The right tools

profile

By Lisbeth Overheu, Kenya Ambassador Volunteer

Rebecca Muthee has run her own freelancing business for the past several years. She lives in a neat one-bedroom apartment which she shares with her boyfriend in Zimmerman in northeastern Nairobi.

Rebecca works from home, so her living room is also her office. Her main source of income is writing online articles for various health, beauty and fashion websites, from which she earns about US $200 per month. She supplements this with wedding and events photography and videography.

2a3a523fa219c6a2fa709bcb832860c8

Rebecca’s neighborhood

b64809bb9fb2aac9da86afdb9d03e531

Preparing tea

A talented actress, Rebecca joined a theatre after graduating high school.  Though she loved acting, the pay was so low that it took her two years to save the $135 she needed to buy her first digital camera.  She used the camera to begin earning extra income as a professional photographer.

75db042b82fd288772ef4e443e8deb97

9d7f7d8b2f4452a6d427e9f78c43a70b

7f321c6843eacd3660f226c520304d51

Some of Rebecca’s photography work

At first, Rebecca needed to pay others to print her photos.  She used her first Zidisha loan, of $150, to purchase her own photo printer.  This not only increased her profit margins, but also gave her better control over the quality of the photos she delivered to customers.

With the funds from her current Zidisha loan of $447, Rebecca purchased a HP Probook. This laptop is much faster and has a larger capacity than Rebecca’s previous desktop computer, and has enabled her to do the video editing needed to offer videography along with her photography service – something increasingly in demand for weddings and other events.

The new laptop also has a much faster internet connection which is vital as Rebecca’s writing assignments are received and submitted via the net.  This translates to more earnings per hour spent on freelancing, and frees up more time for Rebecca to develop her photography and videography service.

cb2042c59de5060815922fb82aa9dcfc

The Zidisha-funded laptop

Rebecca enjoys online writing, but her real passion is photography and she would like to expand the event photography and videography aspect of her business to make this her main source of income. In order to achieve this she is saving money from her writing, and with her savings and a possible future Zidisha loan she hopes to be able to purchase a new, higher-quality digital camera and professional lighting equipment.  With more equipment, she intends to employ other photographers at her studio from among the many talented jobless youth in Nairobi.

Having grown up in the central Kenyan city of Nakuru, Rebecca and her three brothers all now live in Nairobi. When she’s not busy working Rebecca enjoys taking a break from the hectic city life in Nairobi and visiting her parents and sister who now live in the town of Nyeri near the foothills of beautiful Mount Kenya.

Rebecca would like a family of her own one day when her business is more established, and she’s using her Zidisha loans to help her achieve this goal.

054be306058ba617c358893d377f7097

Rebecca and Lisbeth

4 thoughts on “The right tools

  1. Celebrating 2015 – Zidisha: P2P Microfinance

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s