How 50% Paycut Helped Alex Mwakideu Set Up Lucrative Side Hustle

  • Milele FM presenter Alex Mwakideu poses for a photo
    Milele FM presenter Alex Mwakideu poses for a photo
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    Alex Mwakideu
  • In early 2020 when the pandemic hit the country and shut down the economy, many Kenyans were left jobless and those who kept their jobs faced an imminent pay cut.

    Caught in the quagmire was Milele FM presenter Alex Mwakideu after the station's parent company, Mediamax resorted to slashing all employees' pay by as much as 50 per cent.

    While appearing on Churchill Show on Sunday, December 5, the top rated presenter explained that he was caught on the crossroad trying to determine whether he should adjust his lifestyle or find other ways of earning the salary deficit.

    He set up one car wash at the time and expanded his business to Pampered village in Kitengela, a restaurant that has a car wash on the side.

    Churchill Show host Daniel Ndambuki (left) speaks to Milele FM presenter Alex Mwakideu.
    Churchill Show host Daniel Ndambuki (left) speaks to Milele FM presenter Alex Mwakideu.
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    Alex Mwakideu

    "This business came about during the pandemic. Our employers slashed our salaries when the pandemic hit. We were deducted 50%.

    "I asked myself two questions after the slash, I either had to go back to my wife we need to change our lifestyle because we do not have 50 per cent income or I find ways to raise the money elsewhere," he stated.

    The father of three disclosed that his decision to set up the company was influenced by the hardship he faced in his childhood as well as his deep desire to provide the best life for his children.

    In the initial stages, the presenter had found a slot to set up the car wash business but the company that owned the property demanded proof that he was managing another successful company.

    So he called one of his friends for their company portfolio and noted that the friend, identified as Steve, helped them set up the business and guided him every step of the way.

    After realising the success, Mwakideu scouted around for another location and landed on a vast, underutilised land in Kitengela.

    "I decided not to change my children's lives. I had already lived that life. I started scouting around and I found a car wash slot in an estate. I asked them to give me the car wash because I like cars and will wash them. They asked me if I had another company and wanted a portfolio.

    "The business was booming and I had hit the 50 per cent income that had been slashed from my salary. I  decided to scout for another location here in Kitengela and I was just driving as I looked around. So I got this space. It was a vast land," Mwakideu added.

    The hotel, an open air establishment, is made of iron sheets and spots a lush green lawn with potted plants lining its entrance.

    The eatery was established in October 2021.

    During the interview, Mwakideu also cleared the air regarding his relationship with former co-host Felix Odiwuor, popularly known as Jalang'o, after he exited the station.

    The presenter revealed that the two were still good friends and he considered him as a brother. They have business interests together.

    He noted that Jalas was well known to his late parents while he visited their home in Kisumu.

    Below is a brief tour of Mwakideu's hotel in Kitengela: