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Toy cars drive student to unexpected fame, money

By Vivianne Wandera | Published Thu, October 11th 2018 at 09:44, Updated October 11th 2018 at 09:48 GMT +3
19-year old Peter Gitau of Jordan College of technology makes matatu toys (Photo David Gichuru)

After completing his high school education in 2017, Peter Gitau Theuri decided to start making toy cars.

This is a hobby he had enjoyed since he was a young boy. Unknown to him, his talent would catch the eyes of many and open many doors for him.

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Theuri, 19, is a first year student at Jordan College of Technology.

He has wowed many with his ability to make toy cars that look exactly like matatus on the Rongai, Kayole and Umoja routes.

When he made his first car, Theuri didn’t imagine it would get as much attention as it did.

He was a winner of Safaricom’s Blaze Creative Pods, which recognises youth who have come up with innovations. “I started making these cars immediately after I left high school. Given that I am an electrical and electronics engineering student, I decided to make the cars with with functioning horns and electric cars that can remotely open and close,” he says.

Theuri says he only needs to see a real matatu to be able to make a toy replica.

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“I always look at matatus from Rongai and come and make the exact toy of what they look like. It takes me three days to make one matatu. I use old plastic bottles.”

He sells each “car” for between Sh4,000 and Sh10,000. He says he can spend up to Sh5,000 to make one toy car. “In a week, I can sell three cars.

“I met comedian MCA Tricky during Blaze in Thika. He posted a video of my cars online and Churchill of Churchill Show asked to meet with me and he bought two of my best works for 15,000,” says Theuri.

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After making a toy car for his school’s head, Theuri got funding for his education for one semester, which ended on September 30.

He now hopes to wow him again by a model he is making of his school’s driving school.

“The money I make usually goes into making more cars and the remainder is my pocket money. My partner George, or as people call him Ras, also helps me financially when I don’t have money to buy materials for making the cars. I hope to surprise our school head with this model of our driving school,” he says.

He added: “I want to make more toy cars and probably design matatus so as to improve the customer experience in the public sector.”


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