From Mitumba Trader To Luxury Car Dealer: The Story Of Mwangi Wa Mercedes

Patrick Mwangi Poses With One of the Vehicles He Sells
An Undated Image of Patrick Mwangi Poses With One of the Vehicles He Sells
Patrick Mwangi

When Patrick Mwangi began selling second-hand clothes (mitumba) as a Form Two student, he did it not for money, but to buy a thing or two that his family could not afford. 

Then a student at Laikipia High School, he would buy clothes from a supplier, which he would later sell to his friends and schoolmates during the holidays. He continued with his hobby, which now turned into a venture even after completing secondary school.

Thanks to his mini-business, he looked better and dressed better. However, an altercation between him and one of his friends put his hobby to hold, causing him to flee from his Nyahururu home.

"I got into a row with one of my friends, it was so serious that it turned into a police case because it happened on someone's property," Mwangi narrated.

Patrick Mwangi Poses With Some of the Vehicles He Sell
Patrick Mwangi Poses With Some of the Vehicles He Sells
Patrick Mwangi

Mwangi arrived in Thika, where he would lie low as the dust back at home settled. Here, he met a friend who was a supplier of mitumba items. Things had changed - what he previously did as a hobby - he now had to do it to survive.

On his first day, he asked his friend to get him 10 jumpers won by women, each costing Ksh100. He managed to sell all the jumpers within a day, making a profit.

Soon, the need to survive was overtaken by the need to thrive. Mwangi decided to get his own stock from Gikomba market in Nairobi, which he supplied, though in minimal amounts.

As he did his business, he hoped to find a better deal, and as fate threw one across his path. He was called to Malindi for a job with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

However, it was not all rosy for him and the other applicants. Mwangi went up to seven months without pay, he was barely surviving. Luckily, another window of opportunity opened.

"I got a job as a driver in one of the hotels. The job lasted three months, and I was able to save Ksh25,000," he revealed.

The resilient entrepreneur used the money as capital to start the mitumba business in Mombasa. He would begin as a hawker, selling clothes on the streets, before a well-wisher pulled strings for him to get a small stall.

Here, he sold ladies' clothes and shoes and, with money coming in, he opened his first shop in 2013, which was then followed by two others. However, it was a special request by his father-in-law that gave him a new business idea.

"He gave me his car and logbook and told me that he needed money," he narrated.

His father wanted him to sell the car. With no experience in selling cars, it took him nearly a month and a half to sell the car, and the Ksh50,000 commission was an incentive he had not imagined.

At that point, he developed more interest in the car trade. He started growing into the business, becoming a contact for anyone in his home town who wanted to sell their old vehicle or buy a second-hand car.

As expected of every new venture, the car dealership had its highs and lows. However, he still managed to save up some money from the commission he made.

Mwangi bought his first car in 2016, a Toyota Vitz, at Ksh270,000, which was a good deal. After a while, he sold it at Ksh380,000, at an even better deal. 

As he expanded his network, he met a Pakistani national who advised him to start selling new cars, which had higher profit margins. He took the advice without asking how.

The young car dealer imported his first new vehicle, a Mercedes Benz C200. Although he managed to return the money, he invested, he made minimal profit.

He went back to his friend to seek advice, one that he should have asked for. When he imported the same type of car a few months later, he saw the fruits of the trade.

"I imported the same car. This time around, I made a killing," he narrated.

Now known as Mwangi wa Mercedes, the young man who left his Nyahururu home is now a renowned luxury car dealer in Mombasa. He sells high-end brand new vehicles as well as second-hand vehicles.

Back home, the case that made him leave was settled out of court, and he now has a great friendship with the man he had an altercation with. 

Patrick Mwangi Poses With Some of the Vehicles He Sell
Patrick Mwangi Poses With One of the Vehicles He Sells
Patrick Mwangi