Kelvin Makachia: KU University Graduate Who Scored an A in KCSE Achieved Second Class Upper Now Earns Living by Pulling ‘Mkokoteni’

In a world where higher education is often seen as the key to a promising future, Kelvin Makachia Osore’s journey stands as a stark reminder that life does not always unfold according to expectations.

Kelvin, a 25-year-old graduate of Kenyatta University who obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 2018, has confronted the harsh reality of unemployment. Despite his academic achievements, he has been forced to adopt unconventional means to sustain himself.

Kelvin’s story mirrors the struggles of countless graduates navigating the challenging job market. He diligently sent out applications to over 200 companies, only to be met with deafening silence. He even made the rounds to various businesses in Nairobi’s Industrial Area, but all his efforts proved in vain.

“The many months I have spent job hunting and struggling have been a profound disappointment for my family and me, particularly for my mother, who regrets taking out a loan to fund my university education,” Kelvin laments.

Coming from a family of five siblings, raised by a single mother who earned her living as a vegetable vendor and sacrificed by taking loans to finance Kelvin’s education, the stakes were exceptionally high. However, as the job search grew increasingly futile, Kelvin decided to tap into his resilience.

Setting aside his degree certificate, Kelvin ventured into water vending and transporting goods for clients in the bustling Soweto area of Nairobi.

“Since I knew someone who could lend me a cart, I made the decision to start vending water and transporting luggage for clients, such as market stall owners in the Soweto area,” he explained.

Kelvin’s day starts at 4 am, as he collects water from school boreholes and sells it to residents for a modest fee of Sh20 per jerrican, which he purchases for Sh5. On better days, he manages to secure a profit of up to Sh900. However, his responsibilities extend beyond self-sustainability.

As the eldest sibling, with three sisters and two brothers, Kelvin bears the burden of providing for his family. This includes covering rent, ensuring there is food on the table, and supporting his siblings’ education.

One significant challenge he faces is the periodic distribution of free water to Soweto and Kayole by Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi’s Sonko Rescue Team, which adversely affects his water vending business. “When this water arrives, we are unable to sell,” he remarks, underscoring the unpredictability of his livelihood.