LUTON, ENGLAND- The Daring Abroad UK edition continued last week as we featured another Kenyan entrepreneur who has gone an extra mile to establish a shipping business in Luton Town, England.
Morris Njuguna went to the United Kingdom in 2003, a year after he graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Economics and Social Studies. Ideally, he flew to the UK to further his studies, and that ambition gave birth to Kenya Exports Limited.
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Like any other determined entrepreneur, Morris juggled studies, hustle and distractions with an aim of making ends meet, quite literally. And despite being holder of a Masters Degree in Accounting, he still had to fight lack of opportunities and ended up losing the war thus resorting to business.
"By 2007 , I came out with a Masters and in 2008 I was working on projects.. later on found out I had nothing to do that is why I went into business," tells Daring Abroad.
His small savings helped him put his fast foot forward to start the Kenya Exports Limited company that helps Kenyans in the UK and other parts of the wold in shipping their goods to Kenya.
"Kenya Exports Limited offers solutions to Kenyans who live in the UK or who live anywhere in the world and would like to ship anything from UK to Kenya," Njuguna further narrates.
Adding that, "We handle all the preparations, inspection, booking of containers or airline, space and we ship them to Kenya."
With his background in economics and further experience from Shiefiled Hallam University where he studied accounting, Morris Njuguna narrates to Daring Abroad the factors to consider when starting a business, cost implications and what to do when things seem to be going south in business.
"When I started this business I was in London, I used to live in one bedroom flat, that is where I started my business," he says.
"I looked for storage, with time family grew, we were constantly looking for somewhere knowing how London is I had to look for somewhere else for parking place for my business, looking was suiting me better, space and cost."
ESSEX, LONDON- Anne Wafula Strike is like the proverbial cat with 9 lives. In her whole life, she has defied odds, fought superstition and challenged status quo because she was meant to live like a normal human and not be locked up in some hut in Webuye, Kakamega County.
Her story is that of determination, guts and positivity. It is inspiring and motivating especially when you look back to her days growing up. And in that spirit, Anne Wafula Strike has defied all the disability odds to become a powerful, admired role model in the United Kingdom. She literally dines with royalty.
"I was born as a normal healthy child- that is what my parents tell me. And when I was two and half years, I got very ill; nobody knew what was happening," she says.
"And because of the kind of life then, there were two minds. Christians believed I was cursed by God and the traditionalists believed I had been bewitched."
Also on Daring Abroad
Apart from championing the rights of persons living with disability in the UK, Anne Wafula Strike is also a paralympian. She has participated in five Paralympics since 2004 and has also been to World Championships. But it has been long, a very long story, she says.
Had it not been for the aggression of her father though, a former military warrant officer, Anne Wafula Strike would not be who she is today. Her entire family had to fight superstition, primitive and archaic beliefs of her community back then, to let her live and see her dreams come true. And that her father did, against all the odds.
"The traditionalists expected my father to abandon me because they started seeing me as an outcast, a burden just like other disabled children who are locked up in houses," Anne tells Daring Abroad.
"It was then that my father took me to Kenyatta hospital where I was diagnosed with polio."
On Daring Abroad tonight, Anne Wafula-Strike also tells Alex Chamwada how and why villagers back in Mihuu, Webuye wanted to burn their home, how they managed to escape and the role her father played during the tumultuous times.
"We had to flee our home and ended up in Kahawa Barracks because my dad was in the army," she narrates.
With 40 years and 25,000 hours of flight, veteran Kenya Airways pilot Joseph Kinuthia could not have been happier when he was proposed to lead a team of four other pilots to fly the Dreamliner 787-8 during the inaugural flight from Nairobi to JF Kennedy Airport in New York on Sunday.
It was a historical moment for a man who had not flown to New York Captain as a pilot although he had been there as a visitor. It would be fascinating, he guessed. Chams Media caught up with Captain Kinuthia a few hours before the flight and he shared his incredible story.
The 65-year-old told Alex Chamwada that it is an honour that the company selected him alongside three others, a captain and two co-pilots, to fly the plane to New York.
