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Smell of money: The millionaire chamas of Nairobi’s Marikiti market

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Wakulima Market or ‘Marikiti’ is one large pipeline of food to residents of Nairobi. It is noisy, dirty and has always been busy since opening shop in 1967. It’s not the kind of place anyone would imagine is a hub of millionaires.

But Maritiki, Kikuyu corruption for ‘market’,  has churned out millionaires in real coin on the back of trading in potatoes, tomatoes, hoho, nduma, nguace, maize, beans and assorted fruits. For starters, traders in the chaotic market have a collective business turnover of between Sh100 million and Sh500 million in a day! That’s before deduction of operating costs, according to Cyrus Kaguta Githaiga, the chair of Marikiti market  Such money can attract dark forces — which is why there are daily  interdenominational fellowship sessions to fight juju. Though initially meant for 300 traders, the market now serves over 20, 000 people, comprising farmers, wholesalers, brokers, retailers, vendors, handcart pushers and the kua – the carriers on whose backs and shoulders sacks reach different bus stops en-route to the soko and then your plate.

The profit margins are eye-watering. A trader can go home with anything between Sh10,000and to Sh50,000 in one day. The bulk of traders are members of the Wakulima Market Traders Association Group, the chama which collectively run different businesses, including trucks, parcels of land in Thika, Juja and Ruai, besides owning several buildings around Kenya. There are also other chamas, mostly operated by women since the 1970s when, like all chamas, they started with dishing out money merry-go-round style in the 1970s. Some early members died and their children inherited the shares.

The contribution is mandatory and one is fined for failing to make a contribution in time. A normal group has between 10 to 20 members who contribute between Sh500 and Sh1,000 a week.

The high rollers are in a different league, as they contribute Sh10,000 or more daily. Faridah Oronga a trader at Marikiti says through the chama, “I have educated my children and made other investments. Our chama has bought parcels of land valued at millions of shillings. I will get my share the day we decide to dispose of the lands. We have also invested in lorries that transport goods to various parts of the country.” Faridah adds that besides business, the chama also serves as a social welfare group. Each member contributes Sh1,000 to a sick member and “it is a must to contribute. Those who fail to contribute will also not get any help when they are in need.

During burials, we hire a bus and select a few individuals to represent us. We don’t let our own to suffer. We live as a family.” Salome Wanjiru has been operating at Marikiti since 1997 and says that “we oil the economy,” besides making individual investments like buying land in Ruai.

She says most Nairobians perceive them as simple market women yet “we own several buildings” and money from the chama has boosted her “dairy and poultry farming business back in the village, and all my children have completed university.” The traders also have access to readily available loans. Margaret Muthoni, a trader, says they borrow small guaranteed loans in the morning and repay in the evening.

“I make enough to pay back the principal and keep the profit. The secret is to take advantage of the compounding interest.”

Women sell groceries at the Marikiti market in the morning. [File, Standard]

The market has 28 different sections with different products and thus, different chamas. Those dealing in potatoes and onions could for instance have their own chamas.

There are 20,000 non-registered and 8,000 registered members, but all groups fall under All Wakulima Market Traders Association with an elected chair.

Money collected by all the chamas easily oscillated between Sh100 million and Sh500 million in a day and Githaiga is proud: “We have created wealth and are successful. Most of us have built homes, own matatus and made investments worth millions of shillings using this concept. We realised that this initiative is a powerful tool, which has a lot of benefits.” Githaiga ensures all traders’ rights are respected, besides providing a conducive environment for working.

“We pushed for the closure of betting shops near the market because traders were becoming lazy and spent their earnings betting. Every day, we have a fellowship at 6am through Wakulima Interdenominational Pastors Welfare to fight juju,” he explained.

Githaiga says some of the biggest challenges is garbage disposal and “hawkers who create congestion on the roads adjacent to the market. Hawkers are good investors if they are managed well, but should be designated on less busy roads.”

Githaiga wants the county government to look into, among others; the expansion of Marikiti besides, improving its drainage system, refuse disposal and recycling of garbage.

Other downsides are that “many people don’t like coming to the market because they say it is dirty and insecure.” He says that for the chama to be successful, 100 per cent integrity is a must and rules should be set in such a way that if someone breaches them, they are fined.

Discipline is key.” Stella adds that to understand table banking, one has to look at cooperatives as a bigger version of table banking with the difference being that they have “greater numbers and systems to control the numbers, but the bigger the number, the larger the complications.

However, they’re  regulated and you can save and borrow three times your savings and at friendly interest rates.” One problem with cooperatives is that shares are controlled as some put a cap on monthly contributions, besides resolutions being passed during an AGM.

By Ghaflaco.ke

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VIDEO: Inspiring Journey Taking Shape at Kiambu’s Top Gated Community

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Amani Ridge the Place of Peace was extremely busy today as the Engineers set their focus on achieving the very best in preparing the roads to murrum standard, ready for cabro when time comes.

