Kenyan Reaps Big After Splashing Entire Savings on Qatar Ankara Shop

  • A Collage of Bernard Wanjiku in his shop and a section of the merchandise in the shop
    A Collage of Bernard Wanjiku in his shop and a section of the merchandise in the shop
    Al Jazeera
  • Bernard Wanjiku, a 32-year-old Kenyan in Qatar is making a killing in Qatar with his beauty shop that caters to African needs. 

    Located along Al Mansoura’s crowded main street and nestled among grocery stores, Butterfly Beauty Shop is one of a kind establishment that has gained a strong following among Africans living in the Qatari capital. 

    The store opened its doors to the public about two years ago but Wanjiku's journey in Qatar stretches back to 2013 when he went there to work as a driver.

    A section of Bernard Wanjiku's shop showing the ankara outfits he sells
    A section of Bernard Wanjiku's shop showing part of the ankara outfits he sells
    Al Jazeera

    In an interview with Al Jazeera, Wanjiku indicated that before settling on the business, he had to work as a driver for a local organization for five years before becoming a taxi driver. 

    It was through conversations with his clients as a taxi driver that he got the idea to start his own business.

    “Every time someone from Africa sat in my cab, they would ask me if I knew of someone coming from home who could bring some beauty products,” Wanjiku revealed to Al Jazeera.

    However, he had to start his operations small by arranging for friends traveling from Kenya to bring skincare and hair products in small batches, which he would then sell to Africans who he met on taxi rides. 

    “I wanted to test the waters before investing all my savings in one place," he admits. 

    Since the shop opened its doors in 2021, he says his clientele has grown significantly with most of them having followed his journey from the taxi to his store.

    But Wanjiku admits he has social media to thank for the rapid growth of his business.

    “Soon after the opening, African people living in Mansoura posted photos and videos from inside the shop,” he explains. 

    She is now riding on the World Cup wave to continue growing his business as the shop is stocked with football jerseys and flags of the different teams participating in the World Cup. 

    This came after the story of another Kenyan fondly referred to as "Fifa Metro Guy"  became an internet sensation for providing directions to fans at the World Cup.

    A Collage of the Fifa Metro Guy showing he is from Kenya
    A Collage of the Fifa Metro Guy showing he is from Kenya
    Tiktok/Fifametroguy