"I have never flown to New York so it is a fascinating challenge," he says. "And I'm honoured to be doing it for the first time for Kenya Airways."
Captain Kinuthia attributes his selection to his massive experience and the fact that he will be retiring in the next few months.
"I was proposed to be the first one to fly to JFK because I am the most senior pilot in Kenya Airways today. I have been there since 1978. And I will be retiring in the next few months so the company thought probably I should be the one flying."
Interestingly, captain Kinuthia has never flown to New York. He says he has been there as a visitor and so this becomes a whole new challenge. How do you tackle such?
"We started preparing for this flight the minute it was announced," he says. It was my job to train people on how to fly to JFK using a dummy route on the simulator."
In the cockpit, captain Kinuthia would be accompanied by a pilot and two co-pilots who will be assisting him throughout the 15-hour flight.
"I will be the captain to take off from Nairobi to cruise level then the other captain takes over through the cruise level before as I take a rest. I will the take over two hours to landing to prepare."
During his 40 years on air, Captain Kinuthia has also flown powerful personalities including former President Daniel Arap Moi and Pope John Paul II. He has flown for 25, 000 hours.
Chams Media led by founder and chief executive officer Alex Chamwada have marked a great milestone being part of the media team to cover the launch of the historical Kenya Airways nonstop flight from Nairobi to New York and back.
Part of the team will be aboard the Kenya Airways departing Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 10.45pm EAT Sunday while another, led by photographer and producer, David Amateshe, is already in New York. Amateshe is alongside Kenya Civil Aviation Authority director general, Captain Gilbert Kibe and other dignitaries awaiting the landing of the Dreamliner 787-8 at the JF Kennedy Airport in New York on Monday.
Chams Media was founded in 2014 and has seen a tremendous growth catapulted by its quality independent production of unique, inspiring and informative content under the Chamwada Report and Daring Abroad shows which air on for KTN and KTN News Channels.
Prior to this historical flight, Alex Chamwada had through Chams Media, presented on KTN News channel, an in-depth preview of what the flight means for Kenya.
In the report, he had exclusive interviews with Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz, KCAA director general Capt. Gilbert Kibe, Cabinet Secretary for tourism Najib Balala, among others as he also visited the Boeing headquarters in Seattle City, Washington State.
While aboard the plane on on ground at JF Kennedy, Chams Media will produce an exclusive in-depth analysis of the entire flight, economic impacts for both countries among other issues.
Click here to read more about Chams Media and the services offered.
This has been the major talk in town; the major development that has just landed in Kenya today. From 2 days with five stop overs in the 60s to 15 hours non-stop; what does this mean for Kenya?
Today, the Chamwada Report focuses on what the Kenya Airways nonstop flight from Kenya to New York means to us as a country.
It was in 1960, mid-September when Fredrick Okacha at the age of 22 who is now a Psychology professor, flew to New York on the JF Kennedy cum Tom Mboya Scholarship airlift.
"We arrived in New York after 2 days at around midnight,” he says. Through the eyes of the 80 year old professor, one can get a feel of how things changed a great deal.
The Kenya Airways team all agree that this will be a huge step for Kenya. Robert Godec, the US Ambassador to Kenya says that this will make travelling easier from Kenya to New York. The Kenya Airways chairman, Michael Joseph, insists that this is a symbol of our return to the great heights that we inspire to reach in the near future.
This major development that Kenya has made leads us to one key question; what are the steps that Kenya had to make in order to achieve this.
“A lot of work has been done, effort has been put and sacrifices made by various stakeholders,” James Macharia, cabinet secretary, transport, explains. Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), the regulator of the country’s airspace, has been at the center of making these steps.
According to the authority’s Director General, Capt. Gilert Kibe explains what the US federation was looking for. Apparently, there were four steps that took place in order to ensure that Kenya ran a safe, efficient and secure civil aviation oversight system
According to Jonny Andersen, the MD, Kenya Airport Authority, the Jomo Kenyatta Airport is a safe place where they are always coming up with measures to ensure it remains just that for the passengers.
