"My aim was to take my work to national level. Pursing college education was vital. Again, money for that was not forthcoming and I had to forgo proper college course that I badly needed," says Njoroge.
He enrolled in a village polytechnic and learnt mechanical engineering, a discipline that was to come in handy many years later as he tried his skills in motor rallying. Art, however, could not be relegated to the back burners.
"I regularly visited art galleries like Watatu to acquaint myself with what the market required. What I saw made me even more determined to exert myself and produce good quality paintings. If others could do it, I could hack it too, perhaps even better."
Starting off with watercolours, his paintings of young African boys, girls and animals sold out like hot cakes giving him the morale he greatly needed.
In 1978, he got a job with the University of Nairobiâs Faculty of Veterinary Anatomy where he served as an illustrator. He was to quit six years later and dive headlong into the uncharted waters of private business.
Apart from gracing local art galleries with his collections, Njoroge has exhibited his work in Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington D.C., among other western cities.
Would he diversify to other income generating ventures?
"That is out of the question. I can never paint enough. This is a lifetime commitment that I would not exchange for anything else," he asserts emphatically, as he points to a large painting of an elephant hanging from his expansive living room. One corner is the painting studio.
"Art is more of a lifelong investment and not a piece of equipment whose value diminishes with age. Like wine, a good piece of art matures with age."
Like any other business, there are factors that limit oneâs financial gain.
"Kenyans need to change their attitude toward art. Generally, they seem to be apathetic to things art and cannot understand how one can eke out a living by âjust drawing thingsâ. To them, getting lifeâs basic needs is more crucial that purchasing a painting," laments Njoroge.
Nothing hurts him more, however, than seeing artists being exploited by middlemen who rake in millions out of paintersâ sweat.