When Grace Wambere graduated with a degree in Information Technology (IT) from a German university, she hoped to secure a well-paying job in the sector.
However, as fate would have it, Wambere ended up selling second-hand clothes in Gikomba Market, a decision she doesn’t regret.
From trading the clothes from Gikomba, Wambere currently runs a mitumba wholesale and retailing shop in Nairobi CBD known as Mitumba Chap Chap.
Here is her story as narrated by WoK.
She enrolled for a German language course before undertaking a degree course in information technology at Johan Wolfang University. According to the entrepreneur, she did abit of hotel management before interning in a media company where she learnt branding. Wambere stayed in the country for eight years before coming back to Kenya in 2011.
Career in IT
When Wambere arrived in Kenya, she set up an IT company where she specialized in web development and graphic design.
However, in an interview on Citizen TV, she noted that she was pushed out of business by stiff competition in the sector and cheap labour.
“At some point it became challenging because of the huge competition and cheap labour here in Kenya,” Wambere said.
Wambere ventured into second-hand clothes business in 2013 while shopping for her newborn baby at the Gikomba market.
With an initial capital of Ksh 2,000, she bought some clothes which she sold online before acquiring enough capital to set up a physical shop in 2016.
“In 2013 I was expecting and when I was shopping for my baby, I discovered there were nice things selling in lower prices that I can sell to people who cannot manage to access Gikomba,” Wambere added.
Her dad was against the idea and tried to dissuade her against taking that direction,
“My dad was against the idea of me selling mitumba saying I cannot go to Germany, do such a course in IT which can land me a job at the United Nations then come back and start selling mitumba. I was determined to be self employed”, she told a local daily.
Wambere urged people to try their luck in the second-hand clothes business, adding that she doesn’t regret venturing into the business.
“Since the day I decided that this is what I want to do, I’ve never looked back. I’d rather do IT as a side hustle but mtumba is my main,” she stated.