In Seattle city, Washington State in the US, is the headquarters of Boeing commercial airplanes; the source of the 787 Dreamliner planes.
These planes are preferred for nonstop flights such as the one to New York. The CHAMS media team visited here in an effort to get the feel of what it would be like for those taking this nonstop flight.
All this just shows how much Kenya’s tourism sector is going to benefit by the end of the day. Najib Balala, Cabinet secretary tourism, believes that since the US is our main source market, there will be a 20% increase or more into our economy.
This flight has been the blessing everyone has been hoping for. Businessmen have already taken this opportunity to make something out of it. Java House for example, East Africa’s largest coffee chain, will serve its coffee on board.
Apart from that, those on board the most talked about flight will receive a special amenities bag made by Sandstorm Kenya, based in Karen, Nairobi.
For Kenya, this is going to be the blessing we have all been praying for. It is the opportunity for economic growth that will ensure our country develops to greater heights even in the near future. Thus, by the end of the day, it is quite clear that as a country, Kenya is going places!
It is said that success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. This has been confirmed to be true in regards to one man whose desire to dare abroad eventually came true.
Moffat Andanji is a husband and a father of four. He grew up in Kakamega county where after completing his studies he began his career in clearing and forwarding. However, he had always dreamt of going abroad to further his career. He tried first to go to USA and the next time, to go to Dubai, but all his efforts then proved futile. Still, he did not give up.
An opportunity came when he discovered that to go to South Africa then was visa free and nearer to home. He relocated to South Africa in 1994.
When he got to South Africa, he worked for the Zambia consolidated copper mines company under their air free department. Later on, he established his own freight company. He had gained enough experience from Kenya and in the first company he worked in while in South Africa. Procet Freight is the name of Moffat’s shipping company located in Johannesburg. He agrees that setting up the business was not an easy task.
“My first salary was my startup capital for the company,” he says. Luckily, the people he got to know helped him settle. Also, his determination could not allow him to stop what he had begun. He explains that he has a motivated group of employees who sum up to around 20 people. The company specializes in Southern, Eastern and Central Africa, a clear indication that the company has grown tremendously. Procet Freight has made many partnerships over the recent past and among them is one with Kenya Airways.
Moffat explains that he has also been faced with a number of challenges such as lack of adequate storage space for the cargo, a drop in business after the festive seasons and even theft and break ins. However, he explains that one has to overcome challenges in order to succeed. For him, it is all about being reminded of where he came from and how he ought to make his people back at home proud.
Lastly, he tells people to do things in relation to that which they went to school for, as it will be an added advantage to them. He also says, people should not remain in their comfort zones rather, do everything it takes to make it!
This week we bring you the story of Moffat Andaji, a Kenyan daring in South Africa. Moffat if the CEO of Procet Freight, a shipping company in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Like many Kenyans who have gone abroad, Andaji’s story begins here at home. He was born and raised in Kakamega County. Before settling in South Africa, Moffat had tried his luck daring abroad in the USA and in Dubai.
Our team caught up with him in Johannesburg. He has been here for 24 years now since he relocated in 1994. Upon his arrival, he worked for Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Company under their airfreight department for a while, but unfortunately, the company was sold rendering him jobless.
However, he did not take this lying down and as fate would have it Moffat was inspired to establish his own freight company.
The skills he had acquired back home helped him secure his job and as he puts it, “Kenyans I think the training we receive is a bit superior. We look down upon it but I believe so and I think we are some of the most hardworking people in the world.”
Like in any other business, Andaji had a lot of challenges starting out but has been able to grow. Today, the company handles freight from different parts of the region.
One of the main enablers in his kind of trade is partnerships one of which is with Kenya Airways. “We are one of their major supporters and we do a lot with them especially into Africa where they are strong…so we’ve got a fantastic relationship with them” he says.
Moffat attributes his growth to the exposure he has received working in South Africa. He adds that the experience has helped build his character.
Here is his advice to Kenyans wishing to start businesses in the diaspora, “my advice is you do something in relation to what you went to school for it gives you an advantage”.
