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How a casual labourer built real estate empire

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From a construction casual labourer to owner of a multimillion real estate company; that basically sums up the intriguing story of Mwenda Thuranira, the proprietor of Myspace Real Estate Company.

The firm manages property worth Sh25 billion, with the number of its employees nearly hitting a 1,000 mark.

Mr Thuranira has managed to make a name for himself in this sector through a wealth of experience gained while working in construction sites in the US.

In the last four years, Myspace has rapidly expanded, incorporating four other companies all related to the real estate industry.

The companies include a specialised property and homes magazine, a property construction and management company, a homes and property expo subsidiary and a media firm that serves the advertising needs of all four entities.

Mr Thuranira’s story is certainly interesting and inspiring for upcoming entrepreneurs.

With sheer resilience and firm desire for success, he tried out various lines of careers, before finally settling on real industry enterprise. He began by studying travel operations and later piloting.

Consequently, his career journey kicked off in the travel and tourism industry where he worked as a customer service agent for an international airline company.

He did not however last long in the job as he was forced to go back to the drawing board when the company shut down its passenger terminal in Nairobi.

This somehow threw him off balance in terms of career plans, and was compelled to think fast in order to get back on his feet. His focus led him to travel to the United States to study a new course, unrelated to what he was previously doing.

“That was in the year 2000 when I travelled to the land of opportunity to study piloting at Dallas University in Texas,” he adds.

But what he thought would be the start of an exciting career flying planes didn’t take off in line with his expectations. By the second year into studies, he was already bored and searching his soul for something meaningful to do.

But this did not mean his stay at the university would go to waste.
He completed his course, and even acquired a private piloting licence.

It was while he was studying piloting that he was introduced to construction and real estate.

“During my time at the university, I worked at a construction site as a casual labourer, and in the process fell in love with buildings,” he adds.

Also, spending hours flying during his piloting lessons gave him a chance to gaze at some of architectural marvels in Texas, fanning even more his love for construction.

This inspired him to want t o sharpen his skills in construction.

He enrolled at the Real Estate Business School at the University of Dallas in Texas. The course he says, made him have a deeper understanding in the business.

In Texas, he worked for several companies before deciding to try his luck in the business.

Mr Thuranira told Enterprise he realised there was a lot of money to be made in the sector, especially from the middle class with financial muscle to buy property.

While in the US, he walked into a bank and borrowed a loan of $20,000, which he used to buy and renovate a house. He later sold the house for about $40,000, doubled the amount he had spent on it. And this is how his enterprise started.

“I remember my fist trial was a success. I walked into a bank and asked for a loan which I used to buy a house. I renovated it and after selling it, I made double profits,” he explains.

While in the US the challenge was getting white clients to trust him and

agree to do business with him. However, he deployed his persuasive skills and overcame the challenge. And thanks to his business acumen, his start-up began to take a firm root.

His business would be on an upward trajectory until a nightmare happened. The 2007 financial crisis hit the real estate business in the US like a tonne of bricks. His business came tumbling down as the edifice of property boom went burst.

Down but not out, Mr Thuranira started to relocate to Kenya to try his luck.

In 2008 he landed back home and began the process of putting together the shattered pieces of his business dreams.

Six months down the line, after a myriad of research about real estate venture in the country, he launched My Space Properties.

Having attained a sound financial base in th US while armed with a wealth of experience, it was not long for his business to take off.

Myspace properties made the first big transactions in Mombasa and gradually the business grew. Now his business empire comprises flagship projects such as Rose Apartments, English Point Marina and Links Plaza.

When starting out in Kenya, he encountered a number of challenges key of which was lack of information and unstructured real estate sector. Some of his projects also failed to take off.

By Business Daily

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Business

Visually impaired man with gifted hands sets sights on ‘shoe empire’

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They say, disability is not inability. All over the world, there are millions of people who have overcome physical challenges to succeed in life.

Not far from the expansive tea plantations of Kericho, one man has inspired many due to his ability to overcome odds and make the best out of every situation.

Bernard Maina Kipkorir, who lost his eyesight due to meningitis in 2007, is a fighter working his way up the ladder. Perhaps, a millionaire in the making.

Kipkorir, 38, believes in hard work and instead of sitting for hours waiting for alms by the roadside, due to his challenges, he makes shoes and sandals from cow hides.

He’s so good at his job that, without his white cane, you wouldn’t notice his blindness.

Kipkorir’s woes began in February 2007 when he started developing migraines.

When he consulted a doctor at the Kericho District Hospital, all seemed well.

“My head felt as if it was being hammered,” he says.

But after more visits to the doctor, he got admitted to the Kericho Home Nursing Hospital where he spent five months in the intensive care unit, and another two undergoing physiotherapy. It was then that he started losing his eyesight.

“I couldn’t comprehend the goings on in my body, and I even lost the sense of time,”

Kipkorir says. Having lost vision in his left eye, he began adjusting to his new life. However, the condition recurred in October 2008 and he was admitted to the Kisii Level 6 Hospital, from where he was diagnosed with meningitis.

Kipkorir was then transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital, where he also lost vision in his right eye while receiving treatment.

“After I was discharged, my doctor referred me to the social services and protection office for counselling and help. It’s then that I opted to go back to school to learn how to live again.”

With all resources at home depleted, the officers and his family held a fundraiser to raise his college fees. He finally enrolled at the Machakos Technical Institute for the Blind in 2010.

He studied braille and learnt about independent living skills as a blind person.

