Many Kenyans dream of owning a home, and that dream came true for three Lipa Na M-Pesa customers who participated in the Safaricom promotion during the festive period and the first few months of this year.
Salim Nassib Mbarak, a freight logistics businessman from Nyali Constituency, is the latest winner of a Sh14 million three-bedroom house.
Receiving the keys to the house at Green Park Estate in Athi River on Tuesday this week, a beaming Mbarak said: “I am thankful for this house, especially because it has come during February, which is my birthday month.”
Surrounded by family members who had travelled from Mombasa to Athi River to see the house for the first time, Mbarak said he has been using the Lipa Na M-Pesa services to transact business and to pay bills. He is yet to decide what he will do with the house: “This is God’s blessing, Allah will guide me on the best option.”
Safaricom has awarded a total of three houses each worth Sh14 million in the promotion.
The house consists of three bedrooms upstairs, one of which is a master ensuite bedroom with cheerfully large French window with an extra bathroom for general use.
Downstairs, a spacious kitchen is furnished with a two-in-one cooker with oven, double door fridge and a microwave.
The windows are dressed up with frilly curtains in readiness for occupancy. The dining room are furnished with a six-seater dining table and the living room has a seven-seater sofa-set with a coffee table.
The backyard includes a detached servant quarter, a laundry area and space for a vegetable garden or lawn. The house also comes with two parking bays.
The houses are purchased by Safaricom, then ownership is transferred to the winners. According to the developer, Ian Henderson of Superior Homes Kenya Limited, each house sits on an eighth acre in Phase 5, which has 40 complete houses out of a projected 120 houses. The other four phases have a total of 380 houses.
The houses are installed with solar water heating and an underground water tank that can hold 10,000 litres of water.
The homeowners will get water from the county mains as well a borehole. The environment is pleasantly serene with an open area that allows children to play safely in the yards.
The estate has amenities such as a club house with tennis courts and a gymnasium, which will provide recreational activities for the new homeowners. To maintain estate standards, homeowners become part of Green Estate Management Services, which ensures that estate rules and regulations are adhered to so as to prevent unauthorised extensions that could distort the ambience.
Lydia Maina, a mother of three from Kaptemba, Nakuru County, and secretary at Mother Kelvin Medical Centre, was the second winner of a similar three-bedroom house after she paid her electricity bill using the Lipa Na M-Pesa services.
The winner of the first house was a 22-year-old boda boda rider from Mariakani, Mombasa. Ali Mlewa Ikuthu, a father of one, won after using the service only four times during the promotion.
Handing over the house to Mbarak, John Muchiri Muriithi, head of merchant payments at Safaricom, said: “By handing over these houses to the families, we are also empowering them to get ahead in life because they will no longer have to pay rent. If they chose to, they can now generate rental income that will impact positively on their lives.”