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From donkey cart operator to timber yard owner

By Paul Kariuki | March 2nd 2016
John Wahinya

Despite dropping out of school at class six, 30-year-old John Wahinya today takes pride in his investments.

The father of two began working at an age when most of his age mates were in class reading books. With no articulated career path, he would do anything that came in handy even if it offered pittance in terms of wages.

When his family moved from Njoro to Tabuga, also in Nakuru, he survived as a casual at construction sites. It was while working there that he realised there was more to life than being a labourer the rest of his life. When he saw those operating donkey carts were making more than fundis he was working under, an idea occurred to him.

He laboured and saved bought a donkey and cart then positioned himself next to a sawmill.

“There were others operating donkey carts and it was cut throat competition for the customers who came to the sawmill,” he says.

John soon observed that the saw miller was making a tidy sum and he befriended him and learned the trade. For nine years, he worked as a donkey cart operator saving religiously.

Finally, in 2013 with Sh200,000 as seed capital, John opened his timber yard business in Tabuga along the busy Lanet-Dondori road.

The business now nets him an average of Sh5,000 daily when the sales are good and from the returns he has put up a modern house on a plot he recently acquired.

He still operates the donkey cart business and has hired someone to offer transport services to various clients.

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