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Naivas: From village shop to retail giant

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Naivas Supermarkets, whose chairman, Mr Simon Gashwe Mukuha, died on Monday, started as a shop in a tiny village at Rongai trading centre on the fringes of Nakuru town.

The giant supermarket chain started off as Rongai Self Service Stores –a family shop – before its transformation into a retail giant.

Naivas founder, Peter Mukuha Kago, died in 2010 and left his children, among them Mr David Mukuha (director) and Simon Gashwe Mukuha (who died on Monday) as the heirs of the business.

Other siblings who own shares in Naivas include sisters Grace Wambui Mukuha and Linet Wairimu.

The late Gashwe was the administrator of their late fathers’ estate.

It is hard to believe that at least three decades ago, Naivas started as a small family shop in Rongai, operated by the Mukuhas, before emerging as a major player in the fiercely competitive retail business in Kenya.

In a past interview with the Nation, Mr Gashwe’s brother, David Mukuha, revealed the humble beginnings of Naivas Supermarkets shop in the 1990s.

“It first started as a small family business serving the village of Rongai in the outskirts of Nakuru town in 1992. I started it after convincing my brother, Simon Gashwe, that this type of business held the future for us and our family. We raised Sh200,000, which we used as capital for our retail store,” said Mr Mukuha.

From what appeared to be a small family retail shop, the Rongai Self Service Stores, as it was known then, and serving mainly residents of Rongai, grew into a major wholesale and distribution business and was registered as a company in 1993.

Two years later, the family business grew and spread with a new branch in Elburgon near Molo.

According to a family source, the Mukuhas ploughed back the profits from the business and opened another branch in Naivasha town, which they called Naivasha Self Service Stores.

In 1996, the family operated three outlets in Rongai, Elburgon, and Naivasha with the one in Naivasha as the head office before later rebranding to the current Naivas in 2007.

The business would later spread its wings to Nairobi in 2001, where it opened its first branch on Ronald Ngala Street, closing down its outlets in Rongai and Elburgon.

Over the years, Naivas Ltd has established itself as a reputable chain of supermarkets in Kenya.

Naivas now has 13 branches in Nairobi, Naivasha, Eldoret, Machakos, Embu, Kitui, Garissa and Narok.

It employs thousands of workers in its outlets across the country.

Nakuru is also home to at least four dominant supermarket brands including Tuskys Supermarket.

Interestingly Mr Joram Kamau, the founder of Tuskys, was a brother of Peter Mukuha Kago and the two helped each other nurture the family businesses to the giant supermarket chains they are today.

Others that also started off in Nakuru include Nakumatt, founded in Nakuru by Has Hashmuk Shah, the Haraka Kanini Enterprise, which deals in retail and wholesale, which also started off as a shop in Nakuru town after shifting from Kinangop.

Gilani’s Supermarket, Stagemart Supermarket and Rivanas Supermarkets are others which started off in Nakuru Town.

by Nation.co.ke


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Cry of a Kenyan man whose Multi-Million-Shilling Apartments have gone unoccupied for 4 Years

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A landlord in Kenya has been left counting losses after his real estate retirement plan goes down the drain.

85-year-old David Ndolo from Kitengela told the media that he had lost more than Ksh10 million in rent after his multimillion apartment block stayed unoccupied for 4 years.

Ndolo says he built the multi-million-shilling property in Kitengela, Kajiado County through his pension savings. Its construction was completed in 2014.

The building consists of five bedsitters and 19 two-bedroom houses, which should earn him a total of Sh250,000 per month.

“I have watched helplessly as my retirement investment crumbles,” he lamented.

According to neighbors, his tenants started fleeing due to sewer water suspected to be coming from an adjacent building linked to a retired government official.

Ndolo’s troubles began in 2014 when over 200 tenants occupied the adjacent building and sewer water started seeping into his apartments.

He says he reported the matter to the National Environmental Management Authority and public health officials but the authorities closed the building instead.

His daughter Roselyn Ndolo said that officials ordered the closure citing that the apartments were a health hazard.

When contacted by journalists, Kitengela Public Health Officer Benard Kiluva stated that he did not have enough information on the matter since he was recently posted to the area.

Kajiado NEMA Director Joseph Kopejo promised to visit the site to probe the matter.

