BY D.L. Chandler, 4:40pm May 21, 2014,

Kenyan Man Emerges From Slums, Juggles Several Businesses While Attending University

Buken Makokha Kenya

Although running a successful business is no small feat for anyone, a Kenyan man is currently at the helm of three businesses all while attending university. Buken Makokha (pictured), who is from an impoverished area just outside of the capital city of Nairobi, takes on the the weighty tasks with the hope he will inspire others.

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Profiled in CNN’s African Start Up series, Makokha, 23, owns a barbershop, a motorcycle Buken Makokha Kenyadelivery service, and sells stoves in a packed day that would exhaust anyone. He wakes up 3 a.m. every day to study his school lessons then heads to his Clean Touch barbershop (pictured right) at 7 a.m. to open up and greet one of his employees.

Makokha then jets off at 8 a.m. to deliver packages and letters in Nairobi via motorbike. In his downtime during delivering packages, he checks a Facebook page for new orders of the EcoZoon clean burning stoves.

If that weren’t enough, Makokha then heads to Maasai Mara University by 4:30 p.m., leaving the institution by 8 p.m. Finally heading to bed by 10 p.m., Makokha does the same thing all over again the next day.

CNN reports:

“It’s a matter of determination and being focused,” explains the enterprising businessman. “It’s only the passion that I have to work in the community,” he adds, when asked how he juggles time to manage it all.

Growing up in Gatina, Makokha became a multitasking entrepreneur out of necessity to pull himself out of poverty. One of the biggest challenges, he says, was feeling alone.
“We youth in the slums are not supported,” says Makokha. “So you have to struggle with everything,” he continues. “You don’t have a mentor, you have no place to run for help — that is what is making me work every day very hard.”

The community development student, who employs one employee in each of his businesses, aims to use his gift of multitasking to create a business model that will help bring others like himself out of poverty.

“My biggest dream in this world is to have a social business enterprise to help fight the poverty level — I want to inspire young people like me.”

Watch Buken Makokha’s story here:



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Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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