Of Bustling Streets and Avocado

By Wahito Kangere, Nakuru Fellow 2014

Nakuru is said to be the fastest growing town in Africa. I’m here on a six weeks summer fellowship and three weeks have gone by since we got here. I came to Nakuru determined to learn as much as I can about Enterprise and the impact it has on the socio-economic status of individuals who get involved in entrepreneurship plus the society as a whole too. This was certainly going to be a different experience to what am used to when I visit my family in Kenya (I was born and raised up in Kenya but currently reside in England) and I was very excited about it. I am one of twenty fellows here, mainly from Britain but there are a diverse of nationalities including Australia, America, Kenya and Russia.

True to the description given, the first week of induction was intense training on the essence of entrepreneurship. What I liked most about the induction week was the structure of learning; theory work integrated with field work. In fact on the second day of training (technically day four since arrival) we had our first field assignment; researching and designing a stall for a potential business in Nakuru town! Despite the initial anxieties of striking business conversations with entrepreneurs in town, this exercise turned out to be a very positive confidence booster. We randomly approached business owners without an appointment and got responses to all our questions! All sorts of queries on finances, day-to-day running of businesses and obstacles faced were all answered.

In the two weeks since the induction, my working partner Yu Meng and I found ourselves with a group of entrepreneurs with very high expectations (one of our group members actually stated this) and the symbolism of the name they picked for our working team ‘Eagles Group’ matched with the spirit of determination they have depicted in the time we have spent with them. Our entrepreneurs have been instrumental in showing us around town.

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The busy streets of Nakuru town

Nakuru is a very busy town. There’s bustling activity in every street corner. But, look far beyond the towering buildings and billboards and you’ll see a lush backdrop of greeneries. In fact, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables everywhere you look. I even have an avocado tree on the back porch of my bedroom!

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What’s more, many side streets of Nakuru town are lined with fruit vendors who’ve totally impressed us. We have fresh fruit salads enough to sustain ones lunch for only 50 shillings (about £0.33 pence) not to mention a large glass of avocado juice (am slightly obsessed with avocado) or any other exotic fruit (mango, passion fruit, papaya) juice mixes for the same price!

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All in all, the events of these past three weeks; training and exploring Nakuru have been challenging, exciting, inspiring and fun!

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Contrasting views at Hells Gate National Park where we spent a camping and hiking weekend.

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