There is a common saying; when life gives you a lemon instead of an orange, you can make lemonade out of it. But what happens when life doesn’t give you an orange nor a lemon?
This is the situation Kelvin Makachia Osore has found himself after searching for formal employment in futility.
Makachia Osore, 25, and a graduate from Kenyatta University is currently surviving by pushing a cart and other odd jobs in Soweto area, Nairobi. Mr. Makachia, who graduated from the institution in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, tried finding a job, but he was not able to secure one.
“I have tried sending my applications to more than 200 companies, but no reply is forthcoming,” says Mr. Makachia, who also claims to have visited many companies in Industrial area seeking any available job without success.
“The many months I have “tarmacked” and struggled have been utterly disappointing to my family and me, especially my mother, who is regretting why he took a loan to educate me at the university.”
Makachia has five siblings, three sisters and two boys. His mother, a single parent, and vegetable vendor single-handedly saw him through education, including taking a loan for his university education.
Nonetheless, life has to go on, and this is why Makachia, an A student in High School and a second class upper division student at the campus, decided to put aside his certificate and do something that can sustain him at the moment.
After hard deliberations on what next he had to do to survive, he settled on water vending and carrying luggage for needy clients in Soweto area.
“Since I knew somebody who could lend me a cart, I decided that I will start vending water and carrying luggage for needy clients such as stall owners in Soweto area,” he said, adding that “luckily, the business is currently doing better than expected.
He wakes up at 4 am, collects water from school boreholes in Soweto, and takes it to needy residents whom he charges 20 per jerrican. He buys a 20-liter jerrican at Sh5, and on a good day, he can go home with Sh900 profit.
However, he is looked upon by his mother to pay rent, buy foodstuff, and school fees for his younger siblings.
The current challenge in this business is the free water brought to Soweto and Kayole by Sonko on some occasions.
“When this water arrives at the village, this becomes a disadvantage to us as water vendors as we are unable to sell.”