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Agripreneur Blog

Former Photographer Clicks Fortune with Agribusiness

Noah's Potato Aggregation Store

In the wake of the digital camera revolution and the entrance of smartphones with super quality picture taking abilities in Kenya, Noah Rono was among the worried lot as his life had depended on his analog photography.

The work he stated in 2005 was facing extinction as people started owning mobile phones which they could easily use to capture the moment.

“Others who did not have the phones started embracing modern cameras which gave them instant results. They preferred the new cameras to the old ones which they had to wait a bit longer to get their photographs,” said Rono.

Noah and his colleague

Noah and his colleague

This is how he gradually lost his over five years source of livelihood as he did not have enough money to buy expensive digital cameras. 

So, what was left for Rono? He was not going to sit there and give up on life while his peers were making a kill in maize production. It was those days the issue of the leading staple crop in the country had not been highly politicised as today.

He therefore in 2010 decided to try his hand in maize farming by investing the Sh5,000 part of his savings to grow the crop within an acre piece of the plot.

He would also grow some cabbages on another one acre just to ensure that his family had enough to eat.

On realising the potential of maize farming as one way he could also draw a good income from, in 2013 he decided to drop growing vegetables and focus on maize production.

Noah holding a record keeping book

Noah holding a record keeping book

“I increased the acreage under maize farming from two to three and to further make a good income, I decided that I would sell them green rather than grains which were the norm by any farmer in the area,” said Rono. 

Upon maturity, he harvested his crops from two acres while green for the market. He would preserve the remaining one acre for his family consumption.

To his surprise, the green maize he sold earned him Sh240,000 much more than he would have reaped from grains. That is how he got motivated.

In the subsequent season, he decided to spent Sh120,000 to lease two acres to add to his previous three acres totaling to five.

These, he also decided to do green maize on three while the remaining, to be harvested for grains and his earnings from the crop kept increasing.

But again, his fear was how long he was going to maintain his standards of earning going into the future. At some point the soil was going to start rejecting that one particular crop is grown in it over and over again.

“Luckily enough, in 2017 I chanced to attend a training by Cereal Growers Association (CGA) field officers who trained us on good agricultural practices such as planting certified seeds, crop rotation, minimum soil tillage, and mulching among others,” said the Mesibei, Njoro Sub-county farmer.

Rono then decided to shift to commercial production of potatoes which he from season to season rotated with maize and other indigenous vegetables.

Again, after two seasons of growing potatoes, he realised that there were storage and market challenges as many farmers in the area were into commercial potato production and prices were always dictated by middlemen.

“I, therefore, decided to source for certified potato seeds and major in multiplying the planting materials for the farmers while on the other hand aggregate their produce and sell to traders hence increasing their bargaining power.’’

He says that just within a quarter an acre he can harvest 50 bags of potato seeds weighing 50 kilos each which he sells at Sh2,000 a bag.

Noah and colleague ploughing

Noah and colleague ploughing

Towards the end of 2018, Rono was registered by CGA as an Agribusiness Advisor under the Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) program . As part of this program, he has attended a number of training programs and has also undergone six-months of intensive Business Development, Entrepreneurship & Coaching (BDEC program) and Mentoring sessions conducted by Kuza Biashara, which has shaped him as a sharper agripreneur.

Today, the former film photographer is clicking fortunes in agribusiness which earns him a minimum of Sh50,000 a season and Sh5,000 a month from an agro vet shop which also helps him to connect farmers with affordable farms inputs.

From just 23 farmers he started with, he now has 78 farmers whom he also trains. The least, he says, can harvest 36 bags of potatoes weighing 50kg each while the highest of the farmers can manage 60 bags of the same measure.

A bag goes at between Sh2,000 and Sh2,500 depending on the variety of the potato and the quality produced.


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How farmers and traders can move food and other essential goods during COVID 19 period

Transferring essential goods during COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID 19) has disorganized almost every sector of life in the world and Kenya is no exception.

One of the challenges governments are facing is how to reach people in partial lockdown city estates and counties with essential goods that include foods produced by farmers and vital services as well.