Government officials say Many landlords in the country have been contravening these provisions by either discharging untreated effluent into a public sewer or discharging it into the environment without an effluent discharge license.

“According to Kenyan law, it is illegal for  any person from discharging any effluent from sewer treatment works, industry or other sources into the environment without a valid effluent discharge license issued by the authority,” said a NEMA official.

 


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Kenyans in Diaspora to get a free ride from the Airport courtesy of Certified Homes

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Your developer of choice Certified Homes Ltd is offering Kenyans working and living in the diaspora FREE ride from the airport to their destinations within Nairobi metropolitan.

Certified Homes Ltd is the first developer in Kenya specialising in affordable houses to offer all Kenyans in diaspora rides from the airport free of charge.

On arrival the diasporans will receive special gift hampers courtesy of Certified Homes Ltd.
Have a look at Sukari Heights comprising of Studio, 2 & 3 br plus SQ apartments starting from Ksh 2.7M located in the most exclusive Kahawa Sukari neighborhood.

 

To book your free ride;
Call/WhatsApp +254711128128
Email: diaspora@certifiedhomes.co.ke
www.certifiedhomes.co.ke


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Top athlete turns to jiko-making to beat pandemic

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They say a man must do what a man must do.

This idiom has become a reality to Dominic Samson Ndigiti, the reigning Africa U20 10,000 metres walk race champion and former World U17 10,000 metres walk race bronze medalist during the Covid-19 times.

Ndigiti, who has won Kenya a gold medal at the Africa Under-20 Championships held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has been crisscrossing the country, doing what he now loves to do most: Making affordable, energy-saving jikos – charcoal cooking stoves.

Coronavirus pandemic

Though the walking race champion learnt the skills of making this particular kind of jiko in 2018 when in Finland where he had gone for a competition, he did not put them to use until when coronavirus hit the world, putting a break on most sporting activities.

“I saw the whites making the jikos in 2018 when we had gone to Finland for Under20 competitions. It took a week for me to learn. But I started being serious when coronavirus hit us. The jikos now earn me a living,” he said.

The 20-year-old says the modern jikos use charcoal or firewood.

“It uses less firewood and it has a chimney, which helps keep smoke out of the house. It is not a complicated jiko and long after cooking is done, it conserves heat because of the clay bricks used,” he said.

The jikos are of different sizes and can fit in any kind of house be it permanent, temporary or semi-permanent.

“I do not discriminate for which house to make my jikos. Charges vary according to sizes. A one-stoned jiko goes for Sh3,000, two 4,500, three 6,000 and four and above goes for Sh10,000,” said Ndigiti.

He says that materials needed include cement, clay bricks, fireproof and red-oxide paint.

Different work

Ndigiti says many people see him as a successful person owing to his record in the walking race, but the tough times have forced him to work differently.

“I am grateful because Kenyans have responded very well to my venture. I have visited many counties in the past few months, making jikos. Before coronavirus, I did not know my home county of Kisii well, though I have was born and brought up here, but making jikos has made me a tourist,” he said.

Ndigiti, who hails from Marani sub-county in Kisii County, schooled at Kiandega High School in Nyamira county and developed a passion for the walking race while in Standard Six.

He says he was inspired by his teachers.

“I am glad for the achievement I have made in walking race. That is another gift in addition to walking that God has given me. Many people in Kenya do not know this kind of sporting activity. China, Spain and Japan top the competitions,” he said.

The IAAF World U18 Championships is an international event bringing together athletes from all over the world who are 17 or younger.

“Coronavirus brought a lot of problems in the world and we couldn’t go out to compete. I hope this will end soon. But this pandemic has made me learn the hard way. Talents are to be exploited, no matter how much little income they bring,” said Ndigiti.

He is hopeful that after the pandemic, he will represent Kenya in the Olympics and will bring home a gold medal.

Ndigiti comes from a humble family and his success in the walking race has not taken away his humility.

Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

“We live life easy. Living well with people has taught me a lot during this coronavirus time. The requests to make more jikos is overwhelming,” he said, adding that Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Rep Jane Kiptoo has already asked for his help in making more than 100 jikos for women groups.

He says most of his clients are women. “They have embraced my idea of making our kitchens look better.”


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