How Granny's Mitumba Business Birthed Fleet of Matatus [VIDEO]

Public service vehicles in Nairobi.
Public service vehicles in Nairobi.

They say that in entrepreneurship, any age is appropriate to kickstart a business and Santana Africa CEO Lynn Wambui's grandmother knows that all too well.

In a Sunday, June 28, interview, Wambui recalled being raised by her resourceful grandmother after her mother passed on early in her childhood.

"I grew up in Nakuru, raised by my grandmother. She was a single grandma, she raised me by herself mainly because my mother gave birth to me at a very young age and also passed on when I was very young.

Santana Africa CEO Lynn Wambui speaks to NTV journalist in a feature that aired on Sunday, June 28, 2020.
Santana Africa CEO Lynn Wambui
Daily Nation

"I do not have any siblings. It was just my grandmother and me. She used to own a fleet of Matatus in Nakuru and that is how she was able to provide a meal for me," she stated.

Wambui noted that her grandmother set her business in Nairobi before relocating to Nakuru to tender to her growing matatu business.

"She started in the Mitumba business in Nairobi. She stayed there for a bit and then moved to Nakuru and bought her first matatu then her second matatu and so on.

"She used to go to the stage and monitor the trips a matatu had taken noting all that down on a daily basis. Monday to Saturday," she explained.

She credits her grandmother for nurturing her entrepreneurial spirit by also exposing her to other women who had worked hard to make their own income.

"For me, it is just about taking care of business and being very hands-on because she was very hands-on. She knew what matatu had gone to the garage and which part was not working. She would get the part herself," she added.

Wambui's own career was, however, rough at the start as she disclosed that she did not have a choice over what career she would pursue since her family made the choice on her behalf.

She pointed out that the choice was made for her after an earlier demand that she scores all As in high school without which she would be forced to repeat. A demand she fulfilled.

"I did not pick the course, I did not pick the university. They all dictated that for me because I wanted to do Civil Engineering but we already had an engineer in our family. They suggested I do project management to somehow compliment the Engineer in our family," she stated.

She would later ditch the project management career path to found Santana Africa, where she handmakes custom home furniture and accessories.

Below is the video of her narration: