March 29, 2021
Reported by: Eugene Omondi
In the dusty town of Kajiado, a young man, probably in his late twenties is busy perfecting his craft. His clothes were stained with dozens of paint spills.
Hussein or popularly known as Hussein Painter is egressed in his art, next to him are old car tyres and bottles and tins of different paints. Which are fighting for the space with local Massai bulls which are roaming around in search of grass among the rocks and dust. It seems quite impossible.
The young creative has come up with a way of getting rid of old tyres off the streets by using them to craft beautiful household items. His business has no definite name but the locals call him Hussein painter since that’s part of what his job entails.
Started in the year 2019, Hussein was walking one day when he noticed how tyres were being wrongly discarded on the sides of the road.
Since rubber isn’t bio-degradable, that means that it wouldn’t rot and be absorbed by the soil but it would continue lying there. That is when he decided to voluntarily collect them and use them to create useful household items such as chairs, tables, household decorations among others.
This helps him kill two birds with one stone; clean up the environment as well as make a living from his art.
Just like any other financial venture, it wasn’t an easy task getting it off the ground. Hussein was ridiculed by most of his friends and family but in the long run, it has come to pay off. He has managed to build it into a renowned entity in Kajiado with his first source of capital being earnings from a kiosk he used to run, painting people’s houses as well as working at construction sites.
Starting at Ksh. 1000, Hussein Painter, as he is called, sells his items by the roadside, takes them to people’s homes when they order, and also on social media.
Some of the challenges faced are lack of a steady market, something that he says is a major hindrance to the growth of his business. Other challenges faced are like lack of machines. He is now forced to carve the merchandise manually making it tiring as well as time-consuming, but Hussein remains positive, saying that he continues to push on as every job has its challenges.
Putting up his products on social media such as YouTube, Instagram and Tiktok using the handle ‘Hussein Painter’ on all the platforms, has enabled him to reach a wide array of customers thus growing his clientele and income as well. His phone number is +254723527174 as one can call him to place orders and for delivery purposes. Hussein hopes to one-day open branches of his tire transformation business in other areas away from Kajiado and employs his fellow youths as well.