Home » Stacey Auma: Nairobi Woman Who Grew from ‘Mama Fua’ to Running a Thriving Mitumba Business in Gikomba Market

Stacey Auma: Nairobi Woman Who Grew from ‘Mama Fua’ to Running a Thriving Mitumba Business in Gikomba Market

by Paul Nyongesa
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In the bustling streets of Nairobi, where every day brings new challenges, Stacey Auma’s journey stands out as a remarkable tale of determination, perseverance, and unyielding hard work.

Her story is an inspiration to anyone who dares to dream big and strives to achieve their goals despite daunting obstacles.

Stacey’s initial foray into entrepreneurship involved selling secondhand clothes on the streets of Nairobi.

It was a risky venture, with constant threats of arrest by county government officials who often targeted her and fellow traders.

But Stacey was undeterred by the adversities that came her way.

She continued to seek opportunities to make ends meet, even going as far as dropping copies of her CV in various places in pursuit of alternate employment.

Unfortunately, her relentless efforts did not yield the positive outcome she had hoped for.

After enduring the heartbreak of being unable to secure a stable job, Stacey was faced with the daunting task of finding new avenues for survival. She initially turned to washing clothes for people in the Greenspan area of Nairobi, but severe back pain forced her to discontinue this labor-intensive work.

“I used to wash clothes for people at Greenspan area in Nairobi, but it reached a time when I was not able to do that because of severe back pain,” she candidly shared in a past interview.

In her pursuit of financial stability, Stacey’s mother offered her a suggestion that would change her life’s trajectory.

She encouraged Stacey to start a food vending business, which she did.

However, after four months of incurring losses, Stacey decided to pivot once again.

Stacey’s indomitable spirit led her to explore Gikomba market, a bustling hub of commerce in Nairobi.

With just Sh. 1,000 in hand, she made a bold move by purchasing 30 pieces of sweater tops for Sh. 30 each.

These she resold for Sh. 100 each, netting a tidy profit of Sh. 70 on each piece. Building on this success, she transitioned to selling jumpers, despite facing arrest on her very first day as a jumper vendor.

Undaunted by the setback, Stacey persevered, and the following day, she managed to sell all her jumpers.

“I was arrested at 6 pm and released at 9 pm. I had to call my mother to send me bus fare because I had not sold anything. The following day I was there again, and this time, I sold all the jumpers. This boosted my morale so much,” she recalled.

Stacey’s remarkable success in selling jumpers served as a beacon of hope.

It inspired her to collaborate with other women, pooling their resources to order a container of bales.

Upon receiving the bales, they divided the merchandise among themselves and embarked on a collective journey of selling secondhand clothes.

Stacey’s entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there. She went on to establish her own shop in Gikomba, where she offers a range of products including secondhand clothes, handbags, shoes, and household items. Utilizing the power of social media, she skillfully markets her