Nicholas Wambua: Machakos Man who quit driving job to sell scrap metals, Now makes Sh 100,000 monthly

Nicholas Wambua, 52 years old, has forged a path of success in the scrap metal industry, a departure from his previous occupations as a truck driver and farmer.

Originating from Machakos County, Wambua initially balanced driving and farming gigs after completing his O’levels. However, deteriorating eyesight forced him to relinquish driving to concentrate on agriculture.

Despite his earnest efforts, farming proved unprofitable due to erratic weather patterns, prompting Wambua to seek greener pastures by relocating from Machakos to Narok County.

In Narok town, he dabbled in running a cereal shop, but his aspirations drove him to pursue more lucrative ventures. In 2019, he shifted gears to the scrap metal trade, leaving behind cereal retail.

Wambua’s entry into the scrap metal industry commenced humbly, procuring old iron sheets from construction sites and reselling them as scrap metal. His reputation burgeoned, attracting more sellers and broadening his business network.

He procures scrap metal at Sh. 25 per kilogram and vend it to metal industries in Nairobi at Sh. 30, pocketing a profit of Sh. 5 per kilogram. With monthly sales surpassing 20,000 kilograms, his earnings never dip below Sh. 100,000.

Yet, not all scrap metal meets his quality benchmarks, necessitating caution to steer clear of dealing with stolen goods, which could imperil his business and legal status.

Wambua encountered hurdles between January and March 2022 when scrap metal operations were temporarily halted due to escalated vandalism. To diversify his income during this period, he sold plastic bottles.

Furthermore, he encountered legal entanglements when one of his clients sold him stolen metals, resulting in hefty fines and heightened vigilance in his business dealings.

Despite setbacks, Wambua’s enterprise flourishes, enabling him to provide for his two spouses and six offspring. He has invested in real estate in Narok town and harbors plans to further develop it to bolster his income.

Operating from a strategically positioned premise opposite Kandas Ground along Nyawira Road, Wambua runs his scrap metal business with the assistance of one of his spouses and an employee.