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Former street boy beats all the odds to pursue a degree course



His story is an inspiration that with hard work and a positive attitude, the sky is definitely the limit

Job Achochi Makori, 30, faced a multitude of challenges while growing up. He however turned these obstacles into a fountain of motivation to create a better future for himself.

After completing high school in 2007, Mr Makori, then aged 17, says he travelled to Nairobi from Nyamira County, where he comes from, in search of any opportunity that could transform his life.

His dream of getting a job never came to be. Without any specialised skills or knowledge on what to do, he became a street boy around Khoja, where he stayed for two years. The streets were his life, his home and his all.

“I stayed in the streets for one year, frustrated and sleeping on pavements. It was a tough life in the streets since violence was routine. Life in the streets also meant playing hide-and-seek with the police, as most of the times we were the main suspects of crime within the Central Business District (CBD),” he says.

This means that in case of a crime by any street child, he would share the consequences at the hands of the police and city council askaris, which included being chased from the CBD.

To beat the hurdles he faced in the streets, Mr Makori started looking for odd jobs and luckily, he landed one at Kasanga Security Company as a guard.

This opportunity changed his life for better, as he eventually settled in Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums in Nairobi’s eastlands, starting life from a humble level. He says it was a great improvement, as he now had peace of mind, which was missing in the streets.

“While working at Kasanga Security Company, I was lucky to get a better job at Pluto Security Company as a supervisor of 10 security guards. I worked there from the year 2009 to 2012. These were greener pastures for me, as I could now pay my Sh1,500 rent and meet other expenses, such as helping my family back at home,” he says.

Mr Makori adds that he believes in personal growth, which he passionately says pushes him to advance his life and look for better opportunities.

Eager to realise even more personal and financial growth, he never got tired of seeking jobs. In 2015, he says he got another job as a cleaner at Lounge Elena in Machakos County. His pay was Sh10,000 per month.

“This job gave me a platform to save money, which eventually enabled me enrol for a boda boda driving course, a desire that I had since childhood. During this time, I was determined to do all it would take to thrive and eventually support my family and join university. In 2016, I met the love of my life Christine Nthenya, who has been my greatest support especially when I feel discouraged. We are blessed with a two-year-old son, Daniel Makori,” he states.

After obtaining a driving licence, Mr Makori says he leased a boda boda at a fee of Sh400 daily. Initially, it was a challenge to raise that money in a day because he was still new in the industry. To overcome this challenge, he saw the need to subscribe to the technology app, Taxify, which gives clients assurance of decent services.

“On a good day, I earn Sh2,000, which has been my target. From this I save Sh500 for my goal of pursuing a degree course in theology. Over the years, I have been preaching and my desire to be a pastor has increased tremendously,” he says.

He adds: “In March 2018, I joined Bugema University in Kampala to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theology. Due to financial challenges, I opted to pursue the course over the holidays,” he says.

Mr Makori, a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, says he travels to Uganda over the holidays for his degree programme. He says he opted for Bugema because the fees are affordable, compared to universities in Kenya that offer the same course.

“I am glad that I have managed to pay fees for two semesters, amounting to Sh120, 000. I believe in hard work and dedication and I am positive that I will complete my degree course,” he says.

He believes that the road to success is not easy to navigate, as it requires passion, drive and hard work.

Source:Daily Nation

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Luxury Westlands hotel on auction over Sh240m debt



A luxury hotel in Westlands, Nairobi formerly known Westend is set to be auctioned over unpaid Sh240 million bank loan.

In a notice published in the dailies Wednesday, Dalali Traders invited potential buyers of We Hotel and Suites formerly known as Westend to attend the event Thursday.

“Under instructions received from the charges advocate, we shall sell by public auction the under mentioned property on Thursday 20 February at our offices along Kijabe Street next to Universal Church starting at 10:30am,” the auctioneer said in a notice.

The hotel is associated with media entrepreneur Purish Shah.

Mr Shah, who is the vice chairman of Radio Africa linked urban station East FM had earlier pushed back similar attempts to sell his We Hotel and Suites through the court.

The Business Daily has learnt the latest planned auction of the upscale hotel is due to the debt owed to Bank of India. The hotel comprises a seven-storey building with basement parking. It has 42 rooms, 14 serviced apartments, spa, gym, conference space and a restaurant on the 7th floor.

Its basement comprises 17 parking spaces and a security office. Its ground floor has a conference centre, laundry area, staff dining room, and stores.

Located on Stima Road off Lower Kabete in Westlands it sits on approximately 0.0858ha (0.212 acres).

“A deposit of 25 percent of the sale price must be paid in cash or banker’s cheque at the fall of the hammer and balance paid within the 90 days to the charges,” said the auctioneers.

The auction comes as the number of properties going under the hammer or businesses crippled by mounting debt has risen sharply in recent months.

