Form 4 Leaver Who Makes Sh140,000 Monthly From Chapatis

Many young Kenyans expect to land white-collar jobs after high school or college. But the harsh reality hits once they hit the job market where decent jobs are hard to come by. Those who appreciate this situation head straight into informal businesses or self-employment.

Nisha Jepkoech was very hopeful that after her secondary school studies she would move into a big town like Eldoret or even Nairobi and secure a job.  But the the 23-year-old found no such opportunities and having heard of stories of frustrations from friends who ventured into towns, she decided to do business.

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She checked out various ideas and settled on making chapatis at her Nandi Hills town. She figured well-done chapatis would attract buyers and compete with existing businesses.  She opened a small kiosk in Nandi Hills. Business has been good. She makes sales of up to Ksh5,500 per day, according to her figures.

“Just like any other young lady, I have a lot of needs, which is why I work hard to earn a living rather than depend on my parents. With this business that has lasted two years, I provide for all personal effects that a lady requires, pay Ksh5,000 rent, and put food on the table,” she said in an interview..

Jepkoech, who started off with one packet of wheat flour a day, says she does a whole bundle per day, making Ksh4500 per day. In addition, she sells tea and chips, which tops up her sales to Ksh5,500 per day, translating to about Ksh140,000 per month.

She noted that due to the high demand, she has employed two people to assist at the kiosk and deliver chapatis to her customers in various locations in the town.

“I have employed two ladies who assist me in my kiosk and pay them Ksh300 per day. They help me supply orders while I cook. I know that by the time they leave this place, they will have acquired the skills of chapati making,” she explained, adding that she learnt the chapati making skills from her mother.

Jepkoech, whose dream is to own a big restaurant, says she wakes up at 5am to ensure that chapatis are ready by 6am in time for breakfast. She closes her chapati kiosk at 10pm.

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According to Jepkoech, customers range from people working at the offices to boda boda riders, business people, and students.

Jepkoech noted that most youths end up in depression due to lack of white-collar jobs, yet they can create their own jobs. She points out some business ideas that require very low capital and skills such as selling boiled eggs, roasting maize, hawking household items and selling cereals, among others.

“With the current economic times, youths should venture into the informal sector as they look for good-paying jobs. Youths, especially ladies, should strive to be financially independent,” she says.

(Reporting by Ruth Mainye / KNA)

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