They call him msee wa mende. They call him that because for the past eight years, he has been in the business of selling Dawa ya Mende in Eldoret, and quite frankly, as the meme says, kama hajawahi kushtua, then you’re not a true Eldoretian.
After toying with the idea of having him as my first interviewee for our new series #Eldopreneur, I finally bolstered the courage to go up to him and ask for an interview this past weekend.
Life Before Becoming Dawa ya Mende Eldoret Hawker
I engaged him and learned that Andrew Orende, a husband and father of two, was raised in Eldoret, and from an early age, he showed an air of independence that has grounded him in entrepreneurship.
He joyfully told how his mother shaped him into the man he is today by teaching him how to live a minimal life, a trait that the youth lack today, he added. He first started hustling in the mtumba business, and shortly after, he quit the job to start his own business selling kids’ socks in 2012.
After being in the business for two years, he finally decided to become a Dawa ya Mende Eldoret hawker in 2014 a job that he has maintained until now.
A Man With A Plan
The greatest thing happened to him in 2017 when a friend introduced him to money-saving. He set a daily target of earning a thousand per day of which 300bob would go to his KCB fixed deposit account with hopes of fulfilling his lifelong dream of owning land. He tells me of his excitement when he paid the first installment for the piece of land and the encouragement he received from family and friends to clear his payment fully.
That, friends, is how Andrew bought a whole acre of land and settled his family. Isn’t that just amazing?
When I ask him what his ultimate business plan is and replies without even thinking his face beaming, you can see his assertiveness and satisfaction. He says that he has plans to open a big boutique in town.
His days start quite early; by 10 AM, he’s usually in town ready for business up till 8 PM. He absolutely loves ugali kuku, and when not working, he enjoys listening to music, specifically catholic songs and anything by Emma Jalang’o.
Andrew said many profound things during the interview but what stuck out most and was emphasized was the power of hope. His advice to anyone reading this? One, ng’ang’ana na chochote it always pays off, and lastly, unapologetically do you wachana na render.
My advice to you…Next time you see the Dawa Ya Mende In Eldoret hawker in town usimpite kama una mende kwako.