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Friday, July 18, 2008

Young couple’s business fails to recover after post election violence





For many Kenyan entrepreneurs, life has never been the same again since the ill-fated presidential elections of last year. Indeed the grand coalition government’s former finance minister Amos Kimunya kept on talking about the country being on the right track to recovery without acknowledging the fact that there are many businesses in many small businesses in parts of the country that will probably never recover.

Today Wangari a young ambitious business woman from Naivasha tells her story to Kumekucha;

I am a young, ambitious and focused lady. I am 25yrs old and married.

By the way my roots are in Othaya, Central province but I dislike the man who I used to admire so much i.e Kibaki. I was always proud to say I hail from Othaya but as of now I never want to be associated with this man.

Anyway back to my story. I grew up in Nairobi and was just about to go to university in 2003 but my parents couldn't afford it and so I got a job to keep me busy. My boyfriend then (now my hubby) decided to move to Naivasha to look for greener pastures. He set up the business that we now have and things started looking up, I followed him shortly afterwards and decided to settle here.

I fee very sad today because just last year I even had hopes and plans that by the end of this year (2008) we'd be in our own home. But now that seems to be an impossible dream well beyond our reach.

We deal in mobile phones and airtime sales and as you know it was the craze and still is for people to get the latest stylish cell phone. From 2004 until the end of 2007, we have seen steady growth in our business and we had several outlets within rift valley which were doing very well until Dec 2007.

After the disputed elections followed by the violence, we have been forced to close down most of our outlets and even the remaining ones are not doing well. The cost of living for most Kenyans has skyrocketed so much that it has badly affected our type of business. People are struggling to survive with the high inflation and low incomes, they really don’t have anything to spare to get luxury goods like cell phones. From a business where daily sales of Kshs 100,000 were the norm we now record even as low as 10,000 on a good day.

I had hoped that this government would be more sensitive and be more conscience about the local mwananchi but clearly, all they think about is themselves, their selfish ambitions and their pockets. Considering that we had made a milestone between 2003 and 2007 despite all the politicking, I had assumed that as from 2008 things would be even better and the sky would be the limit. My plans to secure a home and go back to school have now been put on hold. It’s like starting from scratch again.

But even with the grand coalition government in place I don’t see Kenya going far, all they are doing is back stabbing each other. Sorry to say this but I think we need to go back to the polls to elect people willing to work for the country and not for their pockets.

Even my own MP for Naivasha is not doing anything for us. He is of no help to the people who elected him. All he is busy with is fighting Jane Kihara in court. Even the CDF office has been closed and supposedly re-located elsewhere.

That's my story and my take on how things are looking, I hope one day I will be able to influence people by my actions and I will be a role model to others.

I admire Wangari Maathai for taking a stand (please do a story on her, the good and the bad).

That's my story, please don’t use my real name and anytime you need a contributor, I'll be more than happy to pitch in. I am tired of being the problem, its time I became part of the solution.

Small business Kenya Special resumes on Monday. Don’t miss it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Wangari" and her hubby are really nice people and i hope your business will grow again .. thou we warned you so many times of the man from othaya but you couldnt listen becuse he was your man then.. now look at what is happening..
greet your hubby

Kasongo

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