Abdul Bakari: From Struggling In Busia To Owning The Largest Supermarket In Lodwar, First Bookshop In The County

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Photos|Chams Media & Facebook

By Prudence Minayo

The main reason for setting up a business is always to solve a problem and Abdul Bakari can be described as a man who identifies a need and then sets out to provide a solution. From supplying books around Lodwar, he has been able to establish himself in the area. He has been nicknamed Kakumatt because of his business.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

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Selling books and setting up a bookshop

He supplied books to various schools and realized the whole town had no bookshop. The only bookshop in the area was run by the Catholic diocese and was dominated by religious books.

It surprised him that a place larger than Nyanza, Western and Central combined lacked a bookshop. He set up the first ever bookshop in the area in 2000, and it still operates to date.

“I found this county without a single bookshop. A county larger than Western, Central and Nyanza provinces,” he says.

Abdul Bakari: From Struggling In Busia To Owning The Largest Supermarket In Lodwar, First Bookshop In County

Supermarket and the growth of Lodwar

Realizing yet another need, he set up the area’s first supermarket called Kakumatt. They get their goods from Nairobi and Kitale. They pick the ones from Kitale themselves and the ones in Nairobi are supplied to them via a truck. In 2017, the businessman set up a second branch of the supermarket, making it the largest in the region.

One of their best selling goods are food items and the place is a one stop shop between both locals and visitors.

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Ghost Town

When Abdul left his home in Funyula, Busia county, for Lodwar, it seemed like a ghost town. In an interview with Alex Chamwada of Chams Media, he said People in the area were a sparsely populated and everyone knew each other.

Back then, most shops closed early and the deplorable infrastructure left a lot to be desired. The road network was poor and access to other towns was via trucks. The trucks ferried both human beings and goats and most people reached their destination smelling of animals. Due to the roads, vehicles broke down all the time leading to delays in reaching the destination.

But today one can even take a flight to the region, which combined with the improved road network, has made the place easier to live. People no longer close businesses early and some operate 24 hours a day, making the area a beehive of
activities even during the night.

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