In Kenya, the latest areas that the government has imposed a partial lockdowns to contain the deadly virus include Eastleigh Estate in Nairobi and Mombasa’s Old Town which have huge population and key markets for various food products.

Prior, the government had also partially locked down Nairobi Metropolitan area and the counties of Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Mandera restricting the movement of people in and out of the areas.

At the same time the government had to ensure that people in those areas are not cut off from essential goods and services and that farmers and manufacturers of the goods do not incur heavy losses because of the restrictions.

In this light, the authority has put down measures to ensure farmers and traders can ferry their goods to the designated areas to reach the locked-in population without any hindrance by the police. These legal measures are as below:

Farmers, for instance, are first required to send an email to the Horticulture Crop Directorate (HCD) via hcdtechnical@gmail.com.

The email should specify the purpose which is ‘Request for vehicle stickers and driver pass’.

Other details that the email must address include producer’s name (producer here can be an individual farmer or a company), farm location, type of crop, date of transport, origin and destination of the cargo, name and quantity of the produce on board, name of the driver and his or her assistants (must not exceed three), and finally the vehicle registration number.

HCD will in turn verify the details and issue pass almost immediately in an email that is accompanied with a sticker to be placed on the vehicle.

These requirements also apply to exporters especially for moving their goods from the farm to the ports.

banana packed for market

On the day of transport

For the farmers or traders moving essential goods, they should ensure on the particular day of transporting the goods that the following are adhered to:

  1. The vehicle shall have a poster/sticker/notice pasted stating that the goods or farm produce being transported fall within the purview of essential goods in that particular area. Some of the wordings that can be seen on the stickers include “EXEMPTED GOODS AS PER ORDERS” or “ESSENTIAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES” and the likes.
  2. The driver and any other person accompanying the driver of the vehicle shall carry with them a valid Government identity proof and a letter from the company, to be presented when required by any authority.
  3. The driver shall keep a letter from the company stating that the company is engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling, procuring and transporting exempted essential goods as required by the government.
  4. The vehicle shall also be equipped with all other documents necessary in the normal course of transport of goods.
  5. Finally and most importantly, vehicles moving the essential goods shall be required to maintain hygiene, sanitation and strictly follow social distancing norms while on transit.

It is important that while both the county and national governments are trying all that is possible to keep the COVID 19 at bay, it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that they play within the requirements by the Ministry of Health in order to keep safe by not further spreading the virus.


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TIPS ON HOW TO COPE DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC

www.kuza.one

There are many times that man faces challenges but none can compare to the pandemic that is coronavirus. The fear of not knowing what awaits you. Will you get infected at some point? If you do, will you recover? Will you be immune after recovering or will you develop permanent complications due to the virus? All these are questions that linger on people’s minds on top of other factors influenced by the presence of the virus in the world. The novel covid19 being a new virus means there is so much that we don’t know and we continue learning with time. Time many may not have at this moment.

Be informed

Governments and WHO have given all the information they have on Covid19 in an effort to create awareness on the virus. One can only protect themselves if they are armed with information. Knowing how it is spread, measures you can take to prevent the spread and what actions to take when you suspect you may have been infected are some of the important aspects that everyone needs to be familiar with.

Take care of your mental health

What are you doing about your mental status? This pandemic may just reveal to you that you are not mentally strong as you thought, That is ok, the first step is by acknowledging the feelings you experience, fear anxiety, paranoia, etc. and work towards getting yourself into a better mental space. How can you do that? Avoid watching any COVID-19 related news. Most of the important information about it you already know so don’t follow up on how many more have been infected and how many are dead. It will only serve to give you anxiety. Remember that before Covid19 there were other illnesses like the flu, malaria and even the common cold so don’t panic every time you sneeze or get a headache.

Follow directives

The good news about this virus is that you can determine if you get it or not! People are advised to stay at home, practice social distancing, frequently wash hands and wear a mask when visiting supermarkets. If you follow these directives it is highly likely that you will remain safe and as a nation, we may be able to flatten the curve. Though it is easier said than done, we have to make the right choice to stay safe.

