Meet Nairobi’s top gentleman, David Mutunga, who just jetted in from the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg Tennessee, after winning the recently concluded ‘Gentleman Wanted’ campaign.
“Nerve wrecking does not even scratch the surface of how I felt in the moments before the winner was announced. I was anxious and hopeful at the same time, busying myself with work trying not to focus on the whirl of emotions that swept over me,” David Mutunga sighs as he recalls the moment when he finally found out he had been nominated as Jack Daniel’s brand ambassador and was headed for a special training in Lynchburg Tennessee.
We are at the Jack Daniel’s office where I am meeting Mutunga, who recently returned from his week-long trip to the United States. He is a laidback bespectacled man, who’s serious demeanour quickly eases up during our conversation. On one wall of the company boardroom are various bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey, each standing majestically proud of its unique features. The Single Barrel, the Jack Honey- my personal favourite, and the robust Gentleman’s Jack, which David tells me is his tipple of choice, all vye for attention from their positions lined up along the wall.
Having been a loyal Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 fan for years, and having successfully managed to convince most of his friends to join the Jack Daniel’s bandwagon, Mutunga saw the Brand Ambassador opportunity as a great way to not only develop his own marketing career but to help Kenya shine abroad. “The most critical thing in life is to have great social skills and to be honest, when I registered for the role of brand ambassador I just felt I had the creative and marketing skills to make it happen”
Mutunga is keen to underline that he was perfect for the job not just because of his passion for Jack Daniels: “I’m the kind of person who always tries to go over and above what is expected of me, I am passionate about marketing and more specifically, branding.” Mutunga studied marketing and finance and has worked in the industry for six years, his most recent stint having been at an audit firm. “The more uncomfortable the situation seems, the higher the chances of putting myself up for it to push myself to take the risk and achieve more,” he tells me. An ardent fan and follower of Formula One, he is also a lover of high adrenaline activities and rarely misses an opportunity to watch a rugby match.
“Fun and intensive”, is how Mutunga describes his training experience at The Jack Daniel’s headquarters. “No,” he laughs, they certainly were not on a seven day Jack Daniel’s binge. In fact, he tells me that during the seven days, it was only on the last night which also happened to be Halloween weekend, that he had a chance to experience Tennessee. “Walking through Nashville brought a whole new Halloween experience for me. Let me just say that people there take Halloween very seriously and excitement, costumes and candy filled the streets.”
If he had more time, Mutunga wishes he had visited Graceland, the home of the King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley in Memphis. He hopes this will be the first of many trips to the States, but is satisfied with having experienced Halloween and gotten a taste of the bright lights of the Nashville nightlife scene. Back in Kenya, at the end of a hard day, David confesses his favourite way to unwind with a glass of the extra smooth, double mellowed Gentleman’s Jack, neat of course, as he feels in brings out its balanced flavour.