I make kids happy and I love my job
If you are a party animal, forget about venturing into children’s entertainment. For to gain from the business, you need the love, patience and understanding without which you cannot get to the young ones’ hearts.
This is the advice Mr Benjamin Oningu gives to anyone who thinks the road he has taken is easily travelled.
Though he started out in the hotel industry, his was not only a business venture but an urge to fulfil his childhood dreams. The hospitality industry, however, did not give Mr Oningu the kick he was looking for.
He worked as a barman but he knew he wanted to earn much more than any barman could ever take home. Driven by his love for children, he started working for his sister, who was in a children’s entertainment business and there was no looking back.
After completing school in 2007, he did not look forward to joining a university or college because he didn’t need training on how to handle children. His prior interaction with them was enough.
“After dropping hotel management, I couldn’t imagine venturing into any other business apart from children’s entertainment. Now I eat, drink, sleep and think about children all the time,” said Mr Oningu.
Growing up in a humble family of eight, he had never had the opportunity to go to entertainment joints like many children do these days. This, he said, contributed to his love and commitment in the business as he realised what he had missed.
Mr Oningu now runs Tubuika na Puppet Kids Entertainment with his longtime friend-cum-business partner. He said taking care of children is a rewarding idea that even if the monetary factor was not included, he would still strive to light up the face of a child.
Depending on the season, Mr Oningu said he catered for between 200 to 1,000 children per weekend, which earns him roughly Sh30,000 per weekend in a good season, and Sh10,000 when things are pretty tough. The holidays see him earn up to Sh100,000 in a weekend.
When not at Prestige Plaza or Kenya Motor services where he runs entertainment, Oningu also paints bedrooms for youngsters and paediatric wards in hospitals.
“Working with children is the most rewarding work I have ever come across. I don’t think I will ever be satisfied with any other job,” he adds.
He, however, feels that the recent insecurity incidents have not spared his business as most parents are afraid of taking their children to entertainment places such as malls.
With Sh200,000, he bought one bouncing castle to kick off the business, which seven years later is estimated to be worth Sh2 million.