My Hustle:- I sell smokies in Ruiru and have been in this business for two years. I began by investing Sh150 to buy smokies, which could only buy half a pack at the time, and building up as the business prospered. Before trying my hand in this business, I was a singer and dancer, and I still am. I go by the stage name Lusher Paulo. I also happen to be a part of the ‘official Gloria Muliro dancers’. Apart from this, I am a dance instructor.
Venturing into the smokies business called for tack in netting customers as I was getting into a crowded field. And one of the ways was to dress different - a suit, rather than an apron and a chef’s cap.
It was at first hard for many to come to terms with how a man dressed for the office was doing a ‘low life’ job like selling smokies. But eventually, many, out of curiosity, came to identify with my work and ended up as customers in the process.
As ‘cool’ as my dressing code may seem, it too poses a challenge as there are many who mistake me for a white collar job worker who only ventures into the streets after office hours to try my hand at a side hustle.
I’m simply a hustler like the rest, and going the extra mile by investing in suits is what gives a wrong impression to some.
Another challenge is competition but my unique dressing style has given me a competitive edge or an attraction of sorts as customers are attracted to sample smokies from the ‘corporate hustler’.
When the business is doing well, I make Sh3,000 but the amount can dip to the low of Sh700 on slow days.
In parting, the stereotyping of some works as fit for a certain class of people is what has made many a jobless young people.