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Being your own boss:City residents turn to home based business for survival


 Eunice Ochieng' operates a home-based catering business at Jamhuri Estate on Ngong road. She supplies food to offices and neighbours.[Edward Kiplimo,Standard]
  • Being able to work at night or first thing in the morning offers an easy way out for those juggling family and other obligations.
  • With the rising desire by many to quit the rat race to and from work, many city residents are increasingly taking up working from home.


Emily Opado is a masseuse who plies her massage trade among pregnant women and babies in her house or her clients’ houses.

Emily started providing the services from a children’s day-care centre, which she was running in 2006.

“Children who were brought to me would cry sometimes so much but after a shower, which was followed by a full body massage, they would relax and even fall asleep,” she said.

The mother of four said she was motivated to train professionally on massaging before she quit running the day-care trade and started providing massage services full-time.

“I charge Sh500 for children and Sh1,000 for pregnant women per session, which takes 45 minutes. I attend to an average of three clients in a day, but go up to five on a good day,” she said.

Tasty dishes

The masseuse combines both the traditional and modern massage methods or provides the services as per the request of the client. In the neighbouring Jamhuri Estate, Eunice Ochieng’ cooks food in her house on order and supplies it to her customers, mostly workers in offices and single people in their offices and houses.

Eunice said she wakes up at 4am to start cooking lunch for her clients, whom she serves between 11am and 1pm.

“I take orders a day before to give me ample time to buy ingredients and prepare the food. Most of my customers prefer to have lunch by 1pm, although some want it as early as 11am,” she said.

The 31-year-old said she has a menu that she gives to her clients so that in case they want to change the meal, she is notified promptly.

“The menu provides for the meal to be served every day of the week.  But for customers who want to change, they inform me prior so that I can accommodate their needs,” said Eunice.

In a day, Eunice serves at least 30 people. She supplies food to the offices and houses to her regular clients and neighbours.

“I also provide food for birthday parties, weddings and other events. Some people call me in to cook at their venue while some simply ask me to bring them the food already prepared,” she added.

Eunice, a mother of one, resigned as a waitress at a fancy restaurant in the city where she was earning just enough to take her through the month.

“I had not decided yet what I wanted to do, but I knew the first step towards my success would be to quit my job,” she said.

Family time

She also said her job was keeping her from her son as she would leave early in the morning only to return late at night.

“When I took up a course on Food and Beverage management, I never thought one day I’d be earning peanuts yet spending all my time at work. I love cooking, but I love my son too and I needed more time with him,” she said.

After staying for days trying to figure out her next course of action, Eunice began cooking for her neighbours who live alone.

“I began with five clients, mostly neighbours. When they liked my cuisine, they referred their friends. I also had to walk into offices and offer to sell them food,” she said.

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