Phillis Anyango is a trained nurse, she graduated with a certificate in nursing in 2003. Financial constraints prevented her from pursuing further education, also around that time, she met her husband, Thomas Mboya, and relocated to Nairobi. Unfortunately, the husband who was working as a metallurgist in a local firm lost his job a year later and life falls apart. At first, they thought of opening a chemist, but the little funds they had could not allow them. It is at this point her husband ventured into the metal business. “We converted our one-bedroom house in East Leigh into a spade workshop,” Anyango said.
Anyango and her husband’s struggles
They used to buy spades from Nairobi’s industrial area at a wholesale price and fit them with smoothened wooden handles and resell them in locals markets. After a few months, a family friend referred them to Kamukunji where they rented a workshop. “With additional space, we diversified into metal box making,” the mother of three said.
“My husband and I are currently supplying boxes to Naivas supermarkets. I also oversee operations at Gear Box, KCB/MasterCard technical skills center near Kamukunji,” Said Anyango. All this do not prevent her from performing her motherly duties.
In 2015, her husband heard of KCB program and applied but never received any feedback. He repeated twice the following year but it was all in vain. By then, the business was expanding and they had already earned several supply deals. After the three months course, KCB bought her toolkits which she says has been key in the business’s day—to-day activities. “I oversee production while my husband deals with the field marketing bit,”Anyango says.
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She is now a trainer, her latest assignment being an eight month contract with KCB to train youths in plumbing and business development skills at Art skills in Ngong. “I love sharing knowledge. Kenya has got very innovative and hardworking youths who just need mentorship. Anyango heads home at 8PM to prepare supper for her family. Initially, she was commuting but she now has a vehicle and so is her husband. “A workshop in the county will not only keep those young people busy, but also put money in their pockets.” She said.