I decided to save every shilling I could and start a shop
After I finished high school in 2003, I was unable to continue with my studies because of a lack of money.
I got a job working as a casual at construction sites. It was eight hours of back-breaking work for Sh100 a day. I later discovered this wasn’t the standard rate paid from one site to another; builders were exploiting the naivety of unskilled youth for cheap labour.
I decided to save every shilling I could and start a shop business. I started with bare minimum stock. In fact, to restock, I’d borrow a few items from a neighbouring shop.
As my shop began to grow, I’d cycle almost 25 kilometres to Nakuru town for stock and to save on transport costs.
From the savings of the shop business, I bought my first plot of land with the goal of investing in the real estate business.
The purchase of that plot left me financially drained, so I had to find new income sources. I began buying and selling cereals, especially maize, and planting and selling tree seedlings.
I managed to buy another piece of land where I constructed five bed-sitters and single-room units for rent.
I then took a break from working and enrolled in an NGO-sponsored training on environmental conservation that promised a good job at the at the end of it, but that never happened.
Still, with the knowledge I gained, I applied for work at a supermarket chain and got an attendant position at its Narok branch.
I quit after a few months, and with my savings, began a shop in Narok town. It was difficult as I had very demanding customers, so I relocated the business to the outskirts of the town. I didn’t last long there, so I went back to Nakuru to revive my old shop.
I also bought a motorbike and started a boda-boda business. In the years that I’ve been hustling, saving and investing, I’ve bought more land and I’m now saving to put up commercial and residential buildings. On a good day, from both the boda-boda and shop businesses, I’ll take home about Sh2,000.