In 2007, Ndila Mweru, a father of three, faced a familiar struggle in Mombasa, Kenya. Working in one of the local industries as a casual laborer, his income proved insufficient to sustain his family’s needs.
Fueled by a desire for better opportunities, Mweru made a life-altering decision to relocate to the Middle East, specifically the United Arab Emirates.
Upon arriving in Dubai, Mweru embarked on a journey that would not only change his life but also establish him as a successful entrepreneur.
Initially working various jobs in the vibrant city, he eventually found his niche in the bustling Global Village, just a stone’s throw away from Dubai’s trade exhibition district.
Mweru’s venture into the business of tea was not just a means of livelihood; it became a testament to the unmatched quality of Kenyan tea. Operating a Kenyan Tea Stand, he quickly became known for serving authentic Kenyan tea that captivated the taste buds of locals and foreigners alike.
In an interview with a Standard Correspondent, Mweru shared his motivation for leaving Kenya: “I left Kenya because as a casual in one of the industries in Mombasa, my income was low and wouldn’t meet my needs as I have a family. Other jobs were also hard to come by, so I came to Dubai to seek opportunities.”
Mweru’s entrepreneurial journey took a significant turn when he secured permanent employment at the Kenyan Tea Stand. Located in the Global Village, his small shop became a popular destination for clients specifically seeking the distinctive taste and aroma of Kenyan tea.
“Me want another cup,” says one client, handing over a 5 Dirham note, speaking broken English with a deep Arabic accent. Mweru’s clientele includes both locals and regular customers who appreciate the authenticity of Kenyan tea.
Mweru emphasized the preference for Kenyan tea, stating, “Clients troop in here because they know the value they get when they consume tea from home.” He added, “Other countries too like Rwanda and Ethiopia and a few Asian countries like Sri Lanka or India too have tea, but they still don’t match Kenya’s brew.”
On average, Mweru sells over 2,000 cups of tea daily, with each cup taking about three minutes to prepare. Priced at 2 Emirati Dirhams (Sh. 80) per cup, his business generates a minimum of Sh. 100,000 in revenue daily, showcasing the success of his venture.
In addition to financial prosperity, Mweru’s journey in Dubai has allowed him to master the Arabic language and integrate into the local culture. He revealed that initially, the language barrier posed challenges, but over the years, he has become fluent.
Having arrived in the United Arab Emirates over a decade ago, Mweru has not only established a thriving business but also invested back in Kenya.
“I bought a piece of land and built. I have another business on the side,” Mweru remarked, highlighting the positive impact of his success on job creation and economic development in Kenya.