Student Spotlight: Street Vendor by day, Student by night – Michael Mureithi
It is important to keep good relationships, you never know where this will serve you the soft-spoken Michael Mureithi had this to say during the interview session at the University this week. The connection to carry out this interview was as interesting as the person being interviewed. One evening as he was carrying out his sales along Mbagathi Road, Michael recognized Fr. Francis Rimbau- Assistant Chaplain as one of the motorists and greeted him, Good afternoon Fr. Francis? Fr. Francis, taken aback asked him, How do you know me? I am a student as Strathmore, studying CPA in the evenings
His background .
Sheer determination to rise above his circumstances is what has driven Michael to be where he is today, he has hope that the future can only get better. He grew up in Thomas Barnado Home, he is a first born of 7 siblings brought up by a single mother from Muranga County. He went to All Saints Cathedral Primary in lower classes and Bishop Mahia-ini School in upper primary. His school fees was paid by Thomas Barnado Home and during holidays, he stayed at the home just a kilometer from Strathmore University-along Langata Road. Upon completion of his primary education, he passed well enough to gain admission at Kiangotho Boys Secondary in Muranga County, and at O Levels he scored an impressive B- aggregate in 2007.
Unfortunately, that year, the cut-off grade for entry to University as a regular student was higher than his aggregate and unfortunately his dream of being an internal auditor was shattered. With a B- score, he could only join a university as a parallel student. Much as his performance was good, Thomas Barnado Home caters for very many students and could not pay parallel fees for his university education.
Michael never gave up; he got a sponsor who paid for first year fees at Zetech College and he studied a Diploma in Mass Communication, completed the coursework, but couldnt graduate because he could not raise the fee balance at Zetech College.
The mass communication course he reckons helped him launch a career in sales and freelance marketing, he is able to use persuasive skills to get his customers to buy his wares. In the last few years, he has been a freelance sales agent for many companies including Samsung phones, Unilevers Omo product, and Insurance company products among others.
While working as a retail sales agent for companies, a key challenge that he faced was that companies did not want to pay a monthly retainer for the sales force, and at the same time, his take-home pay was on a sales-commission basis, furthermore these companies tended to delay payments for products already sold. This created a crisis for him; he has to pay for his single-room at High-rise estate, and he could not meet other living expenses.
He recently decided to start buying his stock of PK brand of sweets and tropical mints on a wholesale basis and sell piece by piece to motorists and pedestrians along Langata road. Being independent has now given him more control of his resources and he is able to meet his living expenses, he struggles and hustles a lot, but he gets by.
Studying at Strathmore .
One day late last year, he met a friend from his high school days who informed him about scholarships to study CPA at Strathmore. This friend remembered that his dream was to be an auditor, and he therefore encouraged him to fill in the forms.
He applied for scholarship and fortunately his application was successful for the tuition fees, while he has to pays his exam fees. He conducts his sales from early morning, and reports to the University in the afternoon ready to study and achieve his dream. Michael is staunch christian, he worships at Nazarene Church along Ngong Road. His faith keeps him going, even when things are tough, he believes that God will enable him to see his dreams come true.
He has big dreams for a brighter future, and is very grateful to Strathmore School of Accountancy for offering him the opportunity to study CPA. He believes that his experiences in sales is a stepping stone to being a big entrepreneur in the future, he envisions himself owning a big business that will see him be of assistance to his ailing mum and his siblings. When that time comes, he knows that he in turn will help someone from circumstances just like his. In the meantime, he hustles during the day while he studies his CPA section 2 in the evenings.
We wish Michael all the best in his endeavours.