In 1983, Lucy Wangare Muchiri faced a life-altering decision at the tender age of 15.
Pregnant and unable to continue her education, she made the difficult choice to drop out of Lari Secondary School.
Little did she know that this would mark the beginning of a remarkable journey.
Born in Gethithia village in Kiambu County, Lucy’s educational journey initially received support from her uncle, the renowned author Ngugi Wa Thiongo.
However, Ngugi’s exile brought an end to this financial assistance, compelling Lucy to relocate to her mother’s place.
“When he went into exile, that financial assistance ended and I had to relocate to my mother’s place where I used to go to school on foot,” she said in a past interview.
The transition meant daily walks to school, a struggle that became even more demanding after a fateful hitchhike altered the course of her life.
In an unexpected turn of events, a ride intended for school led her to Nairobi, where she ended up living with the driver and, subsequently, becoming pregnant.
The challenges persisted as Lucy and her partner relocated to Cherang’any in Trans Nzoia County, facing the hardships that life threw at them.
The turning point came in the early 2000s when Lucy’s husband’s health deteriorated, eventually leading to his passing.
Despite the tragic loss, Lucy found herself liberated from a difficult relationship, paving the way for a new chapter in her life.
Returning to her first love of cooking, Lucy specialized in catering for various ceremonies, perfecting the art of food preparation.
A pivotal moment occurred when a generous pastor offered her Sh800 for her cooking services, a seemingly small amount that became the seed capital for what would soon become a multi-million business.
Lucy’s journey to success began with humble food sales under a tree in Kitale town.
However, her determination faced opposition from the town council due to violations of public health regulations.
Undeterred, Lucy persisted, catering to the needs of low-income earners with affordable food options.
Her dedication, coupled with a disciplined saving habit, enabled her to establish the renowned ‘Mama Njuguna Hotel.’ This establishment, known for its delicious and affordable tea, not only became a thriving business but also provided job opportunities for numerous youths in the community.
The success story didn’t end there. Lucy expanded her entrepreneurial ventures, opening ‘Mama Njuguna Choma Zone’ along the Kitale-Eldoret road.
With consistent returns, she supported her four children’s education and, at the age of 48, returned to school herself.
Now at the helm of a thriving business empire, Lucy employs 40 individuals and has become a beacon of success in her community. The dream that began as a food vendor, selling githeri at Sh5, chapati at Sh10, and tea at Sh10 to low-income earners, has transformed into a reality.
Lucy Wangare Muchiri’s commitment to education didn’t end with her own pursuit. She serves as a motivational speaker in schools and churches, sharing her lessons on entrepreneurship with young women and girls. Additionally, she advocates against gender-based violence, encouraging women to assert their rights and seek assistance when needed.
In pursuit of her dreams, Lucy has saved diligently, accumulating Sh3 million and securing loans amounting to Sh80 million to fund the construction of a new hotel near Kitale Bus Park.
The land on which the hotel sits, purchased for Sh1 million, signifies the realization of her aspirations.