Sipping Tea in Nakuru

Our Client Relationship Manager Achintya Rai recently met with another one of our borrowers from Nakuru, Kenya. Margaret Wanjiku runs a food kiosk in Nakuru where she proudly serves the best tea the area! Check out what Achintya had to say about their encounter below:

Hello Lenders,

My name is Achintya Rai. I paid a visit to Margaret Wanjiku Kara on 28th March 2012 in the Rongai area of Nakuru (Kenya)

Margaret owns a small teashop in Rongai. Margaret took the Zidisha loan to buy stock for her shop and to pay the school fee of her daughter who’s in standard 6. She bought things like milk, charcoal, flour etc. with the help of her Zidisha loan and was able to increase her customer base. So much so that now she is planning to open another teashop nearby. The new shop will be looked after by her daughter (Margaret has three daughters and the name of her shop is “Mama Judy”, which literally means- mother of Judy, Judy being one of her daughters).

When I visited Margaret, she was very busy and there was a constant stream of customers at her shop to drink her tea or buy mandazi- a type of snack made by deep-frying leavened dough. I asker her for tea and speaking very frankly, the tea was the best I’ve had in Kenya- and I had a lot of tea in Kenya. Margaret’s tea was richer and had stronger flavors. Though Margaret was quite busy, she graciously answered all my questions. It was a little tricky talking to her because even though she could understand me and I could understand her, many people in the shop volunteered to translate both of us. Margaret was constantly smiling in all this commotion and came across to me as a very pleasant person. She was shy when I took out my camera but I think that’s the reason why her picture came out so well.

Margaret stays on her small shamba (farm), which is a few kilometers away from her shop. She has a few goats, chickens and cows on her shamba. With the next loan she wants to buy a plot in Rongai center and later on build on it.

My one regret is that I could not finish the tea that day. Kenyans serve tea in these huge half-liter mugs and that day I was on a tight schedule. Margaret also later refused to let me pay for the tea, but I explained to her that Zidisha’s aim was to see her business flourish and do well and there was no way I was going to take away from her revenue so she finally allowed me to pay.

I wish Margaret the best for her future

Achintya
11th May 2012 

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