** This article was done at a writing workshop in January 2013**
Rodgers struck our team as a determined minor businessperson but after we got talking, we found out that he owned not one but five fruits stand! Do not judge a book by its cover.
He led us to his biggest and most profitable stand where we did the interview.
Rodgers started the business four years ago after trying his hand as a ‘Mjengo’ (Construction) Worker. He decided to meet a certain need in the Kangemi area- The Provision of fruits to residents. Many people working in Kangemi cannot afford lunch but fruits served as a more affordable option, hence the success of the business.
One might wonder if Vending fruits can be well paying… well. Brace yourself: Rodgers has built a house with the profits and bought a cow… How rewarding!
This being a political year, we wanted to know if in any way this had affected his business. His only shortcoming would be that he would have to be away upcountry for two weeks as the voting goes on. That would lead to loss of key sales especially since fruits sell out in the hot season.
He agrees that indeed politicians have given many promises though they have not said anything that will profit his business much.
In the next five years, Rodgers hopes to make enough savings to buy a piece of land and be a broker (to get fruits from the farms for him and other vendors). This will increase his profit margins.
His encouragement to young people is to stop drinking and lazing around and organize themselves to try their hand in business.
On regular customers, he said there are quite a number with whom they are on a first name basis and discuss politics and family. However, there are those who shun him because of his ‘small business’ which is hardly the case as he owns 5 stalls in prime locations.
Determination and passion is evident in this young man, who is a husband and a father of one.