Be a quick thinker

The effects of the pandemic on the economy could be catastrophic. Most employees have had to take pay cuts and others losing their jobs altogether. This is not a time to panic but rather look for viable solutions. Plan what you can do with the resources you have. Have a sewing machine in the house that you rarely use? How about you make and sell face masks. Work with what you have and don’t despair.

Final word

It is dusk before its dawn so brace yourself for a bumpy ride. Take solace in knowing there have been virus outbreaks in history that all came to pass and so shall the COVID 19. Do everything within your power to stay safe and this too you shall read about in the history books.


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A SMALL BUSINESS THAT YOU CAN START WITH LESS THAN KSH 2500 CAPITAL

Different beads for making women's jewelry.Bright colored beads

The Corona Pandemic has literally brought things to a standstill. Life has changed drastically with many people working from home and some businesses such as restaurants having to close down. There is no need to panic especially if you run a business, adapt to ways that will see you stay in business. If you lost your income generator one way or another there is no need to panic. Take a step back think things through and figure out what else you can do to put food on your table. One such business is making Jewelry from Beads

Raw Materials

Take advantage of the daylight to source for the beads. One of the places you can find beads include River Road in Nairobi. As you travel around sourcing for these beads remember about the curfew and make sure to be done in time. You wouldn’t want to create another problem when trying to solve one problem. Identify beads depending on the designs you intend to make. It’s better to have a variety of beads that way you are able to make a variety of jewelry. 

Design

Do your research and find out what kind of jewelry is trending. The fashion industry is dynamic and you wouldn’t want to spend hours working on a product that doesn’t sell. If you are a creative person great if not don’t panic there are fashion magazines and the internet, you don’t have to steal other peoples designs but you can get inspirations from there to work on your own designs.

Cost.

The capital you need here will not be so much because what you need more importantly is the skil and the creativity. 

Beads——————–ksh. 1000

Strings ———————ksh 400

Small Pliers——————–ksh. 200

Other accessories——Ksh. 600

These will make you about 50 Necklaces if you sell each necklace at ksh. 300 that is a profit of Ksh. 12800

Market.

If there is one thing that stands out in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic it’s the people’s presence online. Now more than ever people are online trying to get information out there since they are not able to go outside. Use this opportunity to post your product online. Be consistent in your post giving as much details as possible such as the price the design, mode of payment etc. Have a plan in place for delivering the jewelry to clients.

Final Word

People may be under quarantine but that does not mean that they have stopped living. For some, buying something such as jewelry is what they exactly need as it signifies hope, hope that all this shall pass and they will get to wear that piece of jewelry and it will remind them of a very difficult time that they survived. So go on try jewelry business and let us know how it goes.


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When Doing Something You Love Also Earns You a Living.

When Doing Something You Love Also Earns You a Living.

There was a time when the most important beauty enhancement product a woman owned was an eye pencil lipstick and powder. This was a very tricky situation as the powder was white and only favored the light skinned ladies and had the dark skinned ones looking like they had just taken a swim in the waters of river Nyando. There were very few professionals and there was no YouTube to offer tutorials so to add salt to the wound most people did their makeup themselves and it was a sight to behold. 

Today we don’t have this problem. With online shops people have access to the best makeup suitable for different skin tones available both locally and from abroad. Thanks to beauty schools and YouTube people have perfected the art of applying makeup. This has also given birth to a lucrative business by makeup artists. One such beautypreneur is Linda Njambi.

It all started with a passion for hair and beauty products in high school but she knew it could not be the main source of livelihood so she went on to college studied something totally different from beauty and even got a job in sales and marketing. After a short while in the job Linda decided to perfect her craft through watching YouTube videos on makeup and making wigs. She would do it as a side hustle.

“I was the go to person in my high school if you needed your hair done so I’d say this is something I was interested in from a very early age. In 2017 I realized that I could do it as a fulltime business. Getting consistent clients was the first challenge as this was now my income generator and I needed the money. I used mostly IG and FB to market my business Make_up by Linda and I still do up to date. I had to become very active on social media as there are many people offering the same service so you either swim or drown. “

It helps that Make_up by Linda works with a variety of clients ranging from individuals weddings baby showers, photo shoot etc. Those provide a wider pool of clients.  She also sells the makeup products hair wigs and offers short course classes to empower her fellow youth to be their own bosses.

