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Youth group dances its way to fame and fortune

Ramsa Afrika is a group of six dancers who in 2005 came together to find means to earn a living.

From humble beginnings, the young graduates now boast six businesses; a restaurant, a hardware shop, mobile money shop, an animal feeds and agro vet shop and are KCB and Co-op Bank agents.

They also do farming and at times buy and supply maize, beans and potatoes to order. All these run under the trade name Kiandu Enterprises.

The group’s manager Sam Kiarie said they dance on hire during weekends but April, August and December are their busiest months. They charge between Sh10,000 and Sh20,000 every 30 minutes at an event.

Biggest clients

“We get invitations from companies but our biggest clients are people doing weddings. Our charges depend on the location of the event,” said Mr Kiarie during the interview at their farm in Wanyee. 

To keep their dance moves fresh, they rehearse daily for one hour from 7pm to 8pm. Proceeds realised from dancing helped the group start the other businesses. 

To manage the businesses, the members play different roles. For instance, aside from being the manager, Mr Kiarie is also a marketer for Ramsa Afrika and is in charge of the hardware business. 

Kenneth Ndung’u oversees the animal feeds and agro vet shop while Catherine Njeri who is also the youngest member at 21 years, takes care of the restaurant.

Regina Muthoni heads the mobile money shop and the agency banking, while Julius Muigai is the group’s accountant. Paul Githati remains a dormant member since he works in an office.

The group has a timetable to ensure their farming business is also taken care of. The 15 by 8 metres greenhouse was started eight months ago after they received the Sh350,000 greenhouse from Amiran Kenya where they grow tomatoes and green pepper.

They also grow sukuma wiki, cabbages and seedlings on the rest of the farm.

“The farm takes cares of its operational cost, for instance, we spend Sh8,000 on water every month because we have installed a system that ensures maximum use of the least amount of water,” said Mr Kiarie, aged 32.

Since the other businesses are doing well, their aim now is to realise maximum profit from farming. From time to time, they receive training from Amiran Kenya and also liaise with the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute to equip themselves with farming skills.

Fresh produce

“The market for the fresh produce is ready, what we plan to do now is exploit the opportunity that farming offers,” added Mr Kiarie.

They sell the vegetables in bulk and also make Sh2,000 every day from sales to the locals. 

The group realises profits of not less than Sh110,000 every month from their Kiandu Enterprises. In spite of the successful ventures, the group has experienced hiccups on several occasions. 

Crime almost cost them their hardware business after the shop was wiped clean by thugs.

In farming, diseases and finding the right type of soil are the greatest challenges. Mr Kiarie said they had to buy soil for their greenhouse.