Samuel Nkuru is a Laikipian who uses his skill to make all types of shoes from leather to brand new ones. This is something he started back in 1986.
His motivation came from men from his home area who were making shoes and repairing them, an exercise he greatly admired. His strong passion for leather saw him drop out of Ikuu Boys High School.
However, his parents believe that without education someone will not make it in life, something that Nkuru learned the hard way when the parents failed to support him for his decision.
I would skip classes and join the polytechnic during lesson time just to gain skills on how to make shoes.said Nkuru.
The entrepreneur narrates how he once got a job at Jikaze Millers where he earned good money for 10 years but his passion was in making shoes, thus ended up following his interest and quitting the job.
Nkuru makes shoes from leather skin and any other materials. Despite being Laikipia produces a large amount of leather, the cost of buying it is very high since it is not processed in the county. One square meter of leather goes for about Ksh. 120. The production cost of one shoe depends on its time and also its size. Mr. Nkuru sells his shoes both at retail price and wholesale. He receives orders from Nairobi and Mombasa mostly by wholesalers. His product is named ‘ Ikulu shoes a product made in Laikipia’ .
In a day I can produce a minimum of 10 pairs of shoes while working alone. I have taught more than 10 people and released them to go and start their own business.
I have two people who I have employed, one for working on repairs and the other one who helps me in making the new shoes. Sometimes the order is big that we have to work till late, he commented.
Mr. Nkuru advises parents to allow their kids to follow their passion citing that technical jobs also pay just like any other job. He left a white-collar job as we call them for his passion.
The entrepreneur laments that the market is saturated by imported products making it hard for local products to endeavor. Buying quality local products will help the county become fully industrialized.