Fredrick Macharia: Meet Graduate Hawking Porridge in Nairobi, Making up to Ksh 100,000 Monthly

In 2018, Fredrick Macharia, much like numerous recent graduates, eagerly entered the job market with high aspirations. Unfortunately, the harsh reality of job scarcity quickly dampened his enthusiasm, and despite earnest efforts, securing employment proved to be an imposing challenge.

His journey into the realm of employment commenced with humble positions, including six months of strenuous labor at a construction site. It was during this period that Macharia stumbled upon an idea that would alter the course of his life – the business of selling porridge.

Reflecting on that time, Macharia shared, “At the construction site, people would come with flasks and food dishes to sell breakfast and lunch to us.” The entrepreneurial spirit was kindled within him as he recognized the potential in offering a much-needed service to his fellow workers.

The income from his construction job fell short of covering basic necessities like rent and food. Sensing an opportunity in the market, Macharia, in collaboration with his foster sister, made a strategic decision to relocate to Nakuru and delve into the porridge business. They initially started with traditional porridge made from flour, sugar, and water. However, their trajectory took an unexpected turn when they identified a new market trend – ‘super uji.’

This ‘super uji’ was not just any porridge; it was a nutritious blend of organic ingredients such as yams, sorghum, ground nuts, milk, bananas, simsim, stinging nettles, and omena.

Recognizing the potential of this unique offering, Macharia and his sister pooled their resources, investing Sh7,000 in a blender and securing an additional Sh3,000 for ingredients.

The introduction of ‘super uji’ proved to be a game-changer for Macharia. They garnered a loyal customer base, with orders pouring in, and satisfied clients became enthusiastic advocates, referring their porridge to new customers. The business steadily expanded, prompting Macharia and his sister to incorporate a mutual partner and hire three employees to assist in selling their porridge in offices and establishments within Nakuru.

Their strategic decisions and diligent efforts paid off, resulting in a thriving business that generates a substantial income. What began as a business born out of necessity and observation now stands as a testament to Macharia’s success. The income generated per bowl ranges from Ksh 70 to Ksh 100, depending on the ingredients used. On a good day, the team can make up to Ksh 5,000.

“I am pleased that people are gradually realizing the importance of returning to traditional foods such as yams, sorghum, and the ingredients we use to make the porridge. These foods are highly nutritious and contribute to keeping lifestyle diseases at bay,” Macharia expressed.