One of the lessons she learnt when starting the business was to be positive but also be prepared for the worst,

“Don’t have such high expectations when starting out especially when dealing with a luxury product. You need a lot of patience and perfect your people skills as it will involve a lot of talking, interacting with people and convincing people that they need the service despite it not being a basic need.”

When asked about friends who take advantage and request for free services Linda emphasizes as an entrepreneur she has to be firm and make them understand that this is her business and she needs to grow in it.

 “A good friend is one who supports you, not one who brings you down by asking for free services.”

Make_up by Linda is located along Moi Avenue street and she says what influenced the location is how easily accessible it is and the heavy human traffic along that area.

She is motivated by the positive feedback from clients. When she sees her clients happy and getting compliments she feels encouraged to keep doing what she does.

Her parting shot for upcoming entrepreneurs, 

“Take risk, give it your all and despite it not being easy don’t give up, nothing comes so easily.”


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What to Consider When Starting a Welding Business

What to Consider When Starting a Welding Business

This is a very lucrative venture as so many long-lasting equipment is made out of metal
Here is a list of things to consider before you set it up.

Getting your welding equipment

Some of the factors to consider when getting equipment are the cost of accessories that come along with buying the machine as well as the availability of spare parts in Kenya. It is also good to look at the authenticity of the company selling as well as the warranty of the machine. The best warranty on offer currently is 2-3 years. Also, beware of counterfeit and cheap machinery, go for companies that are recognized. Lastly buy equipment suitable for the kind of work you will be doing. some of the welding equipment available in the country include Gas welding equipment for the heavy metals, Stick or Arc welding equipment for mild steel, alloys repairs, and maintenance, Mig welding equipment for a broad range of materials and thickness,

Getting your metal

Metals used in welding include steel, aluminum, alloy, copper, etc. It all depends on the product you want to make as different items require different metals. Products could range from jikos, window grills to chaff cutters. Identify a reputable company that you can source your metals from.

Location

Ensure you are as close to the road as possible since it is most likely that you will be working on big and heavy products. Clients need to know that they can easily access you.

Keep up with trending designs

If you are setting up a metal fabrication business it’s advisable that you specialize in making specific products as opposed to shaping and bending anything metallic. Perfect your art and always keep yourself updated on emerging trends. If you make gates, for instance, ensure you know the latest designs.

Marketing

Social media has made marketing much easier. Take good shots of your product and post them online along with details such as your location the price and contact number. Also, encourage your clients to recommend your product to their friends as the referral is the number one marketing tool in such a business.

Pricing

Since you are new to this field make sure to conduct research. Find out how much other metal fabricators charge for their services and products. You don’t want to be the new kid on the block charging way more than the established ones when you still have a lot to prove to the clients. Strike a balance between being affordable and making a profit at the same time.


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Njeri Kabiru Is Proof That If You Are Passionate About Your Craft It Will Show

Njeri Kabiru Is Proof That If You Are Passionate About Your Craft It Will Show

Where we grow up has an influence on who we become. We can choose to use our background to cry and complain or we can use it to create a beautiful story that can only be compared to a breathtaking piece of art.

Njeri Kabiru’s story is one such breathtaking art. Having grown up in Dandora, a well-known damp site in Nairobi, there was no lamenting about her environment but rather turn the waste into fine art literally. She converts waste tyres into furniture and wine bottles into flower vases and lampshades among other things. It helped that she is a creative person, so when creativity, passion, and hunger to make a difference in the environment met the results were mind-blowing! And voila! A business was born.

“I have always been a creative person and even as a child I would draw in my books and most of the time I would be discouraged that nothing much ever came out of being an artist. As an adult, now I get where they were coming from. There is not enough support in this industry. I have seen so many artists give up and let go of their crafts to venture into other fields. For me, that is not an option. My art is my baby.”

