Vocational skills are first-hand skills that are acquired in a specific area of interest. These are the practical skills that one requires to learn in order to choose a career option.
5 successful Kenyans who never went to university
Caleb Karuga, a former TV personality was surprised to learn that a mole catcher was earning more than him. Karuga now runs a multi-million agribusiness venture.
Vocational skills are more practical than theoretical skills and are equally important. Pulse is embarking on a campaign to create awareness for technical education which has been undermined for many years.
There has also been a devaluing of manual skills such as cooking, sewing, woodcarving, soap carving which should not be the case.
The following list features Kenyans who dared venture into vocational skills and are shining examples that technical skills are just as important as theoretical training.
Karuga, who quit his degree course in IT midway, is now a successful farmer who manages three farms where he keeps thousands of indigenous chicken, quails, guinea fowls and dairy goats and grows butternut, strawberry, sweet potatoes and sunflowers.
His last job at K24 TV pushed Karuga to venture into farming after recalling an interview he did that changed his perspective of agribusiness.
He had interviewed a mole catcher who said he earns Sh90,000 which was more than Karuga’s salary.
After being retrenched in 2013, he was given Sh1.3 million in benefits which he used to expand his farming business.
Moha Graffix has cemented his position as the king of graffiti and his canvas is spread out across the city in the vehicles that operate various routes.
Despite having a raw passion for art, Moha had to improve his skills after his first attempt at decorating a matatu failed.
Other than making designs, the businessman also had to learn how to paint cars to gain more knowledge and control of the quality of output.
“Your talent is your strength. Always work to perfect your skills and money will come. You see those young men in town who have learnt to work on ladies’ nails? They are not ashamed of what they do. I work with my hands and got a sharp mind,” he said in a recent interview.
Wilberforce Wendo is not your average mechanic. While Wendo still attends to car repairs, such as engine fixes or bodyworks, he says the best use of his time is when clients task him with restoring vehicles that would have otherwise been dumped as unusable.
To vehicle owners and those shopping for new wheels, Wendo is a Godsend Tony Stark who turns into Iron Man as his Roysambu garage.
It is there that he takes the cars apart and reassembles them as if they were mobile phones in a repair shop in Luthuli.
One of his best projects in the city is a Toyota Crown which had been involved in an accident and completely written off by its insurance company.
Stephen Odhiambo and Dennis Otieno
Stephen and Otieno are carpenters based in Nairobi run a successful business utilizing their vocational skills to make furniture.
Their breakthrough happened in 2020 when they landed their biggest client at the time, Deputy President William Ruto who bought furniture worth Sh150,000.
Carpentry is a lucrative skill to master and if perfected can fetch up to Sh100,000 a day.
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