Charlses Samson basket weaver
Charles Samson, Eldoret basket weaver

Charles Samson is a basket weaver in Eldoret Town who rides the wheels of life by the words of Brian Tracy; “With each choice you make, you create a life”.

At the age of 49, Charles lives a bachelor life, his only immediate family being his parents.

Born in 1970; raised and bred in Bunyore. Charles was a stubborn student and he dropped out of school before tasting the deep waters of what education could offer.

This led him to frequenting his grandfather’s homestead where he apprenticed basket weaving and gained expertise in the craft.

He would then work as a matatu driver before embarking on the passion that had not dissipated over time.

The basket weaver has evolved over time in making various designs of his product, depending on what the customer wants. These range from carrier bags, tea picking baskets and laundry baskets.

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Raising capital was not difficult for him since even Ksh1,000, he says, is enough to start this business. A sack of weaving materials goes for Ksh400 which makes around four to five baskets which accumulates a profit of around Ksh1,500.

“Napata faida ambayo inanipa motisha kuendelea na biashara hii na kukidhi mahitaji yangu ya kila siku,” (I get significant profit that gives me the drive to pursue this business which meets my financial needs), he said.

There are not that many basket weavers in Eldoret Town and Charles somewhat enjoys the benefits of what could be termed a monopoly. Based on Nandi road near Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, one of the major entrances to the town, customers keep flowing to his work station incessantly ensuring that all the products he makes are sold out.

He has made it a routine to sell his commodities every Friday at the popular “West Market” in Eldoret.

The 49-year old officially started the business in April last year.

His workplace is his home; he eats (sometimes at the hotel) and sleeps there and has never faced any security threat. To Charles, weather changes do not bother him, neither the cold nor the rains frighten him.

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“Kukinyesha niko na vitu vya kujifunika na mimi huwa sihisi baridi,” (When it rains, I always ensure I am well covered and I do not feel cold), he says.

County officers “Kanjoos” have not bothered him which makes it easier to run the business smoothly. Upon completion of his stock, he often goes to his home in Bunyore to have a rest before resuming his business.

That way he gets to spend his small fortune with his family, even though he does not disclose how he spends his money.

Despite the atrocities of life, the light burning inside him does not dim; with his injured foot, business at his station has to be usual basing on the fact that he is self-employed and does not look into employing someone to give him a helping hand.

Charles recalls dropping out of school for fear of punishments. He was an insolent student and for that he regrets. To such students, he has a piece of advice; “Strive to do your best in school when you have the chance or face tough times ahead.”

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