Unemployment has become a major problem in Kenya especially for the younger generations who end up being jobless despite being educated. This is not same to a mother of two Elizabeth Mwangi.
The 36 year old lady from Laikipia county who hails in Nandi has been a role model in her work of needlework and knitting of school sweaters.
In an interview with www.westfm.co.ke Mwangi who is a single mother of two kids narrates how she acquired her skills in the industry of needle work until she became an expert with the job which she says has helped her much in her day to day life.
At tender age, she used to knit small bags, capes and table mats using the embroidery method until she developed great passions of the profession which in turn pursued a training experience from one of the experts.
“I didn’t join any college to learn sewing and knitting but I was taught how to go a bout it by one of the mother’s who was an expert in that field,” she said.
She narrates that she was trained how to knit sweaters for three months by her trainer Wakanyi, who was doing the work at Rumuruti town and she immediately began the job after her father bought her a singer machine.
She started her work at Rumuruti where she did it for a period of one year and migrated to Gatubia for four years and later to Maralal where she stayed for six years before relocating further to Nandi where she is to date.
When asked why she was moving from one place to another, she said she was forced to do so, so as to look for a better market as the work is seasonal. She says she found Kapsabet town the best place for her business as it is in high demand compared to the places she had worked initially.
The price of each an item depends on the size as Mwangi sells a sweater fit for a 3 to 4 year old kid for Ksh. 300, 5-6 years Ksh. 350,8,9-10 years at Ksh. 400, 12-13 years at Ksh. 450 and 14 to 15 years at Ksh. 500 and above.
“When the goods are in demand, I always get a profit of up to Ksh. 4000 per day while during the seasons of low demands I normally get a profit of Ksh. 1200 daily.” She said.
Mrs. Mwangi makes at least a maximum of five sweaters per day so as not to strain a lot and the work has helped her feed her family, educate her children and pay house rent without much problems.
She went to school at Mathera primary where she sat for her KCPE in 1997 and joined Muhoteto Girls secondary school in Laikipia from 1998 to 2001 where she sat for her KCSE exams and got an aggregate of a C plain.
In the year 2002, she went to pursue a computer course for packages at Nakuru and upon completion went to start her carrier of knitting and sewing at Rumuruti through the help of one of the trainers who was doing the job.
Elizabeth Mwangi urges women from Nandi and all over the nation to come up and make use of the work of their hands to earn a living instead of waiting for the government to get employment.
She said many people who are talented in various fields have employed themselves through their works thus are earning a living like any other employed human being.
She said she normally faces challenges of the sewing machine as a times it stopped working forcing her to take it for repair at Nakuru town where its spares are only found thus is costly.