Kakamega sports kit manufacturer grapples with shrinking market

Wednesday May 13 2020
ledona_pix

Ledona Sports Chief Executive Officer Daniel Lumbasi during an interview with Nation Sport at his mini sports gear factory in Matunda, Kakamega County on April 28, 2020. PHOTO | DENNIS LUBANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DENNIS LUBANGA

A proprietor of a small scale sports gear business in Matunda, Kakamega County is counting losses after he was forced to scale down operations following the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease.

Ledona Sports Chief Executive Officer Daniel Lumbasi said that he has reduced his number of his workers from 23 to five because of reduced business and also in order to comply with social distancing rules amid the virus pandemic.

The factory manufactures balls and sports kits, but recently ventured into face masks production to meet a growing demand.

In an interview with Nation Sport on Wednesday, Lumbasi said that their speciality was making football, handball, netball and rugby balls.

“Our clientele mainly comprise of learning institutions, National Government Constituency Development Fund, county governments and non-governmental organisations. The coronavirus pandemic has seen most of our customers close down their businesses,” he said.

He said that the closure of schools has dealt his business a big blow.

“At the moment, all schools have been closed, there are no ongoing games and this has really put us in a difficult situation. In fact, we received the news that the government had extended the school opening date with shock because this means that some of us are going to suffer for a very long time,” said Lumbasi.

“I have now placed my workers on shifts. There are those who work for a whole week, go home then others come in for another week. It is rotational,” explained.

He expressed worry on where he will sell his products that he is currently manufacturing in case the current situation persists.

“Our biggest worry now is that we don’t know where we will take our products. We are still in operation but we don’t know where we will make the sales," said Lumbasi.

He indicated that he had not sacked any of his workers saying that he is maintaining them because he will need them even post coronavirus.

"Apart from the games kits and balls, we are also making face masks that are recommended by the government. We are making the three-layer masks which the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health have recommended," he said.