Nairobi News


Nairobi Hustle: Lessons I drew from hawking in KU – VIDEO

Kenyatta University graduate William Kamau used to hawk popcorn, sweets, chocolates and mabuyu his entire campus life to afford rent, food and books.

His grandmother had drained all her savings to pay for his tuition fees and was unable to send him upkeep money.

Being an orphan, Kamau learnt survival skills from his elder sister who bought him a popcorn machine to start his business.

The venture later expanded to hawking sweets, chocolates and mabuyu after popcorn machines flooded the campus.


“When I was in first year, I used to rely on my grandmother and my sister for upkeep but quickly I noticed they were running out of cash and had drained all their money on school fees. My sister bought me a popcorn machine but competition pushed me out of the business forcing me to get creative,” he narrated.

Kamau, a Bachelor of Commerce student put his lectures into practice and would randomly approach students at Kenyatta University’s main campus with a bag-pack full of snacks.

“I would approach a group of students and introduce myself and what I was selling. Soon my sweets and mabuyu became popular and since I used to use the phrase ‘mtaneed something’ often, they would ask each other ‘mtaneed something’ when they see me coming,” he explained.

His daily sales ROSE from Sh1,000 to Sh2,500 enough to buy him food, clothing, books and pay rent at Kahawa Wendani.


Kamau graduated in 2016 and got a scholarship to study in China. He returned recently and is working in a Chinese-owned firm.

“I still treasure my hustle as it taught me how to be courteous, humble, patient and hard working. I’m currently gaining skills as an employee in the corporate world that I feel will come in handy when I resume entrepreneurship,” he said.

Kamau has the following advice to campus hustler; “Identify a problem which will enable you to come up with ideas. Come up with competitive products and services to cater for the demand and lastly do not forget to pray to God to bless your hustle.”