We Hotel and Suites joins the growing class of distressed hotels owned and operated by locals that have fallen to mounting debt and slowed down business as a result of the increased supply of rooms in the country and the government’s directive for public servants to hold their meetings in government institutions as part of cost-cutting measures.

By Business Daily

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Nairobi reports high January home sales driven by access to credit and lower property prices



Realtors have reported increased sales of standalone homes within Nairobi and its suburbs, largely driven by improved access to credit and lower property prices.

A survey of several real estate dealers in the city has revealed that January property sales were much higher than the average monthly transactions reported in 2019.

Realtor HassConsult said high-end properties in Westlands as well as the Gigiri diplomatic zone performed well last month, with several off- plan deals recorded.

“January has witnessed three times more activity than any other month last year,” said HassConsult’s head of development consulting and research Sakina Hassanali.

She said Kenyans appear to be enjoying better access to capital as many property buyers and tenants had paid all their instalments that lagged behind last year.

Mr Patrick Muchoki of Mahiga Homes said they have seen higher demand in developments in Ruiru and Kitengela, mostly from investor- buyers from the diaspora market.

“There is hope as Kenya’s population is rising and new well-paying jobs

are fast emerging within the digital space. 2020 is shaping up to be different from 2019, as banks are now willing to lend to would-be homeowners,” he said.

Enkavilla Properties General Manager Lilian Juma said good infrastructure has been supporting new sales for upcoming residential development in areas such as Kangundo Road, while Kitengela serviced plots sold under a buy-and-build basis have witnessed heightened interest among young couples.

Releasing their fourth-quarter housing property index, Kenya Bankers Association reported a seven percentage points jump in maisonette and bungalow sales within Nairobi and its suburbs.

KBA research and policy financial markets director Jared Osoro said there was a 17 per cent rise in sales of maisonettes in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to a 10 per cent rise in the third quarter.


The fourth-quarter KBA Housing Index registered a 0.61 per cent decline compared to the third quarter’s 2.28 per cent drop in house prices, an indication that the repeal of the interest rate capping law last November could have eased access to credit.

Increasing opportunities especially in the ICT sector, rising income levels and infrastructure are among factors that will push demand for homes up, according to some property managers.

By Nation

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Barclays Bank Kenya is now ABSA Kenya and it has opened its doors to the public



Following the issuance of the requisite regulatory approvals, Barclays Bank of Kenya re-branded to Absa Bank Kenya on 10 February 2020 and is now open for business.

Absa Bank Kenya Plc  is a subsidiary of South Africa-based Absa Group Limited.[2] It is licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya, the central bank and national banking regulator.

The headquarters and main branch of the bank are located at Barclays Westend Building, off of Waiyaki Way, in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and largest city.

The bank is a large financial services institution in Kenya, with an asset base in excess of KES:259.718 billion (US$2.597 billion), with shareholders’ equity of KES:42,388 billion (US$423,83 billion). At that time the bank serviced 833 268 customer accounts, in 121 branches, 214 automated teller machines and 2,591 members of staff.

Barclays Africa Group Limited has officially been renamed Absa Group Limited and started trading under its new name and new share code (ABG) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange today. The name change marks the start of a new era for the group as a standalone African group with a new brand design fit for a forward-looking business in a digital age.

No longer just a South African brand, the new Absa Group has a presence in 12 African countries and plans to open international offices in the UK and the US.

“Our new name and brand are an expression of our new purpose and strategic direction, which commits us to growing in Africa,” Absa Group Limited Chief Executive Officer, Maria Ramos said. “We are rallying around a shared sense of purpose and identity while celebrating our diversity,” she said.

Absa Group launched a new growth strategy on 1 March 2018 as it separates from Barclays PLC. The strategy prioritises cultural transformation as well as restoring leadership position in the group’s core business areas, and developing pioneering propositions for customers and clients. The new Absa brand design is an expression of the group’s new purpose, which is:  ‘bringing your possibility to life’.

The rollout of the new Absa brand design in South Africa will be completed in 2019. The new Absa brand will also be rolled out to Absa Group’s Barclays banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia by mid-2020, subject to approvals including from regulators in those countries. Product and service functionality will not be affected by the rebranding programme.

In renaming Barclays banks across the continent, the group will be able to build on the pedigree of the Absa brand as a strong and stable bank. The brand has substantial equity – Absa was named the fourth most valuable brand (with an estimated value of R18.9 billion, or about US$1.5 billion) in South Africa by global brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance this year.

“We would like to build the brand as a bank that Africa’s people can be proud of, a truly independent African bank with global scalability,” said Ramos. “A single brand will enable us to unite behind a single identity, purpose and strategy; we are excited by the enormous opportunity we have to create a bank that Africa can be proud of.”

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