By Emmanuel Mukavi
Benson Mutimba the Bungoma – based jua Kali supplier company manager narrated his story since he started his carrier back in the 1990s after completing his secondary education in Mumias- Kakamega county. He told the county guardian news that he thought of enrolling in a college to study for Education but was later advised to study in a Technical college for fabrication and iron works.
The owner of the Benester supplies company situated in Bungoma county has achieved alot from his effort despite encountering challenges in his job.He started his Jua kali cottage industry in Nairobi in the year 1998 from where he managed to employ a few youths to mentor them so that they can become his employees.
Through his work he was able to buy a piaece of land ,educate his wife in the Teachers Training college to study for a Diploma in Education,educate his siblings and also sustain himself to run his duties as a bread weaner. Besides he runs other suppliying companies in Nairobi and Kisii where he has provided employment opportunities to young people.
“Like any other industry this one requires alot of commitment and the desire to persevere some of the challenges we encounter during day to day activities” paused Mutimba.He said that once he had challenges with his sight due to the effects of iron works but once became used to working within his condition since he was working under the hot sun.
He acquired materials from Nairobi industrial area in bulky so that he could save some cash on the buying price. In the jua kali sector, he has employed over 30 youths who are earning their own wages and they are able to sustain them to pay their rent and buy foodstuffs within the town centres.
The company has invested in a wide range of jua kali products such as jikos,stoves,electric cooker,basket cooker,bread ovens,grills,gate,steel doors among more iron steel products that are widely used on a daily basis.
The onset of the Covid-19 disease in Kenya came alongside with challenges that every sector was affected. According to the manager he recorded slight decrease in the number of customers from March 2020 due to the effects of the Corona virus but later the number started to increase due to uplift of the Covid-19 restriction measures by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He urged youths to embrace in TVET Colleges across the country so that they can study for short term courses that are in demand for transpiring the economy of the world.”youths should come out and study in the Technical colleges to learn for practical skills that are most valuable in day to day basis” said Mutimba.
Different companies allover the world laid off their workers due to the devastating effects of the virus. However ,economies are trying to work hard to revamp the economy but the jua kali industries is still leading in providing self employment by which most people depend on for their survival.