From herder to businessman

Patrick Kiuna at his cereals stall in Nakuru. [PHOTO: PAUL KARIUKI/STANDARD]

Patrick Kiuna, 30, is a living testimony that one can rise from  nothing to something.

Kiuna has worked hard to get to where he is today and calls himself a graduate of the school of hard knocks since life toughened him from a young age after his formal education ended at primary school level in 1998.

Unable to further his education, Kiuna sought employment as a cow-herd taking care of livestock for different employers. He was, however, not ready to resign to fate and believed there was more to life than working in that lowly position.

After a few years as a cowherd, and after attaining the legal age of 18, Kiuna moved to Nakuru town and with no jobs available as well as lacking skills in any trade, he was ready to do anything to survive.

A friend of his introduced him to the back breaking work of ferrying goods where he strained carrying huge sacks of farm produce on his back in the open air Wakulima Market.

“It was tough, back breaking work but I had no other option but to contend with being a porter,” he says.

He worked as a porter for six years and although his daily take home income was unimpressive, he still managed to save a little and began doing research on what venture to invest his savings in.

Somebody introduced him to the world of cereals business and this changed his fortunes for good. He first rented a stall along the Bargain Road in Nakuru which is replete with cereals stalls among other businesses.

“I would buy cereals in small quantities at a lower price from a supplier and resell the same at a little higher to make a profit,” he says.

The father of two says it took a while but he was eventually able to acquire his own stall and get enough capital to source for cereals in bulk  from Western Kenya and nine years into this business, the returns are impressive.

Daily sales average about Sh10,000 with his take home being anything from Sh3,000 depending on how the stock is moving.

The businessman in him has seen the need to diversify and not only has he established a cereals business for his wife, he is now saving to begin a transport business.

On a personal level, his hard work has borne fruits with the business enabling him to buy a plot, build a modern brick house and buy a car as well as put something aside.