Inside the flourishing farm business of celebrated Kenyan gospel artiste Gloria Muliro

The gospel artiste keeps more than 1,000 Kienyeji chickens mainly for eggs and meat.

However, what many people are unaware of is that besides being an artist, she has another calling in farming.

The 'Sitolia' singer runs a kuku (poultry) project with her friend-cum-business partner Shinel Wanja on a two-acre farm in Juja, Kiambu County.

The duo keep more than 1,000 Kienyeji chickens mainly for eggs and meat.

“These birds keep me really busy. Though I have a farm manager, I like to be involved as much as I can. When I come here, there’s so much to do, I have no time to waste,” she told The Standard's Smart Harvest in an interview.

Tight schedule

They also grow maize and beans but Muliro said their main focus is on poultry which has better returns.

Even though she has a tight schedule as a gospel artiste, Muliro has been able to strike a balance between her music career and farm work.

"Although I come here once a week, I talk to the farm manager every day. I call him every evening to get updates on how things are going on here," she said.

The 38 year old adopts a different figure when she is on the farm as opposed to when she is a 'celeb.'

“When I come here, I drop the ‘celeb’ tag and get down to work. On the farm, there is no swag, so the make-up and bling have to go. When I am on the farm, I am just a simple village girl from Emuhaya taking care of her kukus."

She also does telephone farming, a trend common with urban farmers with farms in the outskirts of the city.

Opportunity

Muliro ventured into the business after a few locals realised she could supply them with nice chicken.

"The lunje in me loves chicken, kienyeji to be precise. But when I came to Nairobi to settle, I realised at times getting this delicacy is a toll order.

To quench my need, I started making my orders from up country just for my consumption and for a few friends. But with time, locals realised Gloria could supply them with nice chicken and word went round. That's how the market grew," she said.

Her business has grown over the years and she now supplies chicken to individuals, supermarkets and hotels.

Muliro however says farming is no easy feat but has managed to soldier on despite the various challenges.

There are days, I really want to quit the whole project but somehow I soldier on. Imagine being called from the studio and told that the birds are sick and they have no idea what is ailing them. Or like 100 birds have died at a go. Yes there are days like that,” the singer confessed adding that she deals with experts to counter such shocks.

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