Nairobi traders struggle to cash in on Obama visit
Most small-scale traders in Nairobi have no idea what to sell to make money from the much-anticipated visit by US President Barack Obama.
Although the American President is set to jet in on Friday, the traders are not sure about what would excite consumers, unlike their colleagues in Kisumu.
In Kisumu, the traders are reportedly making good business selling President Obama’s merchandise that includes, branded T-Shirts and caps. They have also been selling his portraits.
“I am aware that President Obama is coming. Radio stations, TVs and newspapers remind us every day, but I have not seen anyone interested in buying his merchandise,” said a trader, who sells clothes and other assorted goods at Munyu Road near Ramogi Studio in Nairobi.
The trader, who identified himself only as Mariga, said he learnt through the media that his colleagues in Kisumu have been doing brisk business.
For the owners or managements of city Five-Star hotels in Nairobi, improved business is guaranteed.
Most of them are fully booked as Kenya prepares to host the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which President Obama will attend.
A spot check in Nairobi showed traders are yet to start painting the town red in preparation for the historic visit.
Like Mr Mariga, traders do not know what to do to make handsome profits during the tour by the President of the most powerful nation.
President Obama has roots in Kenya. His late father, Barack Hussein Obama (Snr), was a Kenyan, who married Ann Dunham, the US President’s mother in 1961, and they divorced three years later.
Mr Obama Snr was a student at the University of Hawaii in the US when he met Ms Dunham.