By Isaac Blessings
A funeral home is not a business for the faint hearted. It requires a big heart and an even thicker skin from naysayers who spread all kind of wild rumours about this lucrative Business venture. In this article we take a look at the man who established Umash Funeral Home which has gone on to become one of the best funeral homes in the country.
Here is the story of Mr. Mr. Njoroge Kamau as told by WoK.
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Mr. Njoroge Kamau journey
Mr. Njoroge Kamau was born a few years before Kenya gained independence in the Mount Kenya region. He grew up in a humble background being raised by a single parent who was unemployed and this made life even tougher. He dropped out of school at Class 7 due to lack of school fees and had to enrol for a carpentry course. He later secured a job with the National Council of Kenya (NCCK) in Kangemi where he worked for three years.
He went on to join the Christian Industrial College in Pumwani and was there for four years before calling it quits to start his entrepreneurial journey. He started a carpentry workshop where he would make all kinds of furniture. Along the way, he decided to venture into the making of caskets becoming the first African to be licensed by the city council.
Establishing Umash Funeral Home
While speaking on Citizen TV, Kamau revealed that after he started making caskets, he lost a bunch of friends and clients who didn’t believe in his dream.
“The decision almost cost me my business, I lost friends and clients. The coffins were driving the furniture out of the workshop. To be accepted by people takes a lot and a long time. I will tell you before I was now selling one or two caskets per week, it was after almost four years,” he explained.
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But he was resilient and so along the way, he acquired a license to run a funeral service which took him over 7 years to develop. In 1987, Mr Kamau established Umash Funeral Home with the aim of transforming the sector into something welcoming. At the time, there were only mortuaries in the country which were mostly viewed as terrifying places. Kamau decided to create Umash Funeral Home as a place where one can walk in and be comfortable with even eating food in the premises.
The Success of Umash Funeral Home
Today, Umash Funeral Home is one of the leading funeral homes in the country equipped with state of the art facilities to give the deceased a deserved last respect. The funeral home has a capacity to hold over 100 bodies, a chapel where the family of the deceased can hold prayers and has an Executive Unit for the VIPs.
It currently has two branches in Nairobi opposite Armed Forces Memorial along Mbagathi Way and in Nakuru along the Nairobi – Nakuru highway. Mr. Kamau plans to open a branch in Mombasa and Kisumu in the near future as revealed during the exclusive interview with Tony Sanya in the Movers and Shakers show that aired on Citizen TV.
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Congratulations to Kamau Njoroge for achieving his dream. I have been to Umash in Nakuru many times burying family members and they are treated with respect.