By LILLIAN KIARIE
NAIROBI, KENYA: Naomi Waruguru, 24, is a student at the Kenya School of Law, a researcher and a budding dog breeder and chicken farmer.
How would you describe yourself?
I am young and charismatic and believe in maximising all the opportunities that come my way.
I am a graduate of the University of Nairobi and hold a degree in law. I’m currently at the Kenya School of Law advancing my studies.
How did you start out in business?
After completing my degree last year in November, I moved out of Nairobi’s Parklands area to my parents’ house in Juja.
Being out of school was a relief, but I wasn’t getting pocket money anymore and found it difficult to meet my personal needs, so I started looking for ways to make an income.
I had found an internship, and though it gave me much-needed experience, I was getting impatient for the time when I would finally make a little money to sustain myself.
One day, as I left home for the place I was interning in Thika, it suddenly hit me that two of our dogs, Beth and Cate, had delivered 10 and 12 puppies, respectively, over two weeks. We could not keep all those dogs. I worked on creating a poster that we put up on our gate to advertise puppies for sale. In a week, more than 10 people made enquiries.
I decided to feed the puppies with healthier food to improve their growth and development. When they were a month old, I sold 20 of them at Sh3,500 each, making Sh70,000.
I started being keen on dog rearing and I now have five dogs in total, four of them female. They not only act as security guards, pets and friends, but are also a source of income. I sell their puppies when they are still young so that the new owners can train them. It also reduces my breeding costs.
I have also started investing in chicken farming.
What do you consider your side hustle?
I work with a law firm in Nairobi as a part-time researcher. I gather information from sources by having one-on-one interviews with them, dig out archived information and also document current on goings and use them for cases.
This job gives me about Sh35,000 a month, which I use to sustain myself as I pursue my education.
Since I do not have classes on Friday afternoons, I start my research work then, and this runs through the weekend; I resume my studies on Monday morning.
What is your day-to-day schedule like?
I wake up at 5.45 am, pray, prepare myself for the day and start compiling my research.
On Monday afternoons, I head to Juja to check on the progress of the dogs and chicken, which are under the care of my mother. I attend Bible study most evenings and get back home at about 9.30pm, have dinner and watch a movie before getting to bed.
How are you able to juggle your responsibilities?
When I am very busy, I make a point of waking up very early and finishing up what may be hanging over my head. I prioritise my school work, which I can do because my mother assists me with my businesses at home.
Work with what you have. Grab every opportunity you get and squeeze out of it all you can.