Young men earning a living from making designer shoes
Lack of formal employment in the country has led many youths to think out of the box in earning a living with some engaging in the business of making designer shoes.
Martin Mwangi, a young entrepreneur from Thika town earns a living from making and designing unique and fashionable shoes both casual and official wear.
Speaking to KNA on Thursday in his workshop at the Mukarati market, Mwangi said that he makes custom made shoes where he mixes leather and the kitenge material which he sells between Sh.1, 500 to Sh.1, 600.
Mwangi has four employees who he has trained before joining his business, saying he has been in this business for 21 years now and that he has learnt most of this work through apprenticeship but still went to a polytechnic to polish up his skills.
“I now have my own shoe line known as Safco Enterprise which operates at the Mukiriti market in Thika but I still have plans of opening up more branches in Eldoret and Nakuru,” he said.
Mwangi who lives in Majengo, Thika is a married man and a father of two, adding that he is able to pay his children’s school fees and also provide for his family out of the profit that he makes from his business.
James Njenga, one of his employees said that he satisfies his family’s needs from this business.
“Mwangi trained me in 2009 and in the same year, he offered me a job,” said Njenga.
Both Mwangi and Njenga said that although the business is profitable they still face some challenges like lack of enough market which is a major problem to them. They also added that they sell the shoes to both retailers and wholesalers depending with the orders that they get.
Their advice to everyone out there waiting to get formal employment is that they should make use of the skills that they have however limited they may be because great things come out from the small things that one does.
By Irene Njuguna/Terry Wangui