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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Man ekes a living with brush

By Maryanne Wangare 
He started crafting guitars and cars while still in primary school, where he also did `Art &Craft’ as a subject. He also took part in different art and drawing competitions, gaining more knowledge in that field of study and emerging the best. Unfortunately, his single mother could not afford to provide for him giving him hard options in life.He dropped out of school during his second term in standard eight due to lack of school fees. 
Waweru writing graphics [Photo: Joseph Kanyi| LRV]

 He went out for job hunting and did menial jobs in Molo so as to earn a living. He left Molo in 2001 and headed to Eldoret where he secured a job in a Hotel. He used the savings he had from the job to buy nine gallons of paint then went back to his home but ironically was chased by her mother and siblings.
Mr. John Waweru or` artist Waweru’ as he is commonly known by the people of Sipili Division in Laikipia West District is a 31yr old artist. He was born in a family of six and raised by a single parent.

After an acrimonious encounter at home, Waweru thought of going back to Molo but headed to a different location this time round Londiani, Kericho County. He started drawing graphics and making frames for pictures making a great deal in business. Once again, fate chose him destiny and ended up in Sipili. This came in form of displacement after the 2007/2008 post-election violence that rocked the country where over a thousand people were killed and hundred thousand displaced. Waweru embarked on the same work of drawing graphics. Lucky enough another business idea came and he found himself in the business of making rubber stamps.  

Waweru with his tools [Photo: Joseph Kanyi|LRV]
Any challenges? As it is always said `Behind every success there are some challenges’, Waweru faced hostility from his competitors. Many challenges came along the way such as unsatisfied clients who could end up paying less for services rendered. Marketing posed as an obstacle in his way to success. He only renders services in Sipili and its environs. Expansion has been hard to come by. This has lessened his opportunities to access many customers. With all the challenges he has faced he still works hard to improve his business.
Alongside his vocation is a curio shop in Sipili market which doubles up as his office. Painting and drawing is the only source of income for the father of one. However, he has managed to provide for his family with his meager savings.

To those who want to succeed in business, Waweru advices “management is the key thing in any job or business. Without a plan and budget in your business all won’t work for you who want to start a business. For one to be a successful business person trust is needed. This goes a long way to winning the trust of your clients. One should also know what the customers like and give a variation of prices. Business does well in any other place as long as one is ready to risk. Utilize your talent and use it to mould your future because you might gain a better living through it”.
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