Amidst the struggles faced by numerous Kenyans in their quest for employment upon the culmination of their studies, Alfred Obara, a graduate of Moi University, opted for a different path in his pursuit of sustainable livelihood.
Throughout his early life, Obara knew the struggles of moderate means.
His father, a school accountant, worked diligently to provide for Obara and his four siblings.
“I come from a family of moderate means, where my father was a school accountant and the bread winner. We are four kids so we would only receive the basic needs as our father worked to provide for my siblings too”, he said.
These circumstances instilled in Obara a deep-seated drive to create his own path, unburdening his family and shaping his destiny.
Obara’s education journey led him to Moi University in 2016, where he discovered the harsh reality that many graduates face: the scarcity of job opportunities and the difficulties of post-graduate life.
Fuelled by the fear of unemployment and the desire to be self-reliant, Obara made a decision that would redefine his future.
Saving diligently from his parents’ support and a Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loan, Obara sought to create a safety net for his aspirations.
Balancing his studies with online jobs, he accumulated the capital he needed to embark on his entrepreneurial journey.
Obara, who began his venture by selling eggs paired with one of Kenya’s beloved accompaniments, kachumbari – a mixture of chopped onions and tomatoes, saw his vision materialize into a fast food joint after completing his degree in 2021. However, the path to success was anything but smooth
Initially, he hired students to handle cooking and serving, leading to challenges in maintaining food availability during class hours.
“I used to hire students to cook and serve customers. This was a major challenge. Sometimes food would be over while the students were still in class,” he said.
He also learned a valuable lesson in managing expectations, realizing that instant profits were not guaranteed for a new venture.
Undeterred by these setbacks, Obara displayed resilience and adaptability.
Recognizing the need for professional expertise, he reevaluated his approach and sought advice from friends in the food industry.
Temporarily closing his restaurant, he honed his strategy and reopened with a renewed sense of purpose.
The turning point came as Obara hired experienced chefs and adjusted his business model.
With time, his efforts bore fruit, and the business gained momentum.
This newfound success was just the beginning.
In 2022, Obara expanded his entrepreneurial footprint, opening another restaurant in Nyali, Mombasa county, a testament to his unwavering determination.
Looking ahead, Obara remains optimistic about his journey. He envisions continuous growth, fueled by his commitment to excellence and his ability to learn from challenges.