Njeri Kabiru

Njeri, a mother of one, is determined to watch her business grow and flourish despite the challenges she faces. She advocates for business people not to push too fast too quickly. This being one of the lessons she learned on her entrepreneurial journey. When she started out she had no money and relied on friends and family. She would, therefore, make one table sell it and from the profit, she would make two. The cycle continued until her business began to take shape.,

“We all need a little help when starting something new. Am so grateful to my friends and family who came through when I needed a loan. Some went a step further to buy my pieces as well as referred me to more clients.”

The entrepreneur uses social media i.e. Facebook and YouTube  to market her pieces to her target audience. Her clients include homes, hotels and offices that need decorative chairs, tables, lampshades, flower vases etc.

Njeri’s motivation comes from her quest to inspire others her daughter included. She wants to show her daughter that you may not choose where you are born but you can choose where to be buried through the choices you make in life.

Her parting shot to upcoming entrepreneurs,

“Work on yourself. What you make is as important as who you are. People don’t just buy your product because it’s decorative or functional, there are probably so many more out there but they buy from you because it’s meaningful to you and they can see your passion through your work.”


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Cassava; What The Growth Of This Resilient Crop Could Do For You Financially

Cassava; What The Growth Of This Resilient Crop Could Do For You Financially


Introduction

Cassava is one of the crops that have different end products, for one you can peel and boil the cassava tubers and take them with tea (note that not all kinds are edible in their fresh state), you can dry then grind them to turn it into flour for making ugali or porridge, cakes biscuits and doughnuts. Lastly you can make crisps and cassava chips that are very healthy and delicious. As a result of this Cassavas definitely have a big market. The Cassava crop also tolerates long dry seasons (6 to 7 months) as well as reduced rainfall making the Eastern, Coastal, Nyanza and Western Kenya ideal for cultivation of this crop.

Planting

There are varieties of cassavas depending on the region they are grown .We plant cassava by cutting stems closest to the roots. Cassava cuttings are usually collected in the field during harvesting. Improved varieties may also be obtained from research institutes or appropriate development organizations such as Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) .It advisable to get stems/seeds from the later since they multiply their seeds to make them resistant to diseases. Some of the diseases that attack cassava crops include the cassava mosaic and brown streak. Cassavas take 8 to 12 months to mature and require very minimal efforts in terms of weeding because once the plant is around 6-7 weeks it already forms canopy with its leaves making it difficult for weeds to thrive reducing the cost for weeding.

Cost

So just how much would you need to invest in this crop and how much should you expect in return?

Leasing land – (1 Acre) ksh.15000
Buying stems/seeds – Ksh.10000
Farm labour – ksh.20000

Fresh cassavas a bag of 90kg goes for ksh.3, 500 if your acre produced 20 tonnes that gives you ksh.777,778

Market

Marketing should not be so hard especially when you know who your target is. There are regions in Western Kenya that people swear by ugali made out of cassava, that should be your first priority if you are a farmer in that region as they tend to buy in bulk and also need the product dry increasing its shelf life. In the coastal region they lead in the processing of cassava chips and crisps. Another alternative is to join a cooperative society which buys the tubers and relieves you the hassle of having to find the market yourself. In Western one such cooperative is the Tangakona cooperative society in Busia County.

Final Word

Cassava can be combined with other crops to improve agricultural profitability and soil quality. Because of the nutrients they release into the soil, legume species such as cowpea, beans and groundnut are particularly suitable. This crop can be the financial breakthrough that you need especially because intercropping means it allows you to make money from other crops as you wait for it to mature. To reduce the cost you can use your own land if it’s in an ideal area and put on your boots together with your family and provide that free labour. The returns will be so worth it.


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Making That Christmas Party a Success

Making That Christmas Party a Success

As the year comes to an end one of the ways to close it at the office is by having a celebration. This is a time to reminisce on all of the experiences you have had at the workplace, the good and the bad. When you realize you have spent more days at your workplace, more hours with your colleagues than with your family then you definitely see the point of having a party to celebrate. It can be fun but it can also be awkward. In all honesty who wants their boss to see them dancing on top of the tables after having one too many shots of tequila? What that means is that most people will be afraid to let loose with the fear of misbehaving in the presence of their superiors. That is nothing to worry about as they are also there to have a good time so let go and enjoy the party. Here are a few tips to make the party a success.

