The Story Of Daniel Kimani

Posted on Posted in Articles, Feature Story

Seven years ago, a young man from rural Nakuru moved to Githurai 45 in search of greener pastures. The 19 year old had dropped out of school the same year at class 7. This was due to 2 factors. First, his parents were straining to pay school fees, and two, he was much older than his classmates.

Young Daniel Kimani figured out that if he followed his elder brother, Peter, he would find a way to give himself a good life. His elder brother was living in Githurai 45. He was making a living from selling firewood to schools, small cafes and individuals. The major problem Peter had was how to split the huge logs he bought into small pieces for sale. Now this is where Kimani came into the picture.


To the young testosterone filled Kimani, splitting firewood was like swallowing water….eeeeaaasssy! Soon enough people saw firewood sale was a prolific business as the demand was high, so more people got into the business and since Kimani was the expert at splitting, everybody sought him out to do the rough work for them.

He rented a house with a friend of his called Muriithi, an orphan who, unable to come into terms with his parents’ death, had resulted to heavy drinking. Kimani managed to talk him out of the habit and when each one was doing well financially, they each rented a separate house.

Sometimes things got bad and there was no money. Kimani was being influenced by his friends to get into stealing and robbing; he escaped the temptation narrowly. As he terms it, stealing is not in his blood. He says that the police then were showing no mercy. They used to shoot all suspects. He watched with pain as his friends fell one by one.

Kimani admits to having been a drug user, smoking marijuana and drinking illicit brews, but he has since reformed. His work keeps him busy and he needs all the strength he can get and intoxication is not part of it.

kimani at work
kimani at work

Apart from splitting firewood, which is his main job, he also works in construction sites, has a mkokoteni and also sells and distributes firewood. On a good day, he can make over 1000 shillings but of course there are days he makes less than 200. These odd jobs, he says give him his rent, food and all he needs. He pays 2000 for the house he lives in. His friend, Muriithi, went back into drinking and became bankrupt so Kimani took him in.

His daily budget for food is 200 shillings.

Kimani is currently saving up for a piece of land which he intends to buy by the end of this year.

When asked where he sees himself in 5 yrs, he says he will have a hotel or two, or a chain of boutiques… he is yet to decide which one it will be. He also envisions to have married by then. He says he doesn’t want a wife for household chores which he can do by himself, but rather, one who will help him manage his businesses.

He also wants to have bought a motorbike to replace his aging bicycle.


Talk about big dreams!

He says that he doesn’t want stinking riches, he just wants to give his children the life he never had. According to Kimani, one is what he sees himself as, “ukijiona umeisha,umeisha,”he says adding that even the big people driving big cars started from somewhere and envisioned themselves big… many of them anyway. He says one can’t get what he wants without doing with what he has at the moment.

So Kimani will continue hustling till he accomplishes his dream

Kimani’s no: 0725297427


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