To many,shoe shining is considered to be one of the most informal and underated business activity among many.

However, on the flipside side, one of ready options for many unemployed youths in Nairobi and other major cities.

In a one to one interview with some of the Nairobi shoe shiners, Albert Ommtera stated that the activity was the only option left for them with the scarcity of white collar jobs and rampant unemployment in the country.

” It is not that we like sitting here waiting for customers coming for shoe shining, but it is the only option we were left with after fruitless job hunting,” added Mr Albert.

How Things Works

Albert also said that their work is not just a touch and go but also calls for perseverance and pursuance.

“This shoe shining work is not something easy. Sometimes we have people coming extremely muddy shoes, and you have no option but to work on them, “he said.

He further says in his honesty and dedication is key to keep the clientèle seeking his services, taking notice that he did not have the experience when he started the business but after years have manage to gain much experience. According to Albert working in Nairobi CBD, she charges between Ksh 30 and Ksh 100 depending on the type of shoe.

“The experience is not gained in one day, in between there is failure, consistency and constant does nit need experience to start the business as long you are ready to learn by experience.”He advices.

Advice Corner

Mr Albert, however, took issue with the youths for not taking the practical skills but instead sitting as they pitty themselves after graduation for lack jobs.

He stated that youths must not wait for better jobs but instead adopt any legal business they can do instead of idling and later resorting to drug abuse and subsequently turning to city’s zombies

” Saa hii mambo imebadilika, watu wamesoma lakini hakuna kazi , bu lazima tulishe familia so badala ya kukaa eti unangoja kazi tafuta tu kazi ingine ufanye bora iwe legal.” Albert further advices.

According to the statistics by the Kenya National Beareu of Statistics, there are more than 500 shoe shining stalls within Nairobi with a shoe shiner taking home an average of ksh 1500 on a working day.

By Rodgers Oduor

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