From struggle to success: a story of perseverance and entrepreneurship in Africa

“My name is Alloys Nyaboga Ombongi. I am a Kenyan. I was born on May 10, 1983, in a family of seven. I’m the third-born child. When I grew up, I went through many challenges. Honestly, I do not know who my biological father is. It has always been our mother who raised us. She used to do cashier jobs to ensure that we had some money on our table. My schooling life wasn’t easy, because a big family like ours, sending all of us to school is something that our mother couldn’t afford. I wasn’t able to keep up with my work at school. I dropped out and did not complete my KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education).

I started doing jobs at a young age to be able to support my family. I have three brothers and three sisters. Unfortunately, one  brother is disabled and cannot depend on himself. This made our life more challenging and that’s why I started working when I was young for whatever job opportunity was available to me. My mother is taking care of my disabled sibling while my sisters are helping at home as well. So things were not good on this side of our life.

Today, I am married and blessed with two sons and we are expecting another child. During the earlier times of my life, I worked on a ferry as a watchman. I also worked in a secondary crop selling business. During that time, life was a struggle for us. We did whatever source of living at hand for us to live. By the grace of God, I managed to go through a driving school where I learned my driving skills. I became a truck driver.

Unfortunately, I stopped working when COVID hit our country. We also used to transport timber which was coming from outside the country. During COVID, the supply chain stopped and all the transport was suspended. During the COVID time and after the Pioneer Business Planting training, I started a secondary clothing shop. It has helped us a lot to support our families. 

I learned through Pioneer Business Planting to calculate and write down my expenses and sales. I now know which products are doing well and on which ones I am loosing money. I know what to change!”

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