Lucy Wangare: From School Dropout to Kiosk Food Vendor, Now Proud Owner of an Sh80 Million Hotel in Kitale

In 1983, Lucy Wangare Muchiri faced a pivotal juncture in her life at the age of 15.Finding herself pregnant and unable to continue her education, she made the heart-wrenching decision to withdraw from Lari Secondary School.

Unbeknownst to her at the time, this decision marked the commencement of an extraordinary journey.

Hailing from Gethithia village in Kiambu County, Lucy initially received educational support from her uncle, the esteemed author Ngugi Wa Thiongo.

However, Ngugi’s exile abruptly halted this financial aid, prompting Lucy to relocate to her mother’s residence.

“When he went into exile, that financial assistance ended, and I had to move to my mother’s place, where I had to walk to school,” she reminisced in a previous interview.

This transition meant enduring daily treks to school, a struggle that intensified after an unexpected hitchhike altered the trajectory of her life.

Unexpectedly, a ride intended for school led her to Nairobi, where she found herself residing with the driver and eventually becoming pregnant.

Facing relentless challenges, Lucy and her partner moved to Cherang’any in Trans Nzoia County, confronting the hardships that life thrust upon them.

The turning point arrived in the early 2000s when Lucy’s husband’s health deteriorated, ultimately leading to his demise.

Despite the tragic loss, Lucy found herself liberated from a tumultuous relationship, opening the door to a new chapter in her life.

Rekindling her passion for cooking, Lucy specialized in catering for various events, honing her culinary skills.

A pivotal moment unfolded when a generous pastor offered her Sh800 for her culinary services, a seemingly modest sum that served as the seed capital for what would soon burgeon into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.

Lucy’s journey to success commenced with modest food sales under a tree in Kitale town.

However, her unwavering determination faced resistance from the town council due to breaches of public health regulations.

Undaunted, Lucy persisted, catering to the needs of low-income earners with affordable culinary options.

Her perseverance, coupled with disciplined saving habits, enabled her to establish the renowned ‘Mama Njuguna Hotel.’ This establishment, celebrated for its delectable and budget-friendly offerings, not only flourished as a business but also provided employment opportunities for numerous youths in the community.

The tale of triumph didn’t conclude there. Lucy diversified her entrepreneurial endeavors, inaugurating ‘Mama Njuguna Choma Zone’ along the Kitale-Eldoret road.

With consistent returns, she supported the education of her four children and, at the age of 48, embarked on her own educational journey.

Now at the helm of a thriving business empire, Lucy oversees a workforce of 40 individuals and has emerged as a beacon of success in her community. What began as a humble dream of vending githeri for Sh5, chapati for Sh10, and tea for Sh10 to low-income earners has blossomed into reality.

Lucy Wangare Muchiri’s commitment to education transcends her own pursuits. She serves as an inspirational speaker in schools and churches, imparting entrepreneurial wisdom to young women and girls. Furthermore, she advocates against gender-based violence, empowering women to assert their rights and seek assistance when necessary.

In pursuit of her dreams, Lucy has diligently saved, amassing Sh3 million and securing loans totaling Sh80 million to finance the construction of a new hotel near Kitale Bus Park.

The acquisition of the land for the hotel, purchased for Sh1 million, symbolizes the fruition of her aspirations.