at the marketing strategies she devised to achieve the above targets, to understand the loss to MTN, and the market in general, of her passing on.

That is life. Big dreams cut short instantly. Why her? That is the question no one can answer.

And we can only say to you at MTN and all friends and family of Jennifer that:

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” Leo Buscaglia.

We thank MTN a for the rapport we have build with a great team of professionals, including great people like Jennifer.

Each new life, no matter how brief, changes the world forever. And she did.

David Seltzer wrote “For some moments in life there are no words.” This is one such moment. We wish you and the family courage in these trying times.

“May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong”,
Chief Dan George

May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, CFE. 2014 All rights reserved.


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