Farming Billions: Inside caleb Karuga hustle after he was fired from K24

Experiencing job loss can be a challenging time, especially if you did not have a backup plan or a side hustle. However, getting fired is not the end of the road if you are someone with determination and a dream. Caleb Karuga’s story is an inspiring example of how one can turn a difficult situation into a thriving career. Caleb initially pursued an IT degree but quit halfway through after realizing his true passion lay in the media industry. He taught himself the basics of film production online and used his savings to purchase his first camera, which he used to kickstart his career by shooting videos for weddings and events. In 2003, he registered his business as Target Creations.

Caleb’s breakthrough moment came in 2007 when he was selected to be the official videographer for the Miss World Pageant Finals at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) after impressing the CEO of Ashley’s, Ms. Terry Mungai, with his video of JCC Ngara. This opportunity earned him Ksh 250,000 and allowed him to network with influential people in the industry. Later that year, MediaMax Limited established K24 TV and was looking for cameramen and reporters. Caleb applied and successfully secured the job using the clip he had produced for the Miss World Pageant Finals. He worked for K24 TV for six years until he was fired alongside several other employees in 2013. He received Ksh 1.3 million as compensation, which he used to start a career in farming.

Transitioning into the farming sector was not an easy journey for Caleb. In the first three years, he faced numerous challenges, starting with buying 200 pigs without proper research, which led to failure. He then switched to rearing chickens but lost 200 of them within two months due to a lack of knowledge about vaccination schedules. However, he persisted and bought 500 day-old chicks from the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI), only for his employees to steal from him. He later leased a piece of land in Lamu to start farming but did not follow the correct procedures for signing a lease agreement. Eventually, the landowner chased him away from the land.

Despite these setbacks, Caleb did not give up on his dream. Today, he operates a farm in Nyeri, Kikuyu, and Laikipia, where he raises thousands of indigenous quails, chickens, guinea fowl, dairy cows, and goats. He also farms sunflowers, sweet potatoes, butternuts, and strawberries on his three farms. Caleb sells chicks and chickens and supplies eggs to major supermarkets in the country. Additionally, he has trained over 1,200 aspiring agribusiness entrepreneurs to avoid the mistakes he made in his earlier farming journey. Caleb’s story is a testament to the resilience and determination needed to succeed in any career, despite setbacks and challenges along the way.