New shoe designs

In 2011, he joined the shoe making department and from that year up to 2017, he progressed from Grade III to Grade I.

Kipkorir has a national grade test certificate from the National Industrial Training Authority under the Ministry of Labour. While in college, his met his love, Jackline Langat.

They have two children, Joyline Cheptoo and Jayden Kipchirchir.

“I have many challenges,” Kipkorir says. “The main one is capital to expand my business.

I need Sh120,000 to stabilise.” He also plans to go back to college to learn “the new shoe designs. It will help me boost my sales”.

His wife, Jackline, treasures her husband. “My peers ridiculed me when I married him, but I don’t think my life would have been any different or better.

He is a blessing to us; he works hard and provides for us. We never lack,” she says.

By Nation.co.ke

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Coronavirus: Terry Mungai’s statement on Ashleys’ closure

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Ashleys Hair and Beauty Academy has shut down indefinitely in a bid to avoid further spread of the deadly coronavirus disease that has, as of Tuesday, March 31, seen 59 people test positive in Kenya.

In a statement issued by the Ashleys Kenya Limited founder and CEO Terry Mungai, the academy will remain closed until the pandemic is contained.

“To our friends and partners, you have walked this journey with us, over the last 24 years, as your number one spot for all your styling and grooming needs. You have cheered us on as we have scaled the heights and we, in turn, have consistently given you the cherished personal and professional services you can only find at Ashleys.

“It is thus, with the utmost difficulty that we have chosen to take the socially-responsible decision to temporarily close down all our branches in order to fully tackle the present challenge of the Corona Virus,” read part of the statement.

She further called for unity and highlighted Kenya’s steadfast spirit as she buttressed precautionary measures to tackle the disease.

“As a nation, we have been shaken before but we have always triumphed through the times of uncertainty. We are confident with God’s help and other this nations leadership, we shall emerge victorious once again. For now, stay safe, stay at home and keep us all in your thoughts and prayers as we shall too.”

Flair By Betty

By shutting down, Ashleys has joined a list of other beauty businesses that have had to close shop due to the pandemic with the most recent being Flair By Betty.

In a statement, the Flair By Betty CEO Betty Kyallo announced the closure of the parlour assuring that her customers and staffs safety came first.

“This special communication comes in the wake of the effects of the novel of coronavirus. It is indeed a difficult time for our beautiful country, continent and the world but we pray and hope for the best in the coming days.

“I believe the health and well being of our clients and staff is supreme and should be jealously guarded. With that in mind, we have decided to suspend operations as per government guidance until we get clearance that business can continue as usual,” read part of the statement.

AFROSIRI salon

Singer Wahu on her part, instead of a complete shutdown, resolved to make adjustments.

Announcing the changes in an Instagram post, the AFROSIRI CEO encouraged clients to get lasting hairstyles that will ensure they stay at home for, at least 3 weeks, before having to visit a salon again.

“For this season, we advice all our esteemed @afrosirisalon clients to wear a hairdo that will last at least 3 weeks (21 days), and to wear short neat nails. For the next couple of weeks, we are open on Wednesday- Saturday and shall serve clients on appointment, ensuring that no more than 5 clients are in the salon at any one time.

“We have also stepped up our sterilising procedures, and ensure all clients and staff alike practice regular hand hygiene (washing and sanitizing on entry/re-entry into the salon, washing and sanitizing of hands before the commencement of service and on completion of the same. We are also serving immune-boosting teas to all our clients. Service is by appointment only to ensure that we maintain the 5 client rule,” wrote Wahu.

By SDE

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How to overcome a season of crisis

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BY GEORGE WACHIURI

A wise man once said that there is a season for everything under the sun – even when we can’t see the sun. Seasons are part of life just like day and night or winter and summer. Seasons of crisis, for instance the current Covid-19 pandemic, come to necessitate change. Crises are not permanent but the question is: How do we overcome such a season of crisis? Here are 7 tips:

1. Seasons guarantee change: A crisis can build brand new markets, remove the old and welcome the new and change the way of doing things. The change could be new innovations, bigger businesses, change of cultures, believes or behaviour change.

2. Crisis gives hope for tomorrow: When it is too dark, light is soon on its way. When you are jobless, you hope for a job soon. When temporary out of cash, you hope for hay days.

3. Nothing remain the same: Seasons come and go. Corona hit China and now China is almost certainly back on track. Seasons are very temporary. For those currently earning a percentage of their salary or no salary at all in different organisations, this is a situation that will not remain the same.

4. A Season of crisis gives incentives to plan for the future: The crisis phase come and go and we must plan for the next phase. The future is more promising than the present.

5. A Crisis Season is Transient: The beauty about it is that days and weeks are moving. Soon, the crisis season will be over. We should not panic too quickly. We need to stand still, think and innovate.

6. Never respond permanently to a temporarily problem: Suicide, for example, is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. We can do better than committing suicide, giving up, or doing something that we might regret soon after the tough days are gone.

7. Keep a positive eye on opportunities brought by a crisis: See the opportunities created during a crisis and seize them if you can. Look at the bigger picture and position yourself approximately.

The author, is a leading Entrepreneur, a Published Author, Philanthropist, Youth Empowerment Enthusiast, a Family man and CEO of Optiven Group.

Contact Optiven Group: 0790 66 77 99 Email: diaspora@optiven.co.ke Website: www.optiven.co.ke George Wachiuri Blog: www.georgewachiuri.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/OptivenEnterprises/featured

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