Stacey Auma: From ‘Mama fua’ to owning successful Mitumba Business in Gikomba

Stacey Auma’s story is a true testament to the power of determination, perseverance, and hard work. Her journey to becoming a successful businesswoman is an inspiration to all those who aspire to achieve their dreams despite facing daunting challenges.

Initially, Stacey sold secondhand clothes on the streets of Nairobi, but this was a risky venture as county government officials often arrested her and her fellow traders. However, she did not give up and continued looking for ways to make ends meet, even dropping copies of her CV in various places. Unfortunately, she did not receive any positive response to her job applications.

When Stacey failed to secure employment, she decided to wash clothes for people in the Greenspan area of Nairobi. However, she had to stop due to severe back pain. Her mother then urged her to start a food vending business, which she did, but after four months of incurring losses, she gave up.

Despite the setbacks, Stacey remained determined to succeed. She decided to visit Gikomba market to see if she could find something to sell. With only Sh. 1,000, she bought 30 pieces of sweater tops for Sh. 30 each and sold them for Sh. 100 each, making a profit of Sh. 70 for each piece. She then moved on to selling jumpers and, despite being arrested on her first day, she persevered and sold all the jumpers the next day.

Stacey’s success in selling jumpers inspired her to join forces with other women to contribute money that enabled them to order a container of bales. After receiving the bales, they subdivided them among themselves and began selling.

Stacey eventually opened a shop in Gikomba, where she sells secondhand clothes, handbags, shoes, and household items. She also uses social media to advertise her products and attract more customers.

Despite facing challenges such as receiving bales with low-quality clothes, resulting in losses, and dealing with difficult customers who are not satisfied with her products, Stacey has been able to build a thriving business. She attributes her success to her mother’s unwavering support and the other women who contributed money to enable them to order a container of bales.

In addition to running her business, Stacey is a football coach who trains the Black Warrior soccer team based in Ruiru, Nairobi. Her love for football began when she was a student at Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, where she played for four years. She later played for other teams before becoming a coach.