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Hearing The Words “You Will Die Soon” Gave Kerrita Permission To Pivot And Change The Course Of Her Life

“I was failing upwards…climbing all these heights but it wasn’t my dream” – Kerrita McClaughlyn



Kerrita McClaughlyn is a global communications professional who has worked for a number of multinational companies, global NGOs, governments and multilateral organisations on strategic communications, corporate communications, reputation, stakeholder engagement, crisis, media relations, advocacy and policy. Kerrita has worked across the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. She has a passion for helping individuals and organisations to tell their stories and is passionate about ensuring the inclusion of cultural and lived experiences.

On this episode of The Tokunbo Chronicles podcast, Kerrita shares her story about growing up as the daughter of immigrants who left Jamaica for a better life to the USA . This inspired her to venture across the world to Europe, Africa, Middle East and The Americas as she sought to advance her professional career. Kerrita often found herself the only Black woman or minority in the room as she climbed up the ladder of corporate Europe. The level of responsibility that came with her senior roles, lack of support system coupled with the daily microagression she experienced led her to a burnout.

A subsequent visit to a Neurologist found there wasn’t anything physically wrong with her but he did warn her that persisting with the lifestyle she was on would lead to her death. A month later, Kerrita quit her job. Two days later she was on a plane to Brazil where she lived for the next six months before then travelling across Latin America for another year

Kerrita used this period to gain better clarity about what she felt was more important to her. After spending her life trying to please her parents and essentially failing upwards, she came to realise the burnout was actually the best thing that happened to her. 

“Be Curious, Be Courageous” is Kerrita’s parting piece of advise.