From Hawker to Multi-Million Business Owner

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    Linnet Kathambi poses at an incomplete Homes by Sung house project.
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  • Linnet Kathambi, a mother of three, is a businesswoman who hails from Kikuyu, Kiambu County, with interests in the timber business and real estate.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Monday, December 21, 2020, the 30-year-old stated that her journey to the top was not laid out for her. She had to struggle for it.

    Kathy, as she is famously referred to as, was born in Imenti Central, Meru County. She went to Mwirine Primary School before joining Kinjo Girls High School for her secondary education.

    Linnet Kathambi poses outside an unfinished Homes by Sung house project.
    Linnet Kathambi poses outside an unfinished Homes by Sung house project.
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    "l did not go to college. After high school, life was tough. I got a job back in Meru where I worked as an attendant at a timber yard. The business went under and that is how I lost the job.

    "Being a go-getter, l decided to join my sister who lived in Nairobi. My objective was to’ tarmac’ in an effort to make ends meet," Kathy recounted.

    Her first hustle in the country's capital was hawking goods. The mother of three would buy items from Kamukunji and hawk them back at Zimmerman estate where she resided.

    "Life was tough, but I did not lose hope. My ambition was to get enough capital to start my own timber yard," Kathy narrated, revealing that relentless encouragement from her sister ensured she stayed strong and continued with her business.

    Kathy later met the love of her life, now her husband, Moses Ng'ang'a and they got married in 2011. In 2012, they moved to Kinoo, Kiambu county. With the little money she had saved and support from her husband, they launched an open-air timberyard in Kikuyu Town christened Sung Timber and Products.

    After months of operation, they bought a second hand pick up with which she supplied timber to her clients.

    Linnet Kathambi poses for a photo in one of her cars.
    Linnet Kathambi poses for a photo in one of her cars.
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    From a single pick up to a lorry, to a truck. The business now has many trucks that supply building and construction products to various parts of the country. Kathy revealed that she now has employed a number of permanent staff and several casual labourers.

    "My biggest turn around happened when timber production was banned in Kenya some years ago. I thought outside the box and started importing from Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia. The demand for timber was more than supply, and l seized the opportunity," Kathy stated.

    "I even landed a few government tenders, major projects on low-cost housing," she added.

    Kathy and her husband have now expanded their interests venturing into real estate. They launched the project, Homes by Sung, which features furnished apartments (Lyn's Stays) and homes that are nearly complete.

    Evidenced by her social media posts, the mother of three enjoys a good life. She is the proud owner of a variety of luxurious cars including a ford ranger pick up and a Mercedes Benz.

    The soft-spoken businesswoman intimated that her family had been impressed by the milestones she had made. She revealed that this had pushed her into charity work, appreciating where she had come from.

    Linnet Kathambi poses with Makiga Homes Director James Ruhiu during his visit to Sung Timber.
    Linnet Kathambi poses with Makiga Homes Director James Ruhiu during his visit to Sung Timber.
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    Linnet Kathambi (right) with colleagues at Sung Timber.
    Linnet Kathambi (right) with colleagues at Sung Timber.
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    Linnet Kathambi with her husband Moses Ng'ang'a.
    Linnet Kathambi with her husband Moses Ng'ang'a.
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