By Prudence Minayo
Duncan Kobetbet’s story best brings out the virtues of patience and hardwork. The founder of Dango 5 Security Limited dropped out of primary school but that did not stop him from chasing his dream. Here is his story of working as a watchman earning Sh5,000 to being an owner of a security company as told by WoK.
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Duncan Kobetbet was born in Baringo county as the sixth born of the family. He attended Maji Moto and Molos Primary school. He dropped out in class seven and went on to be employed as a cattle herdsman. His father was a teacher but was rarely there for the family. He would get his salary then disappear from home only to return when the money was finished.
Realizing he didn’t want that kind of work, he returned home and got circumcised. He left home once again in 1998 and got married, getting his first born child in February 1999.
The entrepreneur embarked in farming. From the money he made from his maize plantation, he bought a pool table thus opening another avenue of making money. Unfortunately, people cut a lot of trees and the rain became inadequate. This meant that he could no longer make money through maize farming. He decided to move to Margar and later on to Nakuru after his brother who worked as a matatu driver urged him not to move to the town. With the help of his brother, he transported all his stuff to Nakuru.
Life in Nakuru
Life in Nakuru was difficult. With no skills, it was very hard for him to get a job. At times, he would be so broke that he had to wait for drivers from his village to arrive in Nakuru then beg them for at least Sh100. At the time, rent at his house was Sh1600 and they were often locked out due to arrears.
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Duncan Kobetbet got employed as a watchman at a club. This job really opened his mind to a world of opportunities. Being friendly, he established a good rapport with the club customers who often tipped him. In fact, due to the tips he didn’t feel like his salary was nothing to write home about.
After striking a friendship with one regular, he explained his dream to start a security company. The customer agreed to help him and told him to come up with a name. That is how Dango 5 Security company was born in 2012. The 5 in the name was inspired by his children who were ten at the time, five boys and five girls. The club regular helped him with the registration details and he was ready to begin.
The very first client he got was the club he used to work for as a watchman. Duncan Kobetbet asked a relative to join him and the two began offering security at the club. The relative would work during the day and he worked at night. He used the day to look for clients. After selling his idea to the second client, they agreed on Sh8,000. The client asked how he would respond to emergencies and he lied that the company had enough motorcycles and cars. When clients continued to increase, he looked for the cheapest office space he could find and bought some plastic chairs and a table.
His client network continued to grow and he asked someone to lend him a motorcycle and he would pay Sh9,000 a month for it. He approached the bank and got a loan which he used to buy the company’s first motorcycle for Sh85,000.
His clients continued to increase and so did his employees. He secured another loan, bought a car and branded it. The car brought a lot of publicity and clients flocked in doves.
By 2021, the father of 13, employed about 200 people and his operations and extended his services to Baringo, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kericho and Nairobi.