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Mwatha Njoroge doesn’t consider himself rich. In fact he doesn’t have a listed net worth on Forbes.
But after some time spent as a homeless teen from a remote village in Molo, Nakuru County, owning his own business now valued at Sh0.5billion sure makes him feel rich.
“Things started changing in 1992, precisely on 24th of April, our home was torched during the infamous ethnic clashes and we lost everything, including my two siblings and my dad a few months later. We relied on well-wishers for shelter,” recounts the founder and chief executive of Sevenstar Group – an investment firm with six business portfolios under its belt.
Following that trauma, Njoroge found himself living with relatives and anyone, dreaming about a different life.
The entrepreneur spark had always been within him, but he decided it was time to fan it to flame soon after his Kenya Certificate of Secondary School (KCSE) studies at Marigat High School in 1994 – and linked up with a cousin in Nairobi to fend for himself and make ends meet.
He later joined the University of Nairobi to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Social Science and Arts. Penniless, but determined, Mwatha decided to turn his melancholies into a meaningful life, and in his first semester he fully made up his mind to exercise his business skill.
“Besides going to class, my business instincts had already been aroused. I would sell sukumawiki while at the hostel,” he narrates. And later rented a kiosk and supplemented the business with selling porridge to sustain his college life.
Things did not however, turn out heavenly for the father of three boys today, as he ended up in the streets, and hawked every assorted item just to get by.
His first break manifested in early 2013 when he and a group of six friends came together to form Sevenstar Group and between them, they raised Sh2, 150 to fuel his boiling dream.
He explains that the hardest part was making them see that, despite his circumstances, he had a plan.
“I think my biggest hurdle was initially getting people to believe in me. I was not in a serious employment and talking about wanting to start a business,” says the 40-year.
Mwatha, unlike most of his corporate caliber, is very religious and has tried his hands in almost everything and thrived in all. And perhaps the six major sectors his firm is involved in, is probably a testament to that.
But now he feels there’s one major assignment left on his diary – owning a bank, and he’s determined to achieve that vision in three years. Sevenstar Group is presently involved in oil business, insurance, microcredit, security, construction and real estate and a foundation.
The early bird who’s up by 4am says his mission to own a bank is alive and he’s confident to see it ensue.
“There’s no need of dreaming small, some people have small dreams that God cannot fit it,” he concludes.