At the Meru Police station we meet Joram Murithi Ngage a resident of Chuka, Tharaka Nithi County who is a cobbler, repairing shoes for the police officers in this station for free.
Ngage said that after Covid-19 hit the country, his business went down, and he found it worthwhile to give back to society by repairing shoes for police officers so that they could be comfortable as they attended to the members of the public.
This prompted him to visit Chuka police station where he approached the Officer Commanding Station(OCS) who gave him the go-ahead to continue with the kind gesture.
Ngage told KNA that initially he thought repairing the shoes would take him 3 to 4 weeks, but it ended up taking up to three months.
Afterwards, I left my wife to continue with repairs at Chuka police station as I proceeded to Meru county to do similar work,” he said, adding that after getting clearance from the Meru OCS he has been mending at least five pairs per day.
According to Ngage, police officers are less valued by some of the members of public, but the kind of work they do, of ensuring maintenance of law and order at all times should be commended and appreciated to say the least.
He said to maintain his family needs he also mends shoes for members of public at a small fee.
Meru County Deputy Police Commander Francis Wahome commended the good work Ngage was doing to the police service, adding that apart from repairing police official shoes, he has gone ahead to work even on their personal ones.
Wahome said the humility that the cobbler has demonstrated should be emulated by other members of the society. “Let’s always give back to the community so that we make the world a better place to live in,” said the deputy police commander.
Back to the man mending shoes, Ngage says he learnt the skill at a tender age through a relative who was an experienced cobbler.
“During my free time, I would visit my kinsman James Mugambi at his shoes shop, where he used to train me on mending shoes for his customers. I learnt the skill very fast because my instructor was very passionate about his job,” he recalls.
This eventually became almost like a routine and after finishing my daily chores, I would go tothe repair shop and that’s how I eventually sharpened my skills, added Ngage.
And from the meager savings he got from Mugambi’s job, the now famous cobbler turned philanthropist working on police boots was able to start his own shop..
He would later marry and train his wife on similar skills. “I opted to train my spouse on repairing shoes, bags and belts as I had accumulated a large clientele,” says Ngage with marked satisfaction, adding that he has been able to fend for his family and educate his two children by doing such repairs.
by Muguongo Judy