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Varsity student thrives in timber business

Passionate about building from a young age, 21-year-old Patrick Nyaga joined the university with only one thing in mind, to pursue a course in building technology. His fortunes changed soon after and he now runs a workshop as he attends to his studies.

Patrick Nyaga in his workshop. Photo by Anita Omwenga

Narrating to KNA, Nyaga divulged that one year into the course at Murang’a University College, he secured a part time job at a local workshop in Murang’a town where he further harnessed his carpentry skills.

“I would work at the workshop when free of classwork. I not only supplemented my pocket money but also was living my passion and doing what I like while studying in school,” he observes.

Shortly, the workshop and timber yard that Nyaga was working at was up for sale.

“The workshop was up for sale shortly and even though I did not have enough savings, I got interested and spoke to my sister who lend me the money to purchase the workshop,” notes Nyaga.

Buying the already established workshop cost Nyaga Sh300, 000 that went into paying for the shop and purchasing stock like timber.

“I secured the workshop in September last year and have so far employed two people who help in making furniture like beds and sofa sets for clients,” he says adding that he is also involved in making posts, shatters and offcuts and other household items.

He attends classes during the day and works in the workshop in the evenings and any time he is free off school.

When business is good, he divulges that he can make up to Sh10, 000 per day and during low business time he takes home Sh5000 a week.

Nyaga as a student says he spends during the day attending to his studies and in the afternoon visits his workshop to check the daily progress of his workshop.

The returns he gets from the business have enabled him to lift the financial burden off his parents as he is able to pay his school fees and that of his siblings as well cater for his daily livelihood.

As with any other venture, Nyaga observes that the business is not without some challenges.

“The startup capital is quite huge and such a business requires close attention as a customer’s needs and deadline must be met so juggling class and supervisory roles at the shop is hectic and time consuming, but rewarding,” he notes.

Nyaga encourages young people to not only pursue their careers in school but also venture into small business to cater for their needs and maybe in future support their families.

“With determination, it is possible for a young person to earn a livelihood through self-employment and keep him or herself busy to avoid engaging in anti-social behaviors like drugs,” states Nyaga.

By Anita Omwenga and Salma Wambui

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