NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 25 – In the blink of an eye, she lost everything; her business and job. She was left wallowing in self-pity.
For months, Njeri Muchina did not have any hope, it was a dark place to be, and she did not know how to get out.
You see, the mother of three had always had an income. During her university days, Njeri enrolled for a course in sign language and started earning gigs for sign language interpretation.
She became so good at it that she landed a job at Media Max Limited as a sign language interpreter and was slotted for Kameme TV’s news bulletin.
But her entrepreneurship spirit could not limit her to a day job.
“I opened a Wines and Spirits shop in Ruaka Town determined to make a little bit more for myself and family, and things went well for quite sometime. And then they did not. The Kiambu County Government was fighting alcoholism in the county, and my shop was among the affected ones, meanwhile at my place of work, things weren’t good either, and I ended up losing my job at the same time,” Muchina narrates in the latest episode of Founders Connect Africa.
For seven months, she had her pity party, with a bit of prayer over here and a bit of self distruction over there.
“I drunk a lot, and I prayed alot, I actually read the whole Bible, I was lost, my friends were gone, my family was confused and didn’t know how to help me, but I had one friend, who was tired of my whining. She got me an interview in Meru in an insurance company as an agent. When I went for the interview, the interviewer was elated to see me, because he had seen me on TV and gave me the job,” she said.
It was during the Job training that she realised Insurance was not for her.
“The job was commission based, during the training, I learnt that the one who earned the most in that month, got Sh10, 000. I was shocked, and knew I wasn’t coming back, I used the Sh100 bob they gave us to buy credit to look for cleaning jobs. I went to the first shop, they were suspicious, and chased me away. I mean, I was very well dressed, in stilettos, and wanted to clean? But one owner of a cyber Cafe, gave me the opportunity to clean her Cyber Cafe for Sh50,” she revealed.
Later that day, word went round that there was a graduate who was cleaning shops for a living.
She was immediately booked for the next day and made Sh1900, from cleaning four shops for Sh100 and a house for Sh1500.
That is how Max Hub Limited started.
The firm is now one of the largest cleaning companies in Meru.
“We are now cleaning malls and hospitals, we still do houses and a few premises, it is all a blur and happened so fast, I cannot believe how far we have come,” she said.
She now has over 10 employees and plans to open branches in other counties.
“We have differentiated our product through service delivery, our staff is highly trained and honest. We have standardised our services, we have affordable monthly packages for house cleaning, this makes our product very attractive to many homes,” she added.
Her biggest challenge right now is scaling up.
“I am in a comfortable place right now, I want to scale up. I don’t want to stagnate,” she noted.
She advised those who lose their jobs not to give up on themselves.
“Don’t stay in that pity party for so long, do something, anything, don’t despise any opportunity, you never know what will work for you,” she said.
In the recent past, nearly a million people have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has forced many businesses to either cut jobs or shut down.
The move comes even as youth unemployment in the country remains a great challenge for the Uhuru Kenyatta administration.
The government had promised to provide a over million jobs every year, but have fallen short with each year averaging at 800,000 new jobs.