‘I always loved clean, beautiful, fashionable things even when I was young’ was David’s response when I asked how come he owns a salon, largely regarded a women’s business. ‘I learned to braid grass with my sisters’; he not only owns the salon but also actually does braids on his customers. His wife and one helper work at the salon. I found him at a promotion tent in Nairobi CBD where they are promoting and selling ZEDD phones. His main task was to draw-in the crowds.
David is now 24 years old; he struggled to earn and pay his way through school but eventually dropped out in Form IV when it became impossible for him to earn enough to complete the year. He continued to do whatever odd jobs that he could find but he was always very hot-tempered. So, he often messed up his relations with his employers. But besides all this he was a determined young man and kept in touch with Ministry of Youth in order to make use of opportunities arising to learn different skills that will help him make a living. He got to know about the KYEP trainings through the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
This way he learned artwork, learned to do graffiti painting, he can sing and at the moment he is an entertainer for hire, for which he maintains an office in Karen. At present, he has a 3-year contract to entertain children at Carnivore during the weekends on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. For this he makes KES. 6,000 per weekend. With this, the income from the salon and his other varied contracts he is able to earn at least KES. 40,000 per month that goes towards the welfare of his family.
As for the KYEP trainings, he says, it changed him; the one most important thing that helped him was how to deal with his temper; the training made him understand the importance of being a more sociable person. He paid keen attention to the entrepreneurship training as he knew that it was important for his survival in the business world.
However, he naturally has an eye for business opportunities; while at the training venue, the interns were taking tea without anything to munch; he followed up with the training and institution authorities and obtained permission to sell chapati to his fellow trainees. Using the training stipend, he proceeded to make and sell the chapattis and earned much more than enough for his needs during the Life Skills Training. He is indeed an illustrious and creative young Kenyan, very inspiring.