Mumbi Wazza, 22, wrote her first song at the age of five. It was inspired by her affectionate feelings for a boy in her neighbourhood. The boy had a crush on Mumbi’s elder sister who was 10 years old at the time. To cope with that love triangle, Mumbi wrote a song called “You and I are loved by him”. It was such a sweet song that oozed pure love. Later on, she rewrote it as a gospel song about God’s love for all people.
“I was born singing. I do not have a single memory of a time when I was not singing. I am a loud singer. I grew up in Karia Village, Lioki sub location and we shared a homestead with my grandmother and my uncle. When I sung, my voice would fill the entire homestead. Surprisingly though, I’m a very quiet person, an introvert to the core. I think sing so loudly to spend up the energy I save not talking much.”
Her parents were staunch Christians who made sure that Mumbi and her three siblings attended mass faithfully. Mumbi describes her parents as being cool and very supportive of her and her siblings. For instance, they took her through music school and continue to foot the bill for her music production to date. On her part, Mumbi works very hard to write quality music. She has written around 40 songs and recorded six so far available on mdundo.com. She is also a vocalist in a band called Nyoya.
“My parents never viewed music as a distraction or waste of time. Although I’m not making money off my music yet, it does not stop them from supporting me. That is why I have decided to get into business. If I add on to what my parents are putting into my music, then my dream of establishing a career in music would be achieved much quicker.”
Mumbi runs an online shop for ladies clothes called Dressed by Mojo. She mainly stocks dresses that retail at Sh.500. A glance at the store’s Facebook page reveals Mumbi’s eye for fashion and style. There is something for everyone. She makes free deliveries on orders, much to the convenience of her clients. In a month, she can make up to 700 per cent profit on sales.
BUSINESS CAN BE A REAL STRUGGLE
“I am full of business ideas. In the recently held elections, I set up a table at our polling station selling bananas and eggs to the hungry voters who queued for hours on end. The timing was perfect so I made some good money. I would advise anyone going into business to deal in what they are really good at. Business can be a real struggle in terms of undefined working hours, limited resources and uncertainty of profit. You do not want to add onto that list the struggle of delivering the service. It needs to be something you can do effortlessly. I love fashion, researching trends and identifying the different tastes of my clients is not a struggle for me.”
In 2013, while in first year at Moi University, Mumbi, alongside two friends, formed a group called Baglers and sold fashionable backpacks to their fellow students. Unfortunately, one of the friends vamoosed with the profits accrued from sales and the business was no more.
KEPT IN TOUCH
Mumbi and Emmanuel, her former business partner from Baglers, kept in touch after the split. Soon they started dating. In her third year, Mumbi got pregnant. At first, the news shocked them. They had not planned on having a baby so soon. Nevertheless, they welcomed parenthood with open arms. Emmanuel took exemplary care of Mumbi during the first trimester while still at school. The time came for the field attachment break and Mumbi went back home, four months pregnant.
“My father’s reaction pushed me to tears. He was very understanding. I felt terrible about the whole situation. My mother on the other hand did not take the news so calmly. She felt as if someone had taken advantage of me, a sentiment she holds to date.”
When school resumed in May 2016, Mumbi’s son, Roman, was four months old. She carried him with her to school. He was still nursing. They had to rent a house since the baby could not live in the students’ hostels. To raise money for their bills which they split fifty-fifty, Emmanuel and Mumbi embarked on online academic writing. Their parents chipped in and they sailed through their final year in campus rather smoothly.
ALSO A SINGER
Like Mumbi, Emmanuel is entrepreneurial and a hard worker. When the president led the Madaraka celebrations at Kabiruini Stadium in Nyeri, Emmanuel was one of the construction workers who had labored tirelessly to prepare the stadium for the stately occasion. He is involved in tendering for the family business, Vedcar Construction and Supplies. He also sings and goes by the stage name Manuel. He has recorded six songs available on mdundo.com. Together, Mumbi and Emmanuel have recorded a song called “My Letter to Mankind.’
Mumbi draws inspiration from her mother who she describes as being independent and a strong woman of faith. She is grateful to her parents for creating a loving home, one that was a refuge when life knocked her down.
“I look forward to moving in with Emmanuel and make us a home. He has to put a ring on it first, not a come-we-stay.”