Joakim Mwangi, alias Katuosis the trucking guy, has lived up to become an internet sensation and a real-life inspiration for many people from all walks of life.
He is a US-based Kenyan man, working as an 18-wheel truck driver. His job has gained him lots of respect and admiration due to his short stature.
Mwangi proudly dons the name Katuosis, from his former acting role in K24 TV Show ‘Jungu Kuu’. Today, his nickname is well-known on Tiktok, with nearly 2 million likes and over 230k followers on his account.
Hailing from Kiambu County, the 35-Year-old is a testament that being short does not mean you cannot achieve your dreams. Growing up, Joakim realized that he was shorter than a majority of his classmates.
His grandmother assured him it was alright and encouraged him to accept himself, no matter how difficult the reality was to take in.
While others don’t make it in life due to discrimination and stigmatization in society, Joakim learnt early on that the secret was in being content with who he was and how he is.
He maintains that people should celebrate their uniqueness and not let society’s perception of beauty affect their self-esteem.
After he completed his high school education, Joakim engaged in a few menial jobs before he landed a scholarship to study media. It was sponsored by Focus Youth Initiative, a community-based NGO in Ruiru.
In 2013, he partnered with 3 of his friends to establish SSSK, an initiative that primarily focuses on advocating for the rights of dwarfs in Kenya. To date, the organization has over 1,000 registered members, highlighting Joakim’s success.
All his actions propelled him to popularity, and soon enough, he found himself on a plane relocating to the United States.
Relocating to the US
In an interview with KDTV, Mwangi explains his transition from life in Kenya to the US and how it’s working for him.
Upon Joakim’s arrival in the US, prior to landing his awe-inspiring job as a 53-foot truck driver, he did a few jobs. They include a gas station and a telemarketer.
“When I arrived in America, I was employed at a gas station. I did not find satisfaction in it. Afterwards, I got a job as a telemarketer which involves calling people. It was very tiring, I quit,” he recalled.
Mwangi loved driving vehicles. In Kenya, he was restricted from driving cars but in US, he had the freedom he wanted.
“Because I could drive cars here in the US, I challenged myself to also drive big trucks. So I joined driving school for truck driving,” he added, quoting ‘Nothing is too big’.
At school, Joakim learnt all the laws of trucking in relation to roads in all states and when he was ready, he went for testing. Due to his short legs, Mwangi uses customized pedals specifically meant for the truck he drives.
He failed his driving test three times. The fourth time was his lucky charm and he was granted a CDL.
Looking for a job was challenging, but eventually, with persistence and several training programs to equip him with road experience, an offer arrived.
He has now been hitting the road for over a year, from California (West Coast) to Boston (East Coast), covering distances alone.
Joakim has faced a few challenges in his trucking career. For starters, clients whom he goes to do pick-ups doubt his capability to deliver goods to a set destination.
“They look at me, then look at the truck, then look back at me again. They ask for my ID and CDL, give me the shipments and are left wondering,” he says.
Payment is fairly okay. Joakim reveals that truck drivers are paid per miles driven through the week. Each mile is multiplied by 70 cents.
“For example, I am carrying goods from Miami, Florida headed to Michigan. A distance of 1300 miles. Per week, I drive between 2,300 to 3,000 miles.”
Going by these calculations, at the current exchange rate of the shilling to the dollar, Joakim could be earning as much as 1.1 million per month from trucking.
For those looking to venture into trucking, Mwangi advises them to reassess and find out if it truly is their passion.
It is a good job, however, somewhat lonely. He is expected to drive 70 hours a week, exclusive of Sunday. Joakim Mwangi has a family. His daughter lives in Kenya.