Notice

Your end of year office party can be truly amazing, and you understandably want a great turnout. Because this time of year can be busy for many people, it is wise to give your employees a save-the-date notice at least a month in advance. You can send out formal invitations approximately two to three weeks in advance. In these communications highlight the date time and venue of the party so people can be aware in advance.

Venue

Depending on how many staff members you have you may choose to have the party at the office or at a different location, it could be a restaurant or a garden. Should you opt to go with a public venue ensure you reserve your venue early enough as they may be in high demand at this time of the year. Also make sure that your venue has enough space available for all of your employees as well as their plus ones if they are allowed.

Theme

In most offices people wear either official wear or casual wear and since this is a party, some members may be confused as to what to wear to the party. Make things easier by indicating the required color and dress code. This will boost the confidence of those attending and possibly lead to a good turnout.

Decor

A holiday party would not be a festive event without the right decor. There are some fairly inexpensive ways to decorate a venue for the holidays. You can get everyone a Santa hat or bring in a fake Christmas tree. For a more festive feel ask your DJ to mix holiday tunes into the playlist.

Food and Drinks

Avail a variety of food, especially if you have a large group of people. Everyone should be able to enjoy their meals whether they are steak lovers or vegetarians. The same goes for drinks. This is why you need to plan early enough. You could go around the office asking your members what drinks they prefer so come that day everyone is attended to. If holding the party at the office organize for outside catering and if it is at a restaurant remember to ask about the available options when it comes to food.

Entertainment

It is very important to have entertainment during this time. It is a time to relax and have fun. The best source of entertainment is music. Organize to have a dj present to play music or to control the sound if people need to make speeches. You can also ask members to prepare short presentations to entertain their colleagues.

Transport

How will people get to their homes? That is a question you should ask as you plan for the party. Make arrangements for people to be dropped off in taxis or designated drivers especially if the party ends late in the night and alcohol is involved.

Final word

After a full year of having a cordial relationship with your colleagues it’s only right that you celebrate. Reminisce on your success and draw lessons from your failure as you gear up to do better in the following year.


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You Can Either Wait For Things To Happen Or Go Out And Make Them Happen

You Can Either Wait For Things To Happen Or Go Out And Make Them Happen

A story is told of a King who asked his subjects to always cover the ground he walked on with a carpet, of course this was before man knew what shoes were .So to overcome the hardships of stepping on uneven ground and stones the king required everywhere he stepped to be lined with a carpet. On seeing this one genius villager came up with the idea of shoes which saved the Kings warriors a lot of unnecessary work as the king was now comfortable with his shoes on and did not need the carpet anymore. 

Alex Njonde finished school and like any other graduate went on a job seeking mission and hoped his guardians would help him using their connections to make the job seeking process much easier. Unlike the Proverbial King, Alex’s expectations were crushed, the job he got was not fulfilling so he quickly realized there was no carpet that would be lined on his path and had to make his own shoes and so literally the young man got into the shoe selling business.

Having friends who were already into business Alex decided to use that opportunity to learn all that he could. For instance where to get the best shoes in terms of quality and prices, the location of his shop and what type of market to target. He learnt that the best target was the youth who are always in competition to keep up with fashion trends.

How does one start a business without capital? That was the big question on Alex’s mind.

“I decided to get a job as a sales person for my friend which acted as a stepping stone for me because I learnt how to deal with clients as well as saved money from my salary so I could eventually set up my own shop”

He started with capital of ksh. 1500. This amount was only enough to buy his first stock. What that meant was that he could not afford to rent a shop however that did not stop him. He went to the market got his stock and went on to sell the shoes at the verandah of his friend’s shop. The young entrepreneur says it has been tough especially with challenges such as the weather but he is hopeful that soon he will have a shop of his own.

“There is no venture without challenges so that is never a reason to quit. Before I went into this entrepreneurship I was employed at IMAX. I went to college and studied film production but right now I can tell you confidently that I don’t want to be employed again. I am able to watch my business grow seeing that all the efforts I put in are bearing fruits.”

Alex has been able to employ people to assist him especially in this jobless economy as he puts it. He is glad to be able to help someone earn an income. As more people continue to lose jobs and universities continue churning out graduates and no jobs in the vicinity many are resorting to entrepreneurship. The young man is not fazed by competition as he thinks it’s healthy but aside from that he is very confident in his skills and believes he has nowhere else to go but to the top.


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Progress is When You Don’t Let Gender Bias Define You

Progress is When You Don't Let Gender Bias Define You

Gender equality is not a women’s issue but refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men, girls and boys, and should concern and fully engage men as well as women. It is also used to refer to the equal participation of women and men in decision-making, equal ability to exercise their human rights, equal access to and control of resources and the benefits of development, and equal opportunities in employment and in all other aspects of their livelihoods.

Most African countries continue to lag behind the rest of the world on both men and women’s participation in development, in large part due to deeply rooted beliefs and discriminatory views about the role and place of men and women in the society, which relegate women to an inferior position relative to men and result in unequal power relations between men and women. Similarly men are considered to be the superior gender hence roles such as domestic chores and some jobs like secretarial are frowned upon by the said gender. 

These discriminatory views and harmful practices often prevent both men and women from achieving their full potential as productive members of society because they result in their fear of trying out new opportunities due to the stigma that is attached to their gender and the various roles that they shouldn’t be involved in.

Take for instance the number of women in formal employment, there are so many women in the entrant positions because they are perceived to be loyal and negotiate for a relatively low pay but can the same be said about women in the executive roles? Why are there so few women in managerial roles if they are loyal? It is in an effort for women to make everyone see them as strong and equally competent that they have started taking up jobs originally perceived to be for men.

Even in countries where women are playing a greater role in development, governance and politics, such as in Kenya, women are treated and judged disparately and more harshly, by institutions as well as the public, in comparison to their male counterparts. When women vie for political position insinuations are made of their incompetence simply because they are women. Sad thing is that even their fellow women also buy this narrative and that is why the phrase women are their own worst enemies is even popular in the country. It is because of this that there are few female politicians.

On the other hand because men are perceived to be the strong gender they cannot afford to be emotionally vulnerable lest they are told they are weak. They deal with depression and mental illness silently and others even end up taking their own lives since as a strong gender how dare you seek help when society is telling you deal with your issues like a man! 

While notable progress has been made to create gender awareness efforts need to be sustained and intensified. The government needs to show their support by putting in place policies that ensure equal access to education, economic opportunities, and leadership for girls and women. Awareness has to be created among men as well so that they understand that carrying out some roles in society does not make them any less of a man. Toxic masculinity is just as harmful to them as it is to women.


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Need Health Insurance In Kenya? Here Are The Top Companies And Tips On Choosing The Most Suitable One For You.

Need Health Insurance In Kenya? Here Are The Top Companies And Tips On Choosing The Most Suitable One For You.

We all become sick at some point in our lives. Research shows that many illnesses in Kenya are transmitted by insects, animals, and contaminated water. Well, we frequently come across any of these and are at risk of contracting one disease or another. This is where health insurance comes in. When you get sick, it might be an emergency, and you would need, in some cases, medical costs that you might not be able to afford at that moment. Health insurance coverage will lift the heavy load for you.

About Health Insurance in Kenya

Kenya is a leading country in Africa when it comes to health insurance innovations. Various health coverage companies have brought about an environment of healthy competition, which brings the consumer to choose from the very affordable and convenient health coverage plans.

Family and Individual insurance plans can help you cover expenses in the case of any serious medical emergencies, and will further help you and your family to stay on top of preventative health-care services across the globe. Having a health insurance plan can save you tons of cash on preventative care, doctor’s visits, prescriptions drugs, and other frequently arising health-care services. The Standard health insurance plans for single individuals include costs like a monthly premium charge, annual deductible cost, and may also include coinsurance. Apart from this, you should also get enrolled with the NHIF for full potential.

Insurance companies In Kenya

  1. Jubilee Insurance

Founded in 1937, Jubilee insurance has evolved not just providing motor insurance but also affordable health coverage for Kenyans. They have a product particularly tailored for individuals and families. With their innovative J CARE product, you have the option to choose where and how you will receive your treatment. On top of this, you will also have the “JubiCare App” with easy to use interface.

