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Somali Businessman Shares Success of Eastleigh:” Unity Is Key”

Eastleigh is a major business hub in Nairobi.

Khalif Omar has been doing business in Eastleigh for nearly 20 years and the estate has been his goldmine for all those years.

Omar who comes from the dusty town of El Wak, Mandera County came to Nairobi after finishing secondary school and with the assistance of relatives set up a small retail shop in Eastleigh.

When he first arrived, the estate was just starting to thrive and inspired by the success of his former schoolmates in business, Omar was determined to be a successful entrepreneur.

Speaking to WoK in an interview, Omar said with the unity of his family he would still be tarmacking looking for a job and not running two wholesale businesses in Eastleigh.

“It’s this unity and pooling of resources that has seen many Somalis start businesses that demand high capital and financial risks”, Omar said.

“We DON’T just pool money but we share ideas and learn lessons from those who failed and SUCCEEDED before us”, Omar added.

Omar says his dream is to expand his wholesale business out of the estate to other towns and his ambition is shared by his close family who are willing to invest in the dream.

“To maximise our profits we need to set sights on other towns we can bring Eastleigh closer to people in Nakuru, Mombasa and Kisumu we just need to actualise that dream,” Omar told us.

The growth of Eastleigh as a business hub has seen the government keep an eye on it as a key source of revenue.

Traders in the area had previously been accused of tax evasion but now the business community is trying hard to shed that negative tag.

In 2023, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Eastleigh Business District Association (EBDA) launched a collaborative partnership to enhance tax compliance.

In this partnership, KRA will tailor its engagement and tax outreach strategies to cater to the specific needs of the Eastleigh Business Community, with the ultimate goal of driving greater compliance.