The following activities will follow:

1. Storm water drainage

2. Piping water along the main lines (those building will only need to pay for water meter)

3. Underground power will follow

4. Installation of solar street lights will be the next step

5. After this, planting of 2, 000 trees will follow along all the roads in the estate

6. The sewerage systems will be replaced by Water recycling technology as initially promised

We are committed to #GoingGreen

Become part of the Amani Ridge family today

 

Call: 0790 300 300 | 0723 400 500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

 

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Big Smiles on the way for Garden of Joy Owners

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A big announcement concerning the Garden of Joy gated community is set to be made this coming Friday, 23rd October 2020.

The planned announcement will be a cause of great joy for clients who have already made a decision to make the Garden of Joy their joyous home.

Those joining the success train later, will pay slightly higher for this property. We call it the ‘waiting-to-see-expense.’

If you are reading this message, go ahead and call your relationship advisor today to save the waiting cost and to become part of the joyous brigade.

Check us on FB Live on the 23rd October at 4PM as we unveil the greatest news at the Garden of Joy.

Secure your jewel today
Call us on: 0790300300 | 0723400500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

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How Covid-19 will influence future innovation in home design

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The world is still smarting from the blows of the Covid-19 pandemic, a contagion whose disruptive thrust has been felt in practically every facet of our social and economic lives.

And as the shockwaves of the pandemic reverberate in the real estate industry, experts say that the sector must reinvent itself to align with the demands of the post- Covid-19 era. It’s time to revisit the way we build our homes and how we interact in the built environment and shed some practices that do not conform to, say, social distancing in the home. “As we approach a post Covid-19 era, a well-designed house will be critical all the while ensuring that the comfort at home is not compromised,” Architect Florence Nyole says.

She says a lot of the housing stock in Kenya lacks in basic design principles, such as admission of natural light and proper passive ventilation.

An architect with EcoSpace Architects and the chairperson of the Architects Chapter at the Architectural Association of Kenya, she asserts that our built environment currently suffers from the effects of intensive subdivision of land, which hinders proper design of homes.

“We have subdivided plots into too small parcels, such that proper design is a challenge. The Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), which is caused by poor ventilation, resulting in dusty, smoky or ‘ foggy rooms and continuous use of % artificial lighting is a major contributor to poor health and lack of wellness of the dwellers, especially in densely populated areas of our cities. This results the sprea if Covid-19, but also -7 airborne diseases,” she says. The World Health T Organisation (WH V \ tributes the sprea Covid-19 largely to the v movement of microdroplets, invisible to the naked eye, from infected persons. The droplets can linger in the air for up to 20 minutes, during which time they retain their potency to cause infection. Poorly ventilated spaces, therefore, serve as conducive environments for the spread of the disease.

“A poorly ventilated mom will cause the microdroplets to be inhaled by other occupants or settle on surfaces causing further infection if not sanitised in good time”, Florence told Boma.

“Proper ventilation will be key in helping to alleviate the spread of the microdroplets. Building our’ homes with maximum aeration is critical in mitigating the spread of the virus within enclosed spaces,” she added.

This, she says, will involve installation of open-able windows within living spaces to allow for sufficient airflow. Further, in areas where wind speeds are low, aided air movement through the use of extracting fans will be required. She, however, cautions against the use of airconditioning, as the principle behind these systems is to cool and recycle air into the spaces. “If the air cycle is contaminated, these could be inhaled and cause infection to the occupants of the space”.

As the government implements the home-based care initiative for Covid-19 patients, we must rethink our interactions in the home of the future, seeing it not only as a conducive space for recuperation, but also a safe environment for caregivers and non-infected residents. As Florence puts it, moving forward, there’s need to look at our homes not only as spaces for living, but also as places of care for patients. “This brings the disease closer home and good design should offer as much isolation as possible if one of the occupants will require home-based care. This would entail designing homes with a self-contained section complete with areas for washing, cooking and resting that can accommodate at least two persons. Some form of visual

continuity should be maintained to enhance human-to-human interaction and improve the chances of healing for the patient,” she points out.

Noting that the coronavirus also spreads due to contact with contaminated surfaces, Florence advises that there is need to not only sanitise potential contact surfaces in the home, but also minimise the number of surfaces that one comes into contact with. And this, she says, is a potential area crying out for innovations. “We should, therefore, expect an acceleration in the adoption of automated systems from door opening to light switching and even washroom flashing. The World Health Organisation has advised that surfaces should be disinfected as often as possible. If these commonly touched surfaces could be reduced as much as possible, adoption of automation to a greater extent than has been done in the past will be necessary,” she explains.

The world has adopted social distancing as a key mitigation against the spread of Covid-19. Under this new dynamic, the Chair of the Architects Chapter avers that we are likely to see a shift in the room sizes – especially living areas where guests are entertained – to observe this minimum distance.

Florence further says that some activities may be moved outdoors when the weather allows and there will be increased use of gardens and open spaces where there is fresh air.

Sanitisation will also occur as one enters the home, and these sanitation facilities could be installed right at the entrance in comparison to the current status where hand washing occurs at the guest bathroom or at the handwasining basin within the dining area or the kitchen sink. A redesign of the entrance lobby to incorporate this may be considered.

“Proper natural ventilation and admission of daylight into the living spaces will become critical,” she offers, noting that whereas this may be easily achieved in standalone units such as single dwellings, the challenge is greater in areas where there is dense construction, such as tenements and highrise buildings adjacent to each other.

By PD.co.ke

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