Jubilee health coverage is available for all individuals aged between 1 month and 17 years for children and 18 to 60 years for adults. However, interested adults over 50 must have a medical examination from their certified centres before enrollment to the program. 

  1. UAP Insurance

The company is not just a regular health insurance coverer. You will have the option to choose from a plan that best suits your needs. Some health coverage plans offered by UAP insurance include:

  • Afya Imara Junior: This is specially tailored to cover your children below the age of 19.
  • Afya Imara Executive: Offers a worldwide coverage plan that extends up to Ksh10 million for individuals and up to Ksh. 20 million for Families for inpatient services.
  • Afya Imara Seniors: This plan covers individuals between 66 and 80 Years of age.
  • Afya Imara County: You will be covered within county-level hospitals across Kenya.
  • Afya Imara: Covers treatment across Africa and overseas, get up to Ksh. 5 million for inpatient services.
  1. Madison Insurance

This health insurance company in Kenya covers individuals between those ages of 3 months up to 70 years old. However, only individuals below 55 years of age can get enrolled in this health coverage plan. Also, their payment policy is quite flexible. There is no waiting time in case of accidents, 90 days for surgery, and 30 days for illness.

  1. APA Insurance

They have an affordable and comprehensive health insurance plan called Jamii Plus & Afya Nafuu. This health coverage combines Pre-existing, accidental or reconstructive surgery, Chronic, Congenital, cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS-related conditions, organ transplant, lodger fees, among many more others.

Here are other benefits of Jamii Plus & Afya Nafuu

  • Outpatient cover
  • Post hospitalization benefit
  • Maternity cover
  • Overseas inpatient referrals covered on credit under the listed hospitals
  • Dental & Optical Cover
  • Last expense cover
  • Personal Accident Benefit Cover
  1. Britam Health Insurance

Their medical insurance is popularly known as Mediflex. It covers both inpatient and outpatient services. Britam health insurance plan exceeds just personal Insurance. It also offers its services to NGOs, any registered company, and Chamas with over 10 members.

  1. Sanlam Kenya

It was formerly known as Pan Africa Life insurance. The company has its branches in all major towns in Kenya and is a market leader in life insurance. In the section of health insurance, the company partnered with Bonitas and Fedhealth medical schemes to provide a flexible medical plan for both individuals and families.

  1. Heritage Insurance 

This is another top health insurance company in Kenya. They enable you to choose from personal or family cover. Their plans are also diverse and include:

  • HERITAGE FLEXI: Covers family or individual with residency in Kenya.
  • BLUE: Plan tailored to suit health benefits to employers in Kenya and Africa at large.
  • BLUE CORE: Covers inpatient, Chronic Care, and other Major diseases 
  • BLUE LITE: Covers Kenyan families residing in The country for outpatient services, chronic diseases, etc
  • BLUE CLASSIC: Covers a vast East Africa region i.e., Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Southern Sudan.
  • BLUE PLUS: Plan covers the entire Africa region
  • BLUE ELITE: This plan covers the entire world, USA, Europe and is suitable for international business persons.
  1. Resolution health insurance

Just like the other health insurance companies in Kenya. They also have individual and family packages to choose from. Plans include;

  • Harmony Plan: Provides high-quality in-patient services shared within a family.
  • Value plan: Provides high-quality, in-patient healthcare services for individuals.
  • Outpatient Plans: Provides a wide range of outpatient services for their clients.
  • Faraja Plan

Final Word

Choosing the health insurance company in Kenya may be a hurdle. That doesn’t mean that you should opt-out of the services. Here is a quick checklist I came up with that will ensure you go for the best option.

  1. Go to your geographic marketplace and view your health plan options side by side.
  2. Decide which type of health plan is best for you and your family.
  3. Eliminate cover plans that exclude your doctor or any other local doctors in the health provider network.
  4. Determine whether you need more health coverage and higher premiums, or if you choose lower premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs.
  5. Ensure that any plan you choose will pay for your routine and necessary care, like your prescriptions and specialists.

Author

 Briton Ochieng’. A student and tech enthusiast who loves talking about gadgets and business.