- She had this dream since 2011 but actualized it in October 2019 with assistance from the KCB.
- The training focuses on six economic sub-sectors of agribusiness, automotive engineering, beauty and personal care, building and construction, domestic services and ICT.
Deep in the streets of Mathare North, sits Bemza restaurant owned by one Bathsheba Nanzala where she sells various delicacies from Omena, fish, chapati among others.
For Nanzala this is a dream she had since 2011 but actualized it in October 2019 with assistance from the KCB 2jiajiri programme.
The 33-year-old completed her O-Level education in 2011 but didn’t have enough funds to gain her access to a tertiary institution.
She then started taking odd jobs in the Nairobi CBD to help her survive, after landing a cleaning job in one of the town offices she was able to join the Nairobi Aviation college to study catering.
On one fateful day, she came back to Kibra, but the shanty, measuring the size of a pigsty had burnt. The little things she had a small bed, clothes, a seat, and utensils had been reduced to ash.
In despair and lost hope, she had to drop out of college since she could no longer sustain herself in these streets.
Four years later, in 2015, Nanzala’s sister informed her of the KCB 2jiajiiri progarmme which seeks to address the problem of youth and unemployment by creating jobs for the youth through skill development and vocational scholarships.
Nanzala who was still keen to pursue catering as a career decided to join the programme and visited a KCB branch where she signed some documents and was taken in.
“I joined Utalii college under the 2jiajiri programme where I was taught basic catering skills for a period of 3 months,” Nanzala recalls.
After the short course, KCB bank offered their cohort internships at various Naivas and Tuskys outlets in the CBD to be able to practice what they had studied.
Nanzala was able to intern at various Naivas supermarket branches including Moi Avenue, Buruburu, Ruaraka, TRM and Westlands.
She finished her internships in May 2017 and hustled for the best part of the year.
In 2018 KCB Group then asked her if she wanted to be employed or if she wanted to be self-employed and she chose to be self-employed.
During that period, they were asked to form groups which they would start the business with but as the year progressed her group failed her, so she decided to go solo.
In January 2019, she approached KCB with her business idea to open her own restaurant and they agreed to offer her a Sh200000loan.
In October 2019 Bathsheba’s dream finally came to life and she opened a small hotel in Mathare North next to a local bar.
Business was good for her there, as clients for the bar ate from her hotel before proceeding to buy drinks however when the new year 2020 came business started going down.
“In January with the back to school things, I started getting fewer clients and business went low in February it was still low then came March when covid19 hit the country and things hit rock bottom,” said Nanzala.
With the closure of bars in April, things got worse as the bar next to her hotel now no longer had clients so she would cook food and it would go bad as she had no customers.
With her various work tools, Nanzala had to move from the location next to the bar as the rent was expensive to her current location which is not as exposed.
“Hapa nakazana tu (here I’m just pressing on). The clients that I can get here mostly eat from their homes so they come to my hotel once,” she said.
Nanzala said that she was really grateful to KCB for the support they have offered her during the pandemic period, they sent her some money to be able to buy items for her hotel plus also gave them shopping vouchers.
She also said that the bank hasn’t been giving her a hard time to repay her loan this year as the understood that the pandemic affected her business.
“I would really like to thank KCB for helping me achieve my dream even if I am not where I aimed to be I am on my way there and I’m sure I will own a big restaurant,” she said.
Nanzala noted that her major challenge is the location of her hotel and if KCB would assist her in getting a better location, she will be able to achieve her dream.
She also said that she would advise Kenyans who haven’t been able to access higher learning to join the 2jiajiri programme to be able to achieve their dreams.
The main objective of 2Jiajiri programme is to empower and equip unemployed and out-of-school youth to grow micro-enterprises by providing them with technical skill training opportunities.
It also offers mentorship and enterprise management support interventions designed to spur the growth and development of Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs).
These interventions are calibrated to promote the growth of SMEs so that they in turn can create jobs, KCB notes.
Currently, the programme formalises the informal sector through a phase approach wherein Phase I, addresses the lack of technical skills in the market.
This is through sponsoring training for new students in technical training institutions and for workers who already have skills to improve them and learn how to work using advanced tools.
The training focuses on six economic sub-sectors of agribusiness, automotive engineering, beauty and personal care, building and construction, domestic services and ICT.
It also up skills and certifying existing micro-entrepreneurs who wish to move their business from the informal to the formal sector.