Before she got into it, Annastacia Serah Mwende did not necessarily see entrepreneurship coming. And yet today her company, Stacey’s Kenya Limited, is not only successful, but is also helping other Kenyans to build themselves economically. Among her many great achievements, here where she is able to lift other people is her most fulfilling.
I met Annastacia at the launch of Safaricom’s Tuinuane thematic campaign, in which the company is asking Kenyans to work the magic of togetherness that we’ve always had to help one another rise. The Tuinuane spirit is about all of us having a renewed sense of inspiration to do what is right by uplifting others, especially during these trying times.
Other than calling on Kenyans, Safaricom also has initiatives, offers and discounts to play their part in helping Kenyans save a buck and still stay connected. If I could name a few, we have Ndoto Zetu, an initiative where Safaricom asks Kenyans to share their dreams and winning entries are actualized through Safaricom Foundation. Applications for Ndoto Zetu are currently ongoing, and Kenyans can apply via this link or visit any Safaricom shop. Deadline for applications is September 15.
We also have Bonga For Food which has been running for several months now, in which Kenyans are encouraged to donate their bonga points to be converted into food donations for Kenyans facing famine up North. For this, dial *126# and select Pamoja Tuungane. Kenyans can also inua friends and family by donating their Bonga points for home shopping.
In matters education, Safaricom has partnered with school content providers to enable access to relevant and affordable content in a simple and easy manner. These propositions include Shupavu 291, which can be delivered via SMS for just 4 shillings per day, and the web based Safaricom elimu, which can be accessed with 200mbs of data for just 20 shillings. Shupavu is accessible by dialing *291# and following the prompts.
Back to Annastacia. How does she lift those around her? Here is her story.
Like many Kenyans, she got into entrepreneurship as a side hustle from her formal employment. Day by day her venture grew and after eleven years, she was able to quit and dedicate her time fully to business. At that time, having tried her hand at different businesses over the years, she was able to go big and import secondhand clothes bales for resale. This is a business she started with a lot of skepticism after being encouraged by a friend, but it worked.
Covid came and swept lots of business under water, more so the secondhand clothes whose importation was banned at some point. When the ban was lifted, many of Annastacia’s clients could not afford to get back to business after the economic devastation that came with the pandemic. To give them a softer starting point, she started opening the bales and selling in halves. This afforded her community an opportunity to start small and build up.
At a time when the world was reeling from the aftermath of Covid19, Annastacia was able to lift her new and existing clients by empowering them to start their businesses afresh. She was there for them when they needed her most. Being a part of someone else’s regrowth is exactly what Tuinuane is about. To be part of the reason families were able to scrape back together was a great motivation for Annastacia then and now.
In the spirit of Tuinuane, be kind to someone. They’ll be kind to someone else in return and in the end, we will be a happier people who have helped each other ease the struggles of everyday life.