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I get my hands dirty to earn a living

By Geoffrey Arich | March 23rd 2016
Nicholas Opiyo

When Nicholas Opiyo, 27, sat for his KCSE in 2008, he had great hopes of advancing his education.

However, school fees challenges made it impossible to do so but undeterred, the young man opted to take a different direction. In early 2010, Opiyo left his home in Nambale, Busia County to seek employment opportunities in Kisumu. He settled on charcoal selling.

"My choice of work has made me the subject of ridicule from friends and family. However, knowing the goals I have set for myself, I chose to turn a deaf ear," he says.

A job that many consider 'dirty', has been Opiyo's main stay for the past six years. His dedication and proficiency in what he does could lead you to think Opiyo is the owner of the charcoal store but he is just a seller who reports to his boss everyday.

Opiyo's day starts at 8am when he reports to work. He earns Sh500 everyday for selling and an additional Sh300 for transporting the charcoal to his customers, who are mainly retailers. Out of this amount, Opiyo ensures to put something aside, saving as much as Sh400 on a good day.

"Not all days are good but I have to save at the end of the day. How I wish I'd started doing this earlier," he says.

The focus behind his savings is because he hopes to venture into the lucrative charcoal-selling business on his own steam. He also hopes to become an employer who creates opportunities for the youth.

"The obsession with white collar jobs should not stop us from taking on whatever jobs are available. There are many things one can do with the right attitude," he said.

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