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Self-taught interior designer with a magic touch

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Dropping out of university in the last semester of the Fourth Year was a risky but worth it affair for Marion Wanjiru. She looks back with a heartfelt laughter that is very infectious. “I laugh a lot,” she says as a polite apology.

She wanted to be a journalist while growing up but pursued computer science in her undergraduate days at Multimedia University.

But why did you change your mind in the last minute?

“I sat down and thought if I finish school, what next? I could not picture the next move, or being employed. It was blur. So, I did a lot of soul searching and decided this school thing will not work for me. I dropped and ventured into self-employment,” she narrates.

Self-employment, the biggest allure for many Kenyan youth, is not an easy journey and definitely not for the fainthearted. This is the path that has saved thousands of youth from the unemployment menace.

Ms Wanjiru, who had interest and passion in fashion, trend and colour matching, opened a hair dressing business in her homestead. Her strong work ethic made the business pick up in a matter of months, driving her to look for more locations to open new branches for her saloon.

“I always have an impulse of trying new things that are out of the ordinary. I once dyed my hair with the colours of the rainbow. It drew a lot of attention from my neighborhood that clients approached me wanting to try different colours on their hair,” she says.

{ Read:7 steps to make your side hustle more successful }

It is this natural psychology of colour matching that makes Ms Wanjiru mix the impossible shades in a living room effortlessly.

But just how did Ms Wanjiru change from being a skillful hair dresser to a self-taught interior designer?

“This is a journey that started at the lowest point of my life. My saloon businesses had closed down, and I had no income. I fell into depression and my house was unkept. I hated the way my sofa sets looked, the curtains, the carpet, everything just seemed off. This fueled me to change everything. I wanted a different look for my own home,” says Ms Wanjiru.

Before Ms Wanjiru went to shop for new fabrics for her new mission, she took a picture of the her living room.

“I worked the whole night that day changing the fabric on my sofas, the carpet, curtains and I even painted my walls to match with the new fabrics,” she says.

The long night of hard work on her own paid when she posted the photos of before and after of her living room. Within hours, she got her first call from Nyeri, more than 150 kilometres from Nairobi. The woman on the other end of the line wanted her sitting room changed that day.

 

“I had mixed emotions. The post had very positive comments and now I was getting calls of people asking me to redesign their living rooms,” she explains.

In less than 60 minutes of the first call, another phone call came from Nakuru County. This was the beginning of Malya Interiors, an interior design and furniture supply company.

“It is then that it dawned to me that this is my niche with colours, trends and designs,” she says.

After her first ‘shady’ job, as she describes it, the owner of the living room hugged her and cried to her as she thanked her for the makeover. Though she criticised herself harshly and lost thousands of shillings, her first client was defiantly impressed.

{ Read:Kitenge designer stitching together a business empire }

However, her new path soon had stumbling blocks. She needed a car to ease her movements, a work force and a standard quotation for her job.

“I was very green when I did my first job. The quotation I made was low than the production cost I incurred. The time and distance exhausted my energy but these were my first lessons that I learned,” She says.

The first few months in her newly found purpose, Ms Wanjiru says, taught her valuable lessons she still carries three years on.

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“If I didn’t make the mistakes I made then there’s nothing I would have learned. I took my challenges as a push for me to do better and be a better person than I was in my previous work,” narrates the single mum of a six-year-old girl.

From doing three or five houses in a month, she now refashions three houses in a day.

Social media has played a vital role in the growth of her business. This is where she meets new clients every day, and it is free to advertise her work in several groups.

But the online space has not been fully kind to her. Some netizens steal her work and post the photos as theirs causing confusion and to some extent online fights. However, she keeps her distance from online negativity and only responds when it is necessary.

According to Ms Wanjiru, praying, reading, staying positive and keeping her word makes her the top dog in this unexploited local industry.

“First, I set a target, then I pray about it and work towards it. In this industry, it is very important that you deliver what the clients want. I encourage those I mentor not to carry today’s work to tomorrow. Finish today’s job today. If I can do it, so can you,” she offers.

“Another thing is that I don’t stay or allow negative energy around me. I am a very positive person no matter the challenge. If someone has negativity in them, I simply walk away and keep my distance since it will drain my energy,” she advises.

Having an able and reliable team enables Ms Wanjiru to work at anytime of the day to beat all the deadlines. Her team of four people consists of a personal assistant and three carpenters – whom she trained in the interior décor value professionalism and the satisfaction of clients. This makes them the most demanded workers in this industry.

As a self-taught entrepreneur, Ms Wanjiru says asking for help, investing in people and staying motivated keeps her going.

“If I gave up when I made losses in my very first jobs, this story wouldn’t have been written. But I kept pushing and going forward. I look back, an I am so proud of myself,” she says.

Ms Wanjiru refashions living rooms for Sh25,000 to Sh300,000 depending on the size of the house, the work to be done: sofa sets, curtains, carpet and paint.

Ms Wanjiru at work

Having mentored several interior designers in Nairobi and having a strong base of clients, where does Ms Wanjiru see herself in the near future?

“I have this crazy idea of building a house from scratch then design all the rooms from the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and so on. It is still a thought that I know will materialise in the next few years. This is how I have started all my hustles. They come as crazy ideas,” she says.

Her parting shot: “Nothing is impossible. I believe I can do anything when I set my mind and focus on it.”

{ See also:Emmah Amoni: Mtumba dealer turned fashion designer }

 

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Uhuru Cuts Ruto Down to Size in New Executive Order

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday moved to cement his authority as the leader of government by abolishing the Presidency in a new executive order that domiciles Deputy President William Ruto’s office under the Office of the President (OP).

This effectively renders DP Ruto powerless as he will be unable to hire and fire staff as the privilege will now be a preserve of Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

The major political ramifications of the executive order are that the Office of the Deputy President will no longer have an independent budget, or be autonomous and will from now on take orders from (OP)

Executive Order No 1 of 2020 also places Ruto’s Chief of Staff Ken Nyaucho Osinde under the OP which means that he will now be reporting to State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita. Nyaucho will now work hand in hand with Waita and Kinyua.

The Executive Order also places the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Authority (NMS) under the OP giving President Uhuru Kenyatta the proximity to oversight the body created to “restore” Nairobi’s glory.

Uhuru’s latest move is eerily similar to one he made last year that gave Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i sweeping powers on the oversight of Government programmes at a time DP Ruto had perfected the art of traverssing the country under the guise that he was supervising government projects at the behest of President Kenyatta.

On Tuesday, President Kenyatta took his crackdown on DP Ruto’s allies to the National Assembly at a Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting held at State House just weeks after kicking out Ruto stalwarts from powerful senate positions.

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In the changes, National Assembly Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali and his Deputy Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire were kicked out in favour of Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe and Igembe North MP Maoka Maore respectively.

During the PG, meeting President Kenyatta once more dressed down Ruto’s allies and faulted them for disrespecting him. The president also intimated that he knew that Ruto’s allies refer to him as “a drunk”.

In the eventful PG meeting, the President fell short of saying that he will not be supporting Ruto as he promised in campaign rallies in the build-up to the 2013 general elections.

I will be happy to know that the person I will be passing the baton to is part of my agenda,” Uhuru told the 212 MPs. 

The President’s remarks came after he enjoyed a night out with Opposition chief Raila Odinga after the Madaraka Day celebrations at State House during the day.

The duo arrived at the Nairobi CBD in the middle of the night and was seen inspecting the re-carpeting of roads by the NMS.

See Also>>> Uhuru Pumps Sh2 Billion to Save Ailing Tourism Sector

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An Executive Order by President Uhuru Kenyatta

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An Executive Order by President Uhuru Kenyatta has abolished the Presidency and instead put the office of the Deputy President under the office of the president.

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THE PRESIDENT
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1 OF 2020
THE ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNMENT

IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by Article 132 (3) (b) of the Constitution, as read with all other enabling Laws, I, UHURU KENYATTA, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence  Forces, order and direct:

(i) THAT the Government shall be organized as set out in this Order;
(ii) THAT this Order contains portfolio responsibilities and changes made in the structure of Government;
(iii) THAT this Order assigns functions and institutions among Ministries and State Departments; and
(iv) THAT this Order supersedes Executive Order No. 1 of 2018 (Revised) issued in July 2018.

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Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

ISSUED under the HAND AND SEAL of the President of the Republic of
Kenya at State House, Nairobi this 11th day of May, 2020.

UHURU KENYATTA,
PRESIDENT.

Click here–> Executive Order No. 1 of 2020 formatted final Updated

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Pinnto, fast-rising Kenyan musician who is destined for greatness

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I love good music and whenever I come across an artist who makes dope jams, I always feel the need to inform other people about them because as they say, sharing is caring.

Also read: Gengetone is still alive, kind of

The talented musician I want to tell you about today is none other than Bernard Oduor Nyariro, popularly known as Pinnto.

His dad was a DJ and coupled with the fact that he knew that he had a special gift, this inspired him to start writing his own songs. As he was growing up, Pinnto looked up to the likes of Jua Cali, E-Sir and Nonini.

Pinnto has been doing music professionally for the last 8 years but it’s only a few years back when people started to notice how talented he is.

Asked why it took him so long to get his name out there, the fast-rising dancehall singer explained that it takes long to penetrate the Kenyan music industry because one must have good quality and show that they are serious.

Pinnto

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He is a very versatile artist which means that today you will find him spitting bars today and doing a dance hall jam the next day and Gengetone the day after that. However, he says if he does a Gengetone jam he will be careful.

Pinnto dreams of working with Khaligraph Jones, Masauti, Sauti Sol, Timmy Tdat so if they are reading this, please reach out to this guy.

He recently released a new song titled Under Curfew and it has been getting a lot of love. Interestingly, he wrote the wrote the some time back and decided to release it now that we are under a nationwide curfew.

Watch his latest jam titled Under Curfew below and tell us what you think.


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