Geoffrey Kago’s journey as an entrepreneur is a testament to the power of hard work, patience, and utilizing one’s knowledge and skills to create sustainable businesses. Starting off as a funeral home undertaker and cigarette hawker, he rose to become a successful multi-million poultry farmer and founder of Kaki Village Enterprises, where he breeds hens and exotic birds, as well as sells commercial incubators.
His entrepreneurial spirit was sparked in his formative years when he bought a Spanish Jungle, a rare breed of chicken, from his mother for only Sh20. From this one hen, he was able to increase his stock to 200 by the time he was in class eight, selling eggs and chickens to support himself through school. In high school, he drew inspiration from one of Kenya’s first poultry farmers, Nelson Muguku, and even designed an incubator that won the 1985 high school science congress competition at the district level and came second nationally.
However, he faced a setback when a neighbor poisoned his hens. To survive, he took on odd jobs, including working as a mason, carpenter, and funeral undertaker. In the early 2000s, he started hawking cigarettes and managed to save Sh600, which he used to start his own business venture.
In 2002, when the late Hon. Kibaki took over the government, his speech resonated with Geoffrey Kago. The late president urged Kenyans to use their talents and knowledge to do something for their country, and the government promised to support great ideas. This inspired Geoffrey to research incubators, breeding different birds, and the use of technology in poultry farming. He started Kaki Village Enterprises, merging the first letters of his name and the late president’s name. With the Sh600, he bought two hens and manufactured a still-air incubator.
In a year, he not only had rare chicken breeds but also quails, turkey, ostriches, and guinea fowls. He did thorough research on the birds and obtained a hatchery permit from the Kenya Wildlife Service to collect ostrich eggs. In 2006, he sold four ostriches at Sh80,000 each and invested the money back into the business. In 2009, he hatched ostriches, but unfortunately, they all died, teaching him valuable lessons about the care and handling of the birds in their first three months of life.
Apart from the rare bird species and hens, Kaki Village Enterprises also continues to manufacture incubators, with sizes ranging from small (120 eggs) to large (3000 eggs). He has sold to the government, schools, and various farmers across the country and has imparted his knowledge of poultry farming to many farmers. Today, the business he started in 2002 is valued at $120,000 (approximately Ksh12 million).