For kamau alias Bishop, the motivation behind his successful food business in Qatar, Jikoni restaurant, is simple: to ensure that his children do not have to go through the same struggles he faced. The restaurant, which serves Kenyan and East African delicacies, has become a home away from home for Kenyans in Qatar, including Citizen TV’s Willis Raburu and his colleagues.
Bishop’s journey began six years ago when he moved to Qatar in search of better opportunities, but after his contract ended, he was forced to look for employment elsewhere. “I wanted to give up at one time, I told my mum I was coming back to Kenya but she assured me things will get better,” he recalls.
In partnership with a Pakistani friend who owned a restaurant, Bishop proposed setting aside a day (Friday) to sell Kenyan delicacies. The idea was well received and soon dozens of Kenyans were flocking to the restaurant. Over time, Bishop chose to relocate to an area closer to most of his clients, Old Airport street in Doha.
The menu at Jikoni restaurant features a variety of Kenyan delicacies, including githeri, mukimo, mutura, njahi (black beans), chapati, sukuma wiki, and matumbo. Prices range from Ksh340 for mutura to Ksh670 for githeri. Bishop makes sure to source almost 90% of the ingredients from Kenya to ensure authenticity.
Looking to the future, Bishop has big plans for his business. “In the next five years, I want to franchise my business, to have different branches spread across,” he declared, attributing his success to his craftiness and ability to interact and adapt easily. He uses the story of Metro Guy, who became an international sensation, to demonstrate the importance of resilience and perseverance among the youths working on their jobs despite their locations.