Catch his story this Saturday at 9:45pm on both @ktnnews and @ktnkenya channels with Michael tsimangi and Alex Chamwada . A ChamsMedia production for KTN News.
This story was written by Emmanuel Yegon for Chams Media Digital.
The Chamwada Report this week focuses on Kenyan film. To celebrate the resilience of Kenyan filmmakers and highlight the challenges the industry is facing as well as the role of consumers and the government.
The theme of the show is in line with the great success of Kenyan filmmakers who were feted on 1st September 2018 when they bagged 6 awards in the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards AMVCA ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Kenyan film industry was nominated in eight categories including the best overall film in Africa which Kenya won.
“I think we did very well because we were competing in eight categories including the best overall film,” said David Maina, a Kenyan creative content developer.
“And it was the first time as a country that we got so much attention and we made our footprint in Africa.”
Kenya bagged big awards including the best overall movie (Phoebe Ruguru) and best indigenous language movie (Sanka Hemi) for Supa Modo, among others.
In the show today, Elijah Mwangi sits down with some of the filmmakers who open up to share the stories behind their success, the challenges and why Kenyans have begun to consume more locally produced content.
Phoebe Ruguru, a film director, says challenges in this industry start from pre-production preparations where finances are needed to fund a particular project as investors question the financial viability of the same. So what are they doing?
The filmmakers say it is high time the industry was seen as a business as opposed to just an entertainment alone where passion is not enough.
But despite all the challenges, the Kenyan film industry is on a positive trajectory. It has grown in leaps and bounds as Kenyans begin to consume local content. The show discusses some of the factors that have promoted the demand for local movies and how these finances help bolster the industry.
“I would call it a revolution happening in terms of how Kenyans are receiving Kenyan content irrespective of the challenges that might be there,” said Kevin Njue, a Kenyan film producer.
Ezekiel Mutua from the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), also discusses the role of government in harnessing the potential of Kenyan film. He says the industry, like any other, demands for equal treatment.
“We understand what is killing the industry is the multiplication of licenses, you get one from KFCB, and then you are asked for another, yet a lawyer with a national license can represent a client anywhere...treat filmmakers equally,” he told The Chamwada Report.
Catch more interesting and informative interviews on The Chamwada Report show tonight on KTN News channel at 8:30pm brought to you by Elijah Mwangi.
You can also join the conversation via our digital platforms using the hash tag #ResilientFilmMakers.
ILLINOIS - Computer Science is among the courses taught in Kenyan educational institutions today. Many Kenyan IT enthusiasts throng colleges and universities to take up this course. But for one daring Kenyan, this is new to him as he flew many miles out of the country to study Computer Science in the United States.
His humble background notwithstanding, Timothy Mwiti is living his dream. To become a software engineer in the future. So why did he opt to study at North Western University in Illinois State?
During our quest to find out more about Timothy Mwiti’s success, we discovered that he not only excelled in academics, but also in extra curricula works. He sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination at Burieruri Boys Secondary School in Maua, Meru County and emerged the best student from Igembe South in 2012.
Timothy was sponsored to Northwestern University by Equity Group. And now he feels at home, far away from home.
“I have met a couple of Computer Science students from JKUAT, and I must say Kenyans are very innovative." Timothy said. "There is not much difference between them and those that I collaborate with here."
"However, in Kenya, you find a computer science graduate seated at home waiting for a miracle to happen when you have in your hand a tool you can use to better yourself."
Timothy’s father is a medical doctor in Maua, Meru County while his mother is a teacher. The family said they are proud of their son for being a role model to his siblings, for remaining focused and for making them proud each and every day.
Timothy added that he had an easy time growing into the system since he was well received by fellow Kenyans studying at the university. They all agree that Timothy is a hard worker and positive influencer to hang around.
By the end of the day, Timothy just like everyone else, agrees that East or West, home is best. He says, in 8 years’ time, he would like to return home and use what he learnt abroad to develop his fellow countrymen.
Watch his inspiring interview in the video attached.
Lavender Amunga contributed to this article.