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How retrenchment made me an employer

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“I studied social work in school, graduated with good grades and landed this sign language job with a major media house in the country. I had made it, I thought, especially since I was in a niche and marketable field of sign language where demand was high yet we were just a few to begin with,” Njeri starts.

She adds that like many employed people, she revelled in the regular paycheck, but soon learnt it was a false sense of security: that salaried employees feel confident that the next pay cheque is guaranteed when it is really not. And just like many Kenyans, she started a side hustle, a wines and spirits outlet, in Ruaka to supplement her salary. But then the unexpected happen; in March 2018, the media company she worked for conducted layoffs, and she was among those who lost jobs. Needlesss to say, the business suffered and she wallowed in despair and self-pity in the house for close to seven months.

“Being jobless was a new experience for me, having been employed since I was 19. I blamed myself, friends and family who I thought should have done better and been there for me. It was only at the tail end of this long pity party that I realised I am responsible for me and no one was coming to save me. I had to save myself,” she says.

Greatest boundary

In hindsight, that period was necessary. It taught her lessons no one teaches in schools: that the world owes her nothing, and that we, as a people, should stop expecting it to be fair. She had friends she had helped set up businesses, get jobs, was close to, yet they deserted her in her hour of need. It taught her the importance of not gauging others using oneself as a yard stick; she would never let a friend starve, but that choice was now not up to her. The time also made her realise everyone is going through something, and that expecting them to take care of you was neither altruistic nor realistic. It taught her everyone has the capacity to push past the greatest boundaries they thought they were incapable of pushing against, that with enough willpower one can blast past any obstacle whether it is redundancy, a failed business or simply a workplace with a toxic culture.

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After the said seven months, the last of which was spent reading the Bible, she was ready to do anything to survive. A friend would send her for an insurance sales job interview in Meru. With nothing else to do and with the mindset to start afresh, Njeri packed her belongings and travelled. However, on realising it was not a salaried position, but rather a commission based job that required her to go out and convince people to buy insurance policies, she had to look for other options. This was in consideration of the fact that she is an introvert, which reduced her chances of making money every month.

Services diversification

She opted for a cleaning gig. This was after an encounter with a cyber cafe owner who asked her to clean the cafe. She earned Sh50, and the next day received calls from the owner who had recommended her to other shopowners who were interested in her services. The ladies paid her Sh100 per job, and she made Sh400 before 11am. She was elated.

It was from this experience she figured that charging Sh50 at each shop would see her make a guaranteed sum of Sh500 daily if she cleaned 10 offices. It did not take long for her to make some considerabe amount of money as more clients came on board. She, however, had to deal with comments about being a graduate that cleas people’s offices for meagre sums of money. She did not mind, she knew pride would not feed her or alleviate her hardships.

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She cleaned offices to the best of her abilities, and in the process, building her brand and her name that she got more jobs than she could not handle on her own. She needed help. She trained a few women to help her out and soon a company she would later register was born. She named it Maximum Cleaning Hub. She has on board 12 employees, two of whom are on casual basis.

Njeri says the transition from a one-person unit to a team was quite easy. She understood that her work required patience and resilience and she instilled that in her new staff.

“Since I had once been an employee, unemployed and a cleaner, being a team leader was easy,” she adds.

She landed her first cleaning con tract for a hospital in Meru. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. One of her clients, a doctor at the hospital, told her about a tender for cleaning and encouraged her to apply.

She took her time to create a presentation that would see her bag the contract. Selling her ideas was something she picked up from trying to convince people to let her clean their offices for them. She understoood the need to be unique and to do one’s due diligence.

“I know it is hard being a tenderpreneur, but having a great idea and making it into a great presentation will better your odds of winning. You should also research the tender process and try consult others who have done what you are trying to do before,” she advises.

Njeri would later bag other contracts, forcing her to diversify services her company offered to such as laundry pickup, cleaning and drop off. Today she maintains the same work ethic: reliability, hard work and meeting clients’ standards and specifications.

With the growth of her company, she also had to make work easier for her employees. The company bought washing machines and a vehicle for the pick-up and drop off. They even branded laundry bags and baskets.

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Stop pity party

In hindsight, she is more appreaciative of that moment of lull that came to change her life.

“I believe I would not be at the place I am today had I not gone through that hard period in 2018. Retrenchment taught me about having real friends and discerning between real friendhips and just friends whom you hang out with. It also taught me

that so long as you stop that pity party and start doing something, anything at all, your breakthrough shall come,” she says.

She adds, “To all those who may have lost their jobs, or their businesses may not be bringing in much, I am sorry that you have to go through that. But do not despair. Keep moving. Whatever you do, just do not stop to feel sorry for yourself and wallow in that space. You are your own saviour.”

