Ordinary Kenyan Products That Fetch Top Dollar in International Markets

A collage of kiondos, mukombero and Maasai Shula's.

Kenyan products have often been loved and welcomed not only in the East African region but also globally. From life-changing innovations like mobile money transfer to the national anthem, the world continues to marvel and appreciate them.

As norm, or probably dictated by the local environment, some of these products are not duly appreciated by locals but fetch top dollar in international markets.

Kenyans.co.ke took a look at some of these products that are ordinary household goods that cost a fortune in international markets.

Hand-woven sisal bags popularly known as kiondo
Hand-woven sisal bags popularly known as kiondo.


The Kiondo is used locally during shopping errands, especially with those going for fresh produce in the market. The basket-like bag, often made from sisal, goes for between Ksh500 to Ksh2,000 depending on whether you buy it in a local market or uptown.

However, while on duty in London, a Kenyan journalist bumped into Kiondos being sold in the British Capital. Maintaining the same structure but crafted using leather, the carrier bag was retailing at Ksh65,000 (EUR450).

The design was also incorporated by the Italian fashion house, Balenciaga, which put a Ksh226,000 (USD2,000) price tag on the bag.

A mutura vendor at work.
A mutura vendor at work.

Boerewors (Mutura)

Boerewors, is simply pieces of ground or chopped beef packaged in a thin edible and elastic wrap. However, in Kenya, the meat is stuffed into the small intestines of a slaughtered animal. Mutura, is grilled using regulated heat and served best with a pinch of darkness.

The local delicacy has also gained popularity on foreign soil including in the United States of America (USA). Speaking during an interview with Daring Abroad, John Kamau Karanja noted that the snack enjoys great demand at his Lims Nyama Choma business located in Seattle.

While mutura costs as low as Ksh20, the minimum one would have to part with is between Ksh560-Ksh11,300 (USD5-100) in the USA. Karanja also sells roast meat and other Kenyan delicacies. He added that the business is well-paying as long as one is committed to the cause.

"Mostly hustlers like me fit here very well as opposed to the wealthy because this is where I got my first Ksh1 million so I can say it's a great opportunity for those who are determined," he noted.

A fhbh
An image of a variety of Maasai shukas

Maasai shuka

Presumably, nearly every household has a checked shawl, mostly in red, known as a Maasai Shuka. At times used as an accessory to clothing, the shuka is the go-to attire for those who desire to stay warm without carrying blankets around.

On average, one costs between Ksh400 and Ksh1,500 depending on the quality, detail and manufacturer. Often used by the Maasai community as dressing, the shuka has gained traction globally and has at one point, almost been patented by foreign companies.

A piece of the cloth would cost Ksh3,300 (USD33) upwards globally, subject to availability of the same.

An image of Mukombero on sale in Nairobi
The Standard


Mukombero, the root of the Mondia Whitei plant, is often hawked along Kenyan streets at roughly between Ksh50 and Ksh100 for a bunch consisting of approximately ten stems of the plant. Famous for its pale white colour, the plant is shunned by many who prefer to buy it incognito owing to the myths associated with the stem.

However, the plant is reported to have several nutritional benefits including assisting in the curing of flu, boosting mental performance, lowering blood sugar, boosting immunity, contain anti-ageing properties, and needless to say, a natural aphrodisiac.

The plant is valued internationally, consequently attracting a group of farmers in Kakamega who have tapped into the multi-million market. Under the Kakamega Natural Forest Catchment Conservation Organisation (KANFCCO), the farmers have signed a deal with a French company, Man Fields, that will see them export 100 tonnes of the roots abroad.

In the UK, the stem is crushed into powder or sold in form of capsules. A tin containing 100 capsules goes for approximately Ksh4,336.38 (£28). 


A local beverage made from natural ingredients, Muratina is a drink that was initially reserved for traditional ceremonies such as weddings and thanksgiving. Notably, Kenyans are slowly gravitating towards the drink, with some claiming that it had little to no side effects.

While vendors of the beverage are not as readily available, the drink remains available, retailing at Ksh500 per five-litre bottle. Known for his entrepreneurial sense, a Kenyan man, King'ori Wambaki, is brewing and selling the natural drink to revellers in London.

 Wambaki has made it a favourite for the residents of Chestnut. He packages the drink, dubbed Muratelia, as wine spiced with honey which he sells between Ksh1,491 (£10) and Ksh3,871 (£25) depending on whether it’s sold on counters, retail shops, or restaurants. 

Other products which fetch top dollar in the foreign market are traditional vegetables including the black-night shade (managu), traditional milk (mursik), calabashes, jikos, and other artefacts.

A bottle of Muratelia in an advert posted on the company's website