BENSON “MASAI KIJANA”

Animal toys like Girrafes, Elephants, Rhinos, Warthog tortoise and many others created out of the worn out flip-flops. Benson started in a very humble beginning at the roadside in his home area in Ngong Nairobi.

One day of November in the year 2013, Benson woke up, being tired of long in search for employment and decided to enter into Social business. He could walk around the area collecting and borrowing worn out flip-flops which left many people wondering why and for what he was doing it but at the end of the day, Benson was hunting the start of his business. He walked till he came up with a whole bag of worn out flip-flops. As they were helping him with the worn out flip-flops and the ones not in us, they appreciated him since those flip-flops were scattered in most places and sometimes people burnt them and it caused pollution to the environment.

After collection of flip-flops he cleaned, sterilize and put them on an open space to dry up, then he could sort them out according to the colours. The smoothening machine comes next followed by creating a block of slippers. These blocks are the ones now he chops with a sharp knife to the shape of the final products of animal toys like Girrafes, Elephants, Rhinos, Warthog tortoise and many others.

How did the community react? 

The local community saw the good creativity in this young man. Though they wondered on the final product which comes out of the old and worn out slippers.  It was an unfamiliar product but people liked them soo much. Benson had to start engaging more youths in this business as he had to look for the market for the product and as well to prepare new products.

“It was a challenge to engage and train more people on how to do the job since most of them were not sure of where to find the market and as well in this business, it required money to buy glue for joining the slippers in blocks. I was making too little on the sales” remembers Benson.

After 2 years the business kept doing well, Benson decided and was able to advance his business from roadside to now a real workshop. He rented a room and made it a workshop and also his store which was good for keeping his machine and materials for business. The community benefited a lot through his collection of this waste slippers and as well having engaged more than 10 community members in this business who benefits directly from every sale they make.

“Availability of materials comes during rainy season because they are plenty but during dry season they are rear to get. Although out of the positive impact we have been making to the community, the community themselves even collects for me the worn out flip-flops and I buy from them at a small cost instead of throwing them away.” Benson tells us.

Benson buys these materials at Ngong dumpsite where there are youths who collect for him and sell to him.

“My vision is to grow this business into a big global company which will grow globally and enlarge our market to all continents as well upgrade living standards in the community and as well conserve the environment through reducing waste and creating more employment through it”, Benson concludes.

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