FRUIT VENDORS WHO LIVE LIKE KINGS
Josiah is an entrepreneur who has just joined a rare club of millionaires. The banana trader in Nairobi made his first million 3 years ago, two years after he started the business venture. Josiah shares his story.
“The first time I touched Nairobi was in 2010. At that time, I had completed my high school and was ready for any challenge in life.
Immediately I settled in Nairobi I came face to face with the challenges of living in the city. The first thing to hit me was that everything I did required money. I was forced to be innovative.
With Ksh.2,000 in my pocket, I decided to sell second hand clothes. The business was at first not good because the location did not have traffic. In a day I could make Ksh.100 to Ksh.300. That forced me to move to Jogoo Road from Ruiru.
I did the business for two years, making my meagre profit. After realizing I was not moving in terms of financial stability, I decided to diversify. That was when I started selling bananas and Njugu alongside the mitumba.
My first shock came when I realized bananas were fetching me twice as much as I made from Mitumba. Immediately I decided to drop mitumba business and adopt fully the banana business.
Selling after selling, I realized my dream was coming true, but I didn’t know how exactly I could upgrade from selling at retail price to venturing into wholesale business. It is at this time when one of my friends suggested I present my title deed for a loan from a local bank. Luckily, I received Ksh.150,000 from the bank.
I took a truck from Gikomba market, together with one of my Kisii friends, then off to Keumbu Kisii. I was charged Ksh.10,000 for transport and also paid Ksh.3,000 for loading and offloading. One truck of bananas costed me Ksh.45,000.
The first trip yielded Ksh.7,000 in profits. That was after I sold my bananas for a period of 4 days.
The business continued and with time I learnt the tricks and later managed to repay my loan for a period of 3 months.”
When the hustle and bustle gets real, no power can decelerate it. For decades now, running a green grocery is a business that has been treated as feminine. However, for Christopher Ngugi, 45, this has been his hustle for the past 22 years.
After a fall out with his cousin over pay, Ngugi, then a young boy, moved out and opened a small informal roadside grocery in Nairobi’s Kayole estate. Little did he know that this was where he would spend his adulthood.
“My decision to run a grocer came through experience. As a teenage boy, I was employed as sales person in my cousin’s shop. However, my cousin took advantage of me and on many occasions failed to pay me my dues. After working for two years, I decide to quit. I only had Ksh.800 at hand. Several thoughts crossed my mind among them going back home, but I finally decided to choose a business that I could easily join with this cash. That is how I landed in a green grocery,” he narrates.
Twenty two years below the line, Ngugi now a family man is still in his green grocery and has a tale to tell.
“A green grocery is a business many people ignore but the fact is, there is real business here. A bigger percentage of the neighbourhood buys from us. Initially, when I started, I would make close to Ksh.10,000 per day because we were very few then. The numbers have since increased but business is still good. That’s why I am still here 22 years down the line,” Ngugi says with a broad smile on his face.
According to Ngugi, the love he has for his job has seen him keep his business intact despite encountering negative energy from some people. “With love and positive attitude towards what you do, you can achieve a lot in life,” says Ngugi.
“I have so far bought two plots here in Nairobi. My first born graduated a year ago. I currently pay fees for two children in private schools. All these I have managed with the funds I get here. However small business is, respect, dedication and perseverance is what will make you succeed.”
“No one supervises me but discipline, dedication and perseverance has kept me going every day. I don’t complain waking up early because at the end of the day, I get huge benefits,” he says.
Ngugi’s advice to youths who sit back waiting for free things is; “ trust yourself and don’t listen to what people say about you and what you do. Know where you have come from, where you are headed to and what you want and you will surely achieve a lot.”
Across the road just a stone throw miles away in Komarock estate is Peter Njine, a fruit vendor, who has been in the industry for the past seven years. Before venturing into fruits business, Njine worked in the same industry but felt he was underpaid and decided to quit and start his small stall.
Njine believes there is a very big difference between formal employment and running a business. His key tenets are not very different from Ngugi’s – discipline, dedication and hard work.
“I don’t think anyone can employ me now. My hustle does it all. I love what I do and it in turn pays me handsomely. My seven years in this business has not gone to waste. I have had a lot of personal achievements including buying a plot and building my own home. I don’t pay rent,” stresses Njine.
According to Njine, people who choose what to do are those that have people they depend on. “How do you rule out an idea you have not tried just because you feel it’s feminine or it is not paying?” poses Njine.
Njine only needed to accumulate Ksh.4,000 to start his hustle but today, he takes home an average Ksh.5,000 from his hustle. “I love the fact that I am my own boss. On a good day, it’s not a miracle to take home Ksh.5,000. I am here to stay and take this hustle to the next level.” says Njine.
For you to succeed in business, you must persevere: money does not come just like that, people may steal from you, you may make losses, you may meet stiff competition. But all these will come to an end when you become resilient.
If you have a business idea, don’t say I will start when I get capital: if you are this kind of a person, then I can assure you the idea will be dead. Look for all means to get capital, you can even sell land.
We all have the opportunity to make it in life, but what some of you imagine is that success is reserved for specific people. All the wealthy people you see around started from somewhere.
No business is small, what is needed is discipline and determination – you will make it.
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This training will be for 20 days and starts on Monday, 27th December 2021.
We have prepared a program or schedule on how our Importation Business Training will be conducted.
Our Import Business Training will take 20 days (Monday to Friday, excluding weekends)
We will be educating/teaching you from 9.am to 2.pm by posting articles, images, PDF documents and videos. And from 2.pm to 7.pm the group will be open for discussions, questions and answers.
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