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Nyambura Munyua: How Thogithi Handmade Founder is Helping Rural Women Monetize their Hobbies

Nyambura Munyua is the founder of Thogithi Handmade, a Community Based Organization based in Laikipia County in Kenya and an initiative founded to empower women and local communities.

Thogithi aims to improve livelihoods by undertaking activities that utilize local resources and skills to generate income and build their communities.

Munyua is also the founder of a Facebook group called Cottage Industries Kenya Arise which champions for the growth of cottage industrialists in Kenya.

Here is Munyua’s story as told by WoK.

Munyua established Thogithi during the COVID-19 pandemic period when she thought of promoting Made in Kenya brands.

In an interview with Lionesses of Africa, she mentioned that locally made goods have the potential of greatly improving Africa’s GDP.

By venturing into the cottage industry, Munyua started producing a local brand in hopes of making a difference.

“I worked with the available resources within my radius and I involved the community of women around me who believed in my vision. Creation of jobs locally was the most compelling reason that pushed me towards being an agent of change,” she said.

Munyua works with knitters in her local community to raise awareness on the impotence of producing Made in Kenya brands.

“Knowledge transfer allows the generations behind to learn an economic craft that has slowly been wiped out by imports of finished products. We are mitigating our carbon footprint,” she said.

Their flagship product is a comfy indoor socks that is hand knitted and completed with buttons used from recycled plastic waste.

Thogithi Handmade’s knitted socks PHOTO/Original

Additionally, Munyua has been working with women in prisons to engage in community based activities auch as tree planting.

“This allows the convicts the dignity of the after prison life and in generating an income that is socially acceptable,” she asserted.

Thogithi Handmade works with over 49 women, aged between 44 to 73 years, who are talented in knitting.

“Our vision is to change the marginalized women into a community of confident and talented women, who produce goods for the global market

“The social impact is evident within our community of knitters who have previously never monetized the hobby,” Munyua said.

In a separate interview, Munyua asked Kenyans to embrace simple manufacturing and undertake aggressive marketing for their products.

“Many Kenyans are not aware of their existence or mandate. We have many gaps in the customer experience focus. Most of the cottage industries are yet to embrace customer service. A good product with a bad customer experience is dead on arrival,” she said