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Graduate sells cabbage to secure academic papers

For many graduates, making several internship and job applications after graduation is always the way to go.

But this is not the case for 23-year old Gibson Lumbasi who graduated from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology last year. Mr. Lumbasi has turned to selling cabbages to complete his outstanding fee.

He risks failing to secure his academic papers from MMUST if he does not pay some Sh35,000 he owes the institution in arrears.

He was lucky to set his academic records straight and reap seconds class honours (lower division) in bachelor of commerce (specialized in procurement) but could not join the graduating team because of the arrears.

The institution issued academic regalia to only students who had completed their tuition fee and paid the graduation dues.

“I was on a parallel programme and could not manage to pay all the fee in time. My sibling lastborn brother joined Kenyatta University last year and this posed a fee burden to my parents,” said Lumbasi.

“My sister encouraged me to join this trade after she found another casual job elsewhere. She did the business for close to one year,” he added.

He operates at Masingo Market in town and uses a wheelbarrow to ferry the cabbage heads from his storage point.

But the cabbage business has not been easy for the Malava Sub-county resident who says he is yet to learn the gimmicks of his trade. He has to stand in the sun all day long, sometimes even moving about.

“There’s not enough space in this market because the arrangement is poor, and so we are forced to keep moving from one point to another,” he said, adding, “When it rains, it is upon every merchant to find for themselves and their wares a shelter.”

They are supplied with cabbages every Monday and Friday and the buying price ranges between Sh30 and Sh38 per head. “The buying price per head has shot up, it used to be as low as Sh20. We sell each ball at Sh50.”

On a good day, he can sell up to 30 heads and walk home with around Sh500 in profit. The only economic leverage he has for his business is staying with relatives in town.

Out of eight children, he is the seventh born in his family.

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