I am a 45-year-old Kenyan who has worked her entire life to make life comfortable for me and my future generation. I started working in 1994 as a bank clerk in Cooperative Bank. Over time I rose to become a Branch Manager. By the time I was leaving the bank, I was earning Ksh 350,000 and my savings had clocked Ksh 10 million.
In 2014 the worst happened to me.The bank wrote us letters indicting that they were retiring some staff, I was one of them. Unprepared to leave, I started wondering,’what next?!!’. But since my fate had already been sealed, I finally found myself out of work but the bank sacked us ceremoniously after giving us handsome retirement package.
In December 2014,I ate Christmas while jobless,and since I was not used to that lifestyle,life started becoming boring to me.I had been a banker for over 19 years and throughout my life I was busy.But here I was,jobless but loaded.The first thought was how to make myself busy. In the process,I went online to seek opinion of any viable business I would do to multiply my savings. Various blogs provided information but most of it was theoretical. I really wanted something practical. The next step was to ask my few friends I knew were entrepreneurs.
It’s after I met a friend who left her job at Maersk to start her matatu business that I made my mind to start my own business. She convinced me beyond doubts that I won’t lose my money.
In 2015 March,I took Ksh7 million and purchased 4 matatus.Upon arrival in Nairobi, I bought shares at Embassava Sacco and incorporated them into the SACCO.
I had not known the dynamics of the business but I was ready to learn from experience.Nevertheless,my friend had assured me matatu business is lucrative.So the business started running and now I was an entrepreneur.
After one week of operations, I made a cool Ksh 60,000….fantastic.The following week the money dropped by Ksh5,000,but it was okay.The worst started happening when one day the combined income was Ksh 2,000.I asked the matatu crew who told me the police nabbed them because of seat belts and overlapping and were slapped with a fine of Ksh10,000.The following days were hell;each day the crew came with excuses,eti tire ilipasuka,kioo ya mbele tulibadilisha,polisi alichukua 3k.
After realizing they had started stealing from me,I sacked them and hired other crew,little did I know they knew each other.The people I hired started coming with the same excuse as those who worked before them.Within 1 year, 2 of my matatus had been grounded,I was remaining with two.This time I had seen it all.There is a time I suspect the conductor pretended that he had been hijacked and the people were demanding Ksh50,000,I sent the money. There are also other incidences I won’t even mention here.
After two years of matatu business,I said enough is enough. My vehicles were almost written off due to poor condition. I eventually disposed them at Ksh350,000 each,but I had incurred over Ksh2 million in expenses.Eventually,I raised my hands in resignation.
From my Ksh10 million savings, I managed to salvage Ksh 3 million, which I used to start a shop in south B.I regret starting matatu business without prior experience.