Dean Achesa hit the headlines on Thursday, September 17, after President Uhuru Kenyatta made a surprise visit to his workshop to inspect the production of school furniture.
Achesa opened up on how he struggled to secure a job after graduating from the Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) back in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science.
"I graduated with a major in mathematics and computer science. I searched for employment for a whole year back in 2014 but was not successful, I was told I did not have the required experience.President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i (right) during a visit to Dean Achesa's workshop in Umoja, Nairobi on Thursday 17 September 2020.
"I later met someone who took me as an apprentice and I learned the art after being employed as a web developer in his company. I could meet clients and develop websites for them," he explained.
Achesa later formed his own IT company, which was a huge milestone for him after major setbacks immediately after graduation.
He stumbled upon the furniture-making business by accident after visiting a workshop in Mutindwa, Nairobi when he was shopping for fittings for his office at View Park Towers.
After a brief chat with the artisans and carpenters, he sought to partner with them as he mostly focused on the IT side of the business.
One of his first contributions to the business was changing the name to Nairobi School Furniture to make it more marketable to potential clients public and private schools.
"I was surprised to see the President here. We were busy working and I was told that Uhuru is here. It was really an honour because our workshop is not that popular.
"I encourage young people to go to school and acquire a skill. It should not just only be turning to the Jua Kali sector," he advised.
The President spend some time at his workshop where he launched the Ksh1.9 billion school furniture project that will see Jua Kali artisans supply over 650,000 locally-assembled desks to schools.
Achesa's breakthrough comes at a time when youth in the country are grappling with lack of employment, a situation that has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic with the government launching the Kazi Mtaani initiative to engage unemployed youth.President Uhuru Kenyatta during his surprise visit to Dean Achesa's workshop in Umoja, Nairobi on Thursday 17 September 2020.
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