Kenyan businessman making a kill, selling Muratina to wazungu in London

Muratina, a popular traditional brew in Central has found its way into the streets of UK. The drink, christened Muratelia, is quickly becoming a favourite drink among wazungus.   

The brains behind Muratelia is King’Ori Wambaki, a Kenyan who has lived in the UK for 27 years.
Muratelia is made with honey just like revellers prefer to take it in Kenya; making it sparkling mead wine readily available on the shelves.

“I’m based just outside London in a town called Cheshunt, and the drink is meant for people under 35. It is sold in restaurants and shops. At the moment we are using spices available in UK because we don’t have the scale to import from Kenya and produce,” he told The Nairobian.

King’Ori Wambaki, brewer of Muratelia Wine is a Kenyan who has lived in the UK for 27 years. [PHOTO: COURTESY]

King’Ori, who completed his studies and decided to focus on the business, says the drink is slowly becoming a major link among Kenyans who live away from home.

“I studied for two years in Kenya then completed my higher education in the UK focusing on financial modeling. It is why I decided to start Muratina hustle,” he said.

“I visit Kenya once a year and go up to our shagz in Othaya even though my parents are in the UK and most of my mum’s relatives are here,” King'Ori said, adding that once he is granted license to retail in Kenya, his main aim will be to introduce the brand in the country using local spices. He will also make Muratelia an all-time drink as opposed to the current trend where Muratina is only served on special occasions such as ruracios and other Gikuyu ceremonies.

“From a business perspective, I would prefer muratina be taken in every occasion. In June we’ll start producing it in Kenya using a local supply chain as much as possible. It has been in the market since August and we are in three restaurants and four shops,” he adds.

Muratelia is sold for £10.00 (Incl. VAT Sh1,460) per bottle with the recommended retail price for restaurants at £25 (Sh3,650) and shops £15 (S2,190). With alcohol content of 12 per cent, the dealer says they are looking at how to get into the catering, wedding and events business.

“Funny thing is whites have been very interested in the wine, mainly because of where it is from. They are impressed whenever they taste it and it has actually had a good perception so far. I would say Kenyans/Africans have enjoyed it more, but whites have enjoyed it most when they taste it,” said King’Ori.

The idea to brew Muratina was born to King’Ori during a security shift when a colleague mentioned the drink. Somehow, the query made him to inquire whether anyone had ever tried making it a premium drink.

“To my surprise, he told me no one has done it, and from that moment, I swore to go for it. So I combined what is actually selling at a growing rate in the market (which was sparkling wine) and combined with Muratina’s uniqueness/story and took my shot.

“I was given a mentor and more information on how to make the business a success,” he said, urging Kenyans living in the diapora to try it out.