Thursday, February 29, 2024

Susan Wanjiku: The journalist who made a name for herself as ‘Mama Uji’

Susan Wanjiku had always dreamed of becoming a news anchor, but after months of applying for jobs in media houses with no success, she realized that she needed to take a different approach.

In 2018, she decided to start her own business and become an entrepreneur.

Susan knew that starting a business required capital and a unique business idea. She was open to any job opportunity that came her way to accumulate capital.

Eventually, she landed a job as a cosmetic shop attendant, earning a salary of Sh7,000, which was later adjusted to Sh10,000 per month.She put away some money after deducting her basic expenses while seeking business ideas.

During her research, Susan read and watched several stories in the media about people suffering from various health conditions that could be cured or effectively managed by consuming healthy juices.

This aroused her curiosity, and she initiated the establishment of Paushixx Juice Parlor by utilizing her savings and obtaining a loan of Sh200,000 from her friend.

Susan extracted several juices from various foodstuffs, including indigenous vegetables, cabbages, carrots, Irish potatoes, cucumber, and aloe vera, that could turn into remedies for health conditions such as stomach ulcers, diabetes, obesity, indigestion, cold and flu, impotence, and erectile dysfunction, among others.

To diversify her venture, she also made a mixture of groundnuts, pumpkin seeds, and cassava flour porridge to help improve men’s immunity after learning from the internet that such porridge would boost men’s libido.

“Before I started it, I also noticed that some people were either turning to pharmaceutical drugs to boost their immunity or burn fats. Use of such drugs has side effects and so I wanted to provide an alternative whose study had shown has minimal side of using vegetable juices,”  Susan said in a past interview.

Susan’s business continued to thrive, and she even turned into an employer. She employed two workers, although before the coronavirus pandemic struck, she had three more.

Her shop located at Accra Trade Centre along Accra Road, Nairobi, became a popular spot for people who were health-conscious and looking for a healthy solution to their health conditions.

Susan priced her juices and porridge reasonably, which kept her customers coming back for more. A glass of juice cost between Sh50 and Sh200, depending on the type, while the libido-boosting porridge cost Sh50 for a cup and Sh100 for a calabash.

Despite the success of her business, Susan faced some challenges. The unavailability and inconsistency of some farm products, especially seasonal products, posed a challenge. The prices fluctuated in the market based on their availability and demand.

Susan’s business venture not only provided her with a decent lifestyle, but it also gave her a sense of fulfillment.

She was happy to give her customers a healthy solution to their health problems and was determined to grow her business into a household name. Her ultimate goal was to open more outlets and create opportunities for many Kenyans.

In retrospect, Susan realized that her initial dream of becoming a news anchor might not have been the best fit for her. Starting her own business allowed her to realize her passion for entrepreneurship and making a difference in people’s lives.

She believed that honesty pays and that dishonesty in business is a recipe for disaster.

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