By Issac Blessings
“My child, go to school, work hard and pass your examinations so that you may pursue a good career and secure a good job in future,” these are the words of the majority of our parents. The pursuit of success through white-collar jobs is a norm deep-rooted within our cultures that most people look down upon casual jobs as formal employment guarantees job security.
However, what people don’t realize is that you can start from a humble beginning and with the right vision achieve your goals in the long run. In this article, we take a look at one such man who started by selling Mitumba clothes and ended up establishing a multimillion scrap business.
Here is the story of Hudson Owase Atichi as told by Wok.
Background & Education
Hudson Owase Atichi was born in Mwibona village, Luanda Constituency in Vihiga County. He is the firstborn in a family of six children. They were raised by their parents who were fully dependent on their informal jobs. Unfortunately, they passed away in 1993 when he was in class six and he was taken in by his grandparents.
After successfully going through primary school, he joined Esalwa Boys High School and sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in 1999. After completing his secondary education, his grandparents couldn’t afford to take him to college for further studies. Being the firstborn, his siblings looked upon him to salvage them from the chains of poverty and so Atichi decided to leave the village and travel to Kisumu in search of a job.
The Hustling Journey
Upon arriving in Kisumu, he fortunately landed a job in one of the local primary schools as an untrained teacher earning a monthly salary of Ksh2,000. After teaching for almost one and a half years, he quit employment and try his hand in the business world. He used the little money he had saved to start a second-hand clothes business famously known as ‘Mtumba’ at Kibuye market in Kisumu.
Atichi sold mitumba for two years and made a fortune out of it, he quit the business and officially joined the Jua Kali industry. With the help of a bank loan, he invested Ksh60 million into the industry and sold second-hand motor vehicle spare parts and scrap metals. He used to buy old spare parts and scrap metals, and modify them before selling them to his clients.
However, he was forced to close down the business and travel back home during the 2007 post-election violence.
When he moved back to his village in Luanda constituency, he had made some good money from his scrap metal and spare parts business. After the 2007-2008 post-election violence died down a little, Atichi started a bodaboda business and was among the first people to venture into the business in his constituency.
Speaking in a past interview with Biznakenya.com, the relentless entrepreneur revealed that the business earned him a good fortune which he used to buy matatus, marking his venture into the transport sector.
“I started with two motorbikes and within two years I had bought 20 motorcycles, which I hired to youths at Ksh 400 a day. From the bodaboda business, I bought my first matatu in 2010 at Ksh 15 million. The matatu plied the Busia – Kisumu route,” he explained.
He would later increase his fleet of matatus to 12 and then close the bodaboda business in 2013 to fully concentrate on the transport and scrap metal business. He established a scrap metal collecting centre in Luanda where he would buy the scrap metals from people and then transport them to Nairobi and sell them to recycling companies.
Through the scrap metal and transport business, Atichi has been able to acquire vast pieces of land in Kisumu and Luanda. He owns a fleet of apartments in Luanda and Kisumu and is the owner of Triple-T hotel – the first modern three-star hotel in Luanda town. He has employed over 300 young people and is working on establishing more businesses in Luanda which help ease unemployment levels in his constituency.
“My businesses are a livelihood for many including the youths. I have well over 300 youths working for me and the least paid takes home Ksh 9,000 and the highest-paid Ksh 40,000 per month,” he revealed.
It is also important to note that after finding success, Atichi went back to college and currently holds a Diploma in Computer Science and Business Management.