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Samuel Gikonyo: Rising from the ashes

It took one chat with Samuel Gikonyo to inspire a whole month.

Samuel is a businessman based at the Main Stage of Nanyuki. He owns a buzzing Mali Mali shop in the area – you can stop by if you’re ever on that side of town 😉. Our 1-2-1 with him was impressive for reasons more than his ability to fluently speak multiple languages - It must have been at least 4 local languages.

His story, however, is truly one that warms the heart.

During the post-election violence that occurred in the year 2007, Samuel was forced to relocate from his home in Eldoret and move to Nanyuki town with his family. Our hearts go out to anyone who experienced this.

He opened his first shop in the year 2010 though he had ventured into business years earlier.

Mbeleni kidogo I was a hawker much like the customers I appreciate so much now. I got a shop, and bought stock which I sell now. Mtu akianza biashara, kila mtu ako na maono zaidi ya kule unafanyia kazi. Nikaona nitoke kwa uchuuzi niingie duka nione vile itaniskumua. Wakati tulianza, tulianza vizuri na pesa kidogo ambayo watu hawangeamini. KSh. 3,800 tu! Lakini polepole tukagrow. So far it’s a good business.

After some time, Samuel approached his role model with concerns about cash constraints. Without hesitation, he was taken to the 4G Capital office in Nanyuki and introduced to our UPIA offering. They informed him about the terms, educated him on the best way to use the loan to get the best results and just like that, a beautiful relationship was born.

Sadly, tragedy struck on 2nd December 2022 when a fire broke out and burned down almost 7 businesses in the area, Samuel’s among them. You can see the recollection in his eyes as his mind travels back to that fateful night.

“In December, we stock up heavily ndio biashara igrow haraka because business is high and we are also getting ready for January, you know with school fee payments coming up and all. On 2nd December at midnight, we received a phone call where we were informed that the businesses were burning down. We found everything in ashes.

When I contacted the 4G Capital team to tell them about the fire, I was intrigued to find out that they were aware of the incident and had even passed by to check on the shops. They made a call to the Head Quarters and they waived my loan balance. I was touched by their compassion and even more so when they told me to give them a call when I resume so we may reactivate my account.

In 2 months, Samuel has managed to get back on his feet. He had a sit down with a few friends who helped him revive the business, and also received a 4G Capital loan. With a wife who is currently studying at Methodist University and two children in high school he couldn't be happier about his growing business . He smiled broadly when he mentioned that he will not have trouble with school fees this time around.

My greatest goal is to see my business grow to the next level.  Aside from this, I’d like to buy a plot and put up an apartment building.

Here’s his advice to business owners:

  1. Kwa biashara you can’t work with your own money. You’ll need something or someone who can help you grow your business. No man can work by himself and prosper. It’s difficult.

  2. I’m business oriented. I can’t fit into any other career. I know how to maintain people in my business. One day you can have many customers what’s important is to maintain them through good business service.

Nawahimiza msiogope biashara na mtemmbelee 4G Capital coz they consider many things. Nimesaidika for the far we’ve gone.

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