Coming from a jobless family of 3 children, Omar Mwalim Ali who is currently 24, decided at a very early age to be independent. When he was just in class six, he dropped out of school due to the family’s poverty. He grew up in Bakarani before he decided to go to Nairobi by his own means to work as a waiter at his friend’s hotel. He worked there for a while before he came back and worked in construction labour. Thereafter, he was employed to work as a bodaboda driver where he worked for three years. It was just in 2015 when the KYBT went to create awareness and make an outreach in his area when he got the idea of getting a loan and owning his own bodaboda.
His family discouraged him from taking the loan with the fear that he might be able to pay it back. However, he still came to KYBT and met with the panel. He was not uneasy even as he talked of his business idea for he was determined and he knew exactly what he wanted. Finally, he got the loan and was really happy to have his own bodaboda. His mentor from KYBT, Abbas Hussein kept advising him and guiding him on how to make his business successful. After getting the bodaboda, his life has improved for he was able to move out from his family’s house, rent another and was even able to marry and now his wife is expectant.
Omar’s challenges are during the rainy season and mid-month where the customers are few. Nonetheless, his mentor, Abbas gave him the idea of using jackets to use during the rainy seasons. His goal now is to finish paying his loan and after that, try and get another bodaboda. Apart from that, he wishes to build in his father’s plot which is left empty due to lack of funds.
Omar admits that the biggest help he got in his life was from KYBT, even more than the help he ever got from his own family. He is thankful that he was able to take big steps in life from then.
His advice to the youth like himself is that they should also get their independence by being self employed.