The 30-year-old is grateful that she is able to put food on the table and support her family. She is now keen on expanding her business beyond Meru county, where she is currently based.

ABOUT NJERI

• Njeri was born and raised in Limuru, Kiambu County.

• She lost her job as a sign language interpreter in 2018.

• After months of isolation and self-refection she started doing odd cleaning jobs, earning Sh50 a day.

• Today, she is the founder of Maximum Cleaning Hub, a company she set up in December 2018.

• So far, she has 12 employees, two on casual basis.

“To all those who may have lost their jobs, or their businesses may not be bringing in much, I am sorry you have to go through that. But do not despair.

By PD

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Business

MANY PHOTOS of the spectacular retirement home Sarah Kabu gifted her husband on his birthday

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Kenya’s Bonfire adventures MD, Sarah Kabu did the unimaginable for her husband over the weekend, after making a multi-million purchase of a retirement home for her husband, a dream come true on his birthday.

The famous Jabo Jabo couple gave fans a look into their simple yet rich retirement home during the celebrations that went down in Olpajeta, Nanyuki.

Inside Kabus retirement home

The pair gave us a look of the home’s exterior, fitted with large glass windows as walls of the different rooms upstairs, each well furnished with rare exotic African furniture.

The Kabus on baecation

Surrounded with bushes and trees at a distance, the couple did not think much of having a fence around their home, open to all who would pay a visit, with a sign board at the entrance with the words “Welcome to The Kabus retirement home.”

The front yard graced the parking lot while the backyard would be where the couple hosted their social events. With long dining tables and outdoor canvas seats setting the mood for a communal feel, allowing us a view of the large projecting balcony the duo had to enjoy the priceless views of the wild.

Sarah gifts Simon Kabu dream retirement home

In the presence of close friends and family, Mr Kabu was treated to a magnificent birthday event by his wife, Sarah who made his dreams come true with the surprise of his dream retirement home in the wild.

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For Simon, as they drove through bushes and thickets, he first thought they were having a bush lunch only to his surprise to discover that his wife had brought to reality, his plans to own a private getaway in the wild when he needed to unwind from the city’s hustling.


The Kabus

Every time the couple would visit the Olpajeta conservancy, Simon would always wishfully admire “ningetaka kuretire hii place” but after Corona happened, his plans stalled. Hardly did he know that his wife was busy taking huge bank loans to give him his dream retirement home. What a love!

Have a look at the Kabu’s rich retirement home.

The Kabus

Kabus

Sarah &Simon Kabu

The Kabus getaway

Simon Kabu birthday

Mr Kabu birthday

Kabus’ retirement home

Inside The Kabus retirement home

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The Sun is now Setting on your Chance to be Part of Amani Ridge the Place of Peace

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With only 26 plots measuring 1/4 acres remaining, the window to own a plot of land at Amani Ridge the Place of Peace is now closing. As this is happening, the cost of these plots is now set to move up by 20%.

Here is the good news though; you still have a chance to secure your property before this change takes effect.

As this window slowly closes, the value additions are tripling as we are now headed to start internal roads murruming before we finally lay cabro on the same streets. On the other hand, the Kenya Power contract to lay underground power is right on the heels.

At the same time, the Razor Wire installation on Wall of Happiness and Wall not Knowledge (1.4Km in length) is also set to start next week.

Meanwhile, we are heartily celebrating the completion of the four walls surrounding this top gated community in Kiambu (Wall of Peace, Wall of Wisdom, Wall of Happiness and Wall of Knowledge).

As we share this update, the laying of paving blocks (cabro) on a one acre gate-area is ongoing as you see on the accompanying photo.

This cabro works on the estate’s driveway has been designed to give all families and visitors coming into this gated community an inviting welcome.

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Do you want to know how to be part of Optiven Family?

Call us now: 0790300300 or 0723400500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

Experience the difference

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Business

What’s Happening at Victory Gardens – Kitengela

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Effectiveness of Gated Communities in Providing Safe Environments for Childrens’ Outdoor Convenience

Due to safety factors, children use of outdoor spaces can be limited.

Victory Gardens, a residential gated community with access control and guarded area has been deliberately developed to give parents peace of mind as they get about their daily business without worrying so much about the safety of their children.

The Children’ Play Park along Mwangaza Avenue was also designed with children that are brought up in this gated community in mind.

This project’s Care Taker, Mr. Ondiek and his team have a brief to make sure that the grass is well manicured to make this space as safe as possible for children.

Why not secure a site visit and invest in your children future?

Call us on: 0790300300 or 0723400500
Website: www.optiven.co.ke

 

~Experience the difference ~

 

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