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Poor student hustles at city construction sites to save his varsity admission spot

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A Form Four leaver in Tassia Estate is on the verge of losing a lifetime opportunity to become the first one in his family to go through university education.

Calvince Omondi Owera, who lives with his elder brother, a motorbike rider, has been trying to raise funds to enable him join Masinde Muliro University in September this year by working in construction sites.

The 2018 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidate scored a C+ from St Vincent Mixed Secondary School in Oyugis and was admitted to pursue a Bachelor of Education (Arts, with IT) at Tom Mboya University College.

He has since successfully obtained a transfer to pursue Bachelor of Economics at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.

UNIVERSITY MATERIAL

“I was out of school for the whole second term in Form Four looking for school fees by working as a casual in Oyugis. The principal recalled me in third term and offered me a chance to complete my studies because she said she saw a university material in me. I still have a Sh15,800 balance at school that I hope to clear as I continue looking for university school fees,” Omondi told Nairobi News.

Born to a retired watchman and a subsistence farmer mother, he had to raise his secondary fees by working during school holidays.

His two elder brothers dropped out of secondary school and his two younger siblings, a brother and a sister, are still in primary school.

“I really need to secure a job so that I can educate myself through university with the help from Helb (Higher Education Loans Board) and our politicians’ CDF (Constituency Development Fund) and also support my parents and siblings,” he said.

The soon to be economics student has been applying for job opportunities in vain and has resorted to doing ‘mjengo’ jobs to raise money.

“We are planning a fundraiser in July and I hope it will raise enough money to pay my first year as I wait for the first Helb disbursement and continue saving up for the other years,” he added.

STEPPING STONE

Omondi transferred from the education degree because he has no passion for teaching. since his C+ score could not earn him an entry for his law passion, he intends to use economics as a stepping stone.

“I will go back and do a second degree in law because that has always been my passion having seen people suffer for lack of legal representation. Most leaders in my home area are lawyers so I am motivated by the work they do and hope to be in the next generation of you lawyers,” he told Nairobi News.

As 2018 KCSE candidates prepare to join universities this year, Omondi hopes his goals and journey for the coveted degree, first in his family, shall be accomplished.

Nairobi News.

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Business

Introducing Baba Mboga

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If you told Sydney Muhando last year that he would be running a fresh produce grocery city business, he definitely would not have agreed.

The online comedian and drama teacher who is also a video editor was on stage with his trainees in a competition when the first case of Covid-19 was announced in the country.

This was followed by indefinite closure of schools. For him, he knew it would only take a few days before schools reopen. It has now taken six months for candidates to resume their studies.

In the same period, Mr Muhando has grown his online business, Baba Mboga Deliveries, a name he says he chose because of its uniqueness.

Every morning, he wakes up at dawn to go to Wangige Market, one of the largest markets in Kiambu County where he gets assorted fruits and vegetables.

He then sorts them according to what has been ordered and packages them in bags ready to deliver to his customers doorsteps.

Social media pages

Most of the time, people especially in urban residential areas purchase their vegetables and other fresh products from local shops just near their homes commonly known as ‘Mama Mboga’.

“I stayed for two months without a job and life became difficult and  I knew I could not sustain myself for long. My friend had been sending me to the market to get grocery for him at a fee and that is how I identified the gap,”  he says.

With a capital of Sh800 and running short of time, the 28-year-old started purchasing more food from the market, posting them on his social media pages to let his friends know about it. He then delivers them to his customers.

He explains that being a city, many residents hardly get time to go to the market, especially to get traditional or indigenous vegetables. There is also a growing culture for online shopping among Nairobi residents.

“In a city like Nairobi, most people are busy, so I took advantage of that to serve them in their own houses. Many people, were also scared of going to crowded market places fearing that they would contract the disease,”  he says.

Free delivery

For months, Mr Muhando has garnered a huge following both on Facebook and Instagram.

But it is not that easy to open and run social media pages for a full-time online business. Most businesses find it difficult to produce content to market their products.

Luckily, for Mr Muhando who is an online comedian, anything to do with technology is not so hard for him. It only took an hour to create and set up his Facebook account.

