Aging Well in Kenya

David and his mother

Meet David Kamau, a Zidisha borrower from the Nakuru region of Kenya. David has several ways he earns a living. Besides working at a local school, David also has several animals that he rears. David used his Zidisha loan to purchase several dairy goats and build a structure to house his animals. David, and his mother, recently met with Achintya Rai. Read about their encounter in Achintya’s own words below:

Hi,

My name is Achintya Rai and I am the new Kenya Client Relationship Manager for Zidisha.

I visited David Kamau on the 31st of Jan. Baba Joshua (as he is popularly known) is obviously one of the most popular Zidisha clients. If one were to believe his stories, he is quite ancient. But he doesn’t look a day older than 40. I asked around and the general opinion is that he is 70. I was thinking what I wouldn’t give to be as fit as him when I’m 70. Then I met his mother, who is 99. She was not only quite active (I once saw her doing the 7 km uphill trek from Mitimingi to Mugaa, from my perch behind a bike taxi) but had perfect hearing and sight.

Baba Joshua explained the science of cow-rearing to me- at what age they should be bought, at what they should be sold, how many generations further can they be interbred etc. He also explained to me how he invested his Zidisha loan and later bought a cow. His job at the Mugaa Secondary School not only gives him a stable salary, but also gives him special privileges like access to the school grounds for grazing his cows. He doesn’t have to take his cows to long distances for grazing unlike other farmers and that saves him a lot of time to look after his other animals. 

With his next loan he wants to buy maze from farmers in the crop season and store it to sell it later when the prices go up and traders from the town come looking for more produce.

His present income appears quite sufficient to pay back his loans. He has indigenous as well as German goats (which, I feel, aren’t quite as pretty as the local ones, but he was so proud of them I had to click a few pictures), chickens and now 3 cows. Like very many other Zidisha clients I have met, Baba Joshua also feels a sense of ownership for the company and also a sense of pride to be associated with Zidisha. And quite thankful to Zidisha too. 

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