Do you remember Stephen Odhiambo, the Jua Kali carpenter along Ngong Road whose talent went viral after he designed a garden bench/seat? Well, they say when your star starts shining nobody can dim it.
Odhiambo has recently caught the attention of Deputy President William Ruto who boosted his business by purchasing furniture worth Sh150,000.
Apparently, the DP invited the duo in the viral video to his residence in Karen stating that he was thrilled by their work and wanted to encourage them to be more innovative to meet the dynamic economic changes.
Taking to Twitter, the DP said, “I was privileged to meet and interact with Stephen Odhiambo and Dennis Otieno, two enterprising Kenyans with innovative ideas on garden furniture. I was thrilled by their cutting-edge skills and efforts.”
I was privileged to meet and interact with Stephen Odhiambo and Dennis Otieno, two enterprising Kenyans with innovative ideas on garden furniture. I was thrilled by their cutting-edge skills and efforts. pic.twitter.com/ZPMXc8Ddwl
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) June 25, 2020
According to the details of the meeting, the DP wanted to purchase the garden benches which go for Sh22,000 but since it was the DP, the duo was retailing them at Sh50,000 each.
Upon agreement and persuasion, the DP asked them to kata kitu kidogo and they ended up inking a deal of Sh150,000 for five benches. He is to pay Sh100,000 deposit and the balance after the work is completed.
“I will buy all the five seats for Ksh 120,000, isn’t that fair?” the DP is heard in the video.
Stephen Odhiambo made headlines about three weeks ago attracting the attention of social media users both locally and internationally.
This country has talent. pic.twitter.com/Y3KGi8odS0
— Oliver Mathenge (@OliverMathenge) June 10, 2020
The bench’s design was basically designed to accommodate three people but extends to taking six people who can seat facing each other with a table thus saving on space.
Following the video going viral, Odhiambo narrated to Citizen that his life had taken a drastic turn of events, with his phone ringing non-stop for inquiries and orders.
For instance, he charges Sh22,000 for the bench and by then about 11 clients had already made their payments for the same.
“Huwa naingia nyumbani six, nakuambia kutoka saa hiyo ilikuwa simu juu ya simu hadi kitu kama saa sita na nusu,” said Odhiambo.
This loosely translates to,” I often get home by 6 PM, but on the day the video went viral, I received back to back calls from clients until midnight.”
With the Coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on businesses, Odhiambo called on the government to cushion the Jua Kali sector as it is a huge source of employment to the youths.