“It takes witty captions and for you to have a good camera. It is also important to post the prices. Without seeing the prices, the customers will not be interested in the products, especially if it’s a small business,”  he adds.

He additionally posts the menu for his vegetables, with various discounts to attract customers including free delivery for those purchasing goods worth more than Sh1,000.

To have a variety and almost everything one needs in their kitchen, Baba Mboga apart from greens and fruits also sells spices such as ginger, garlic and onions, with starches such as sweet potatoes and arrowroots as well as eggs.

Invest in branding 

To grow his business, Mr Muhando says it was important to invest in branding for his audience to take it seriously.

He targets families and the busy clientele who could be at work or travelling. On a good day, he makes up to Sh2,000 after delivery.

In his recent innovation, as it is by some business owners who want to add value to their products, he has also introduced the bachelors package, where the traditional vegetables, which usually take time to be made are picked and sorted for easy preparation.

He also does extra services including chopping onions, tomatoes and preparing fruits or vegetables depending on the customer’s orders. Afterwards, he packs them in a branded reusable shopping bag.

As his business expands, Mr Muhando has sought partners who work with him, one, who is in charge of transport and deliveries while another is in charge of a walk-in store he is putting up.

Major challenge 

His major challenge is finding the balance between the cost he uses to purchase the vegetables and delivering them at the customer’s doorstep.

“Since my customers are spread all over, the main issue is balancing the delivery that it does not eat into  my  profits. Competition is also high since more people are now tapping into this business so it requires a lot of improvement and incentives for the customers,”  he says.

Mr Muhando plans to expand his business and even have a walk in store, such as the popular Zucchini, which will in turn create employment for more people as his contribution to the country’s economy.

His advises to young people who unfortunately lost their jobs during the pandemic, “look for other jobs or set up your own businesses,  however small”.

“Keep trying, remember quality service is your biggest advertising,” says Mr Muhando.

by nation.africa

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Lifestyle

Shock after man kills son before taking his own life

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Residents of a Naivasha village woke up to rude shock after a middle-aged man killed his three-year-old son before hanging himself on a tree.

The man strangled his son in Kipkonyo Village while the mother was away before committing suicide, plunging the area into mourning.

Tears flowed freely as relatives and friends tried to come to terms with the incident before police moved in to collect the two bodies.

Record statement

The 30-year-old man, after killing his son, threw the body into a latrine under construction before stripping naked and hanging himself.

Naivasha police boss Samuel Waweru confirmed the incident, adding that security officers had collected the two bodies and opened an inquest.

He said they would be seeking the wife who was not present during the incident to record a statement as part of their investigations.

“Initial investigations indicate that the man first killed his son by twisting his neck and dumping the body in the family latrine before using a rope to hang himself,” said the police boss.

A neighbour, Isaac Lang’at, said the deceased had for a long time clashed with his wife leading to a separation before he decided to kill himself.

By PD.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Meet young Kenyan lady playing key role in Joe Biden’s presidential campaign

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Esther Ongeri, a young Kenyan living in the US is the talk of the town after Kenyans learnt that she plays a key role in the Joe Biden presidential campaign.

According to Biden’s campaign website, Ms Ongeri is the Director of Special Projects in the Biden 2020 campaign and has served in the position since July.

Previously, she worked as the Executive Assistant to the Campaign Manager and Special Projects Coordinator in the same campaign team from June 2019.

Ms Ongeri held the posts of operations coordinator from September 2017 to February 2018 and special projects assistant to the CFO from February 2018.

She is an alumnus of Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and government in 2017.

According to her LinkedIn profile, the brilliant Kenyan was a staff assistant to New Jersey senator Robert Menendez between May 2016 and July 2017.

Ms Ongeri started off as an intern in the office of Senator Menendez between August 2015 to May 2016.

She attained her high school diploma at Saint Dominic Academy in 2013 after joining the school in 2009.

In the November 3 US elections, former Vice President Joe Biden is seeking to unseat incumbent president Donald Trump and both are busy on the campaign trail.

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