Picture this, you are a jua kali artisan, you go online and see an item, you replicate it and an interested client posts it on social media, and suddenly, an influx of orders from clients.
That is the situation with Stephen Odhiambo, an artisan operating along Ngong’ Road in Nairobi who now has more than 700 orders for a multipurpose garden seat after posting it online last week.
It is a bench that accommodates three persons but when extended it takes up to six people facing each other complete with a table. Since it made to the internet, his phone has seen no rest.
“Huwa naingia nyumbani six, nakuambia kutoka saa hiyo ilikuwa simu juu ya simu hadi kitu kama saa sita na nusu,” said Odhiambo.
The bench which costs Ksh.22,000 a piece has seen him take 700 orders, with 11 clients having already paid to get one.
Odhiambo and his team of artisans say at the moment they can make five such benches in a day.
“Hapo mwanzo hatukuwatunaelewa vizuri tulikuwa tunaunda moja, lakini saa hii tunatengeneza hata tano kwa siku,” said Dennis Otieno, one of the artisans.
Odhiambo says the light bulb moment was triggered by an internet research he embarked on last week.
Being in the informal sector, Odhiambo and team are now calling on the government to factor in the jua kali sector in the funds set aside to cushion different sectors during the corona virus pandemic.
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