Stacey Auma: From ‘mama fua’ to running own Gikomba mitumba business

by admin

Stacey Auma’s s journey commenced on the bustling streets of Nairobi, where she eked out a living by selling secondhand clothes.

However, this venture was fraught with risks as county officials often arrested street vendors like her. Despite the constant adversity, Stacey tenaciously persevered, distributing copies of her CV in the hopes of finding alternative employment. Regrettably, her efforts yielded no fruitful results.

Frustrated by the job market’s unresponsiveness, Stacey explored new avenues for financial stability. Initially, she washed clothes for residents in the Greenspan area of Nairobi. Unfortunately, debilitating back pain forced her to abandon this endeavor.

It was her mother’s encouragement that led Stacey to venture into the food vending business. Although she embraced this opportunity, financial losses eventually compelled her to close shop after just four months.

Stacey’s indomitable spirit, however, remained undeterred. She decided to explore Gikomba market, armed with a mere Sh. 1,000. With this small budget, she purchased 30 pieces of sweater tops at Sh. 30 each and resold them for Sh. 100, making a Sh. 70 profit per piece. Subsequently, she expanded her product range to include jumpers, an endeavor that saw her arrested on her very first day. Yet, she pressed on, and the next day, she successfully sold all her jumpers.

“I was arrested at 6 pm and released at 9 pm. I had to call my mother to send me bus fare because I had not sold anything. The following day I was there again, and this time, I sold all the jumpers. This boosted my morale so much,” she recounted.

Stacey’s success in selling jumpers inspired her to join forces with other women. Together, they pooled their resources to order a container of bales. Upon receiving the bales, they divided the merchandise among themselves and commenced selling.

This endeavor marked a turning point in Stacey’s life. She subsequently established her own shop in Gikomba, offering secondhand clothes, handbags, shoes, and household items. To broaden her reach and attract more customers, she adeptly harnessed the power of social media to advertise her products.

Though not without its challenges, including acquiring bales with low-quality clothes resulting in losses and dealing with demanding customers, Stacey’s unwavering determination and unrelenting work ethic have allowed her to build a thriving business. She attributes her success to her mother’s unwavering support and the collective effort of the women who contributed the funds that facilitated their container of bales.

Beyond her flourishing business, Stacey dons another hat as a football coach. She imparts her passion and knowledge for the sport by training the Black Warrior soccer team based in Ruiru, Nairobi. Her love for football sprouted during her days as a student at the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, where she honed her skills over four years. Subsequently, she played for various teams before transitioning into a coach.

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