What are the chances that when one door closes, another lucrative opportunity opens up and comes to fruition?
For Boniface Waweru Karanja, his dream to join the United Kingdom's Army was curtailed upon landing in Europe, forcing him to resort to his essential first love- traveling.
Currently, he owns a successful tour and travel company titled Jungle Dwellers- that not only sells safaris, and beach holidays but also international flight tickets.
Speaking to Chams Media TV, Karanja reminisced how the door opened in a foreign country after he thought all hope was lost.
The 38-year-old detailed that his uncle had hooked him up with a deal to join the UK Army- an opportunity he admitted was irresistible.
He was, however, met with the challenge of finding a host or else getting Ksh200,000 for one to be found. According to Karanja, he got a host and was able to secure a flight to Colchester, London in 2012.
Another hurdle to his dream came when he found out that the rules of joining the army had changed.
"It stated that someone ought to have been in the country for over 5 years so that locked me out. Essentially, I had to go back to the drawing board," Karanja noted.
Fortunately, he was granted an extension visa and he resorted to delving into a familiar industry- the tourism sector.
"In Kenya, I went to Kirangari high school before joining Amboseli Insititute of hospitality where I realised my passion for tourism. I studied Tourism and business studies.
"I worked in reputable companies in the sector such as Giraffe centre (for my internship), Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi National park, and National Museum of Kenya as well as a 2-year stint in Tanzania as hotel manager of Panama hotel from 2010 to 2012," he pointed out.
Armed with the experience, he began incorporating the experience into use. In 2019, what was once an idea came into fruition after Jungle dwellers Limited was birthed.
He admits that the company has extended its operations and deals with international clients from Canada, Australia, the UK, USA and Asia.
"What makes us stand out is our service delivery. We stick to our clients from the day of inquiry to the day that they are back. We welcome their feedback whether positive or negative and that's what has kept us going on. We help them to apply for visas, we cater for their fight tickets. Basically, we have to cater for everything."
Karanja appealed to President William Ruto to support Kenyans in the diaspora through policies that propel their businesses.
"We are happy that President William Ruto is giving a good eye to the Kenyans in the diaspora and we would encourage them to support the Kenyan-owned businesses.
"Here abroad, things are not easy as you need to come out very strongly and have that resilient heart to fight your way out. If you are soft-hearted, this is not for you," he noted.