Hellen Nyongesa, 30, pulls her handcart in the city centre. PHOTO | COURTESYHellen Nyongesa, 30, pulls her handcart in the city centre. PHOTO | COURTESY
By EVELYNE MUSAMBI

The city woman who melted hearts online after being pictured pulling a hand cart in the central business district while her toddler was perched at the back has received a boost for her business from well-wishers.

Hellen Nyongesa, 30, a banana vendor in the city centre, on Tuesday received capital to boost her business as well as shopping for her family during this festive season.

Good Samaritan Aaltonen Jumba had mobilised friends on social media to help him trace Hellen after the picture went viral.

The search ended Tuesday when Mr Jumba and his friends located her selling bananas in the city centre.

“We decided to invest in the business she knows best which is the fruits business and so a committee will be reviewing various options in consultation with her so as to ease her working environment and ensure her daughter does not get to endanger her life by hanging on the mkokoteni,” Jumba told Nairobi News.

The group will also pay school fees for Hellen’s three children aged between three and 11.

“We found out that her other two children are in upcountry and have dropped out of school so we will enroll them once again and take care of the primary school fees as Hellen stabilizes her fruits business,” Jumba added.

Hellen lost her husband three years ago. She started working as a house help in Githurai estate before venturing in the fruits business.

Aaltonen Jumba with Hellen on December 19, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY

Aaltonen Jumba with Hellen on December 19, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY

BETTER INCOME

“I needed a better income so one day out of frustration I just bought 10 oranges at five shillings each and resold at a profit within a few hours. I realized the business was doable and I went fully into buying and selling fruits,” she said.

Hellen moved to selling sweet potatoes and later resorted to bananas which she now hawks in town on her mkokoteni.

Her three-year old girl, who is yet to start schooling, gets to hike the ride as her mother goes about hawking.

“My first wish is to be able to move from pulling the mkokoteni to a tuk tuk that I can use to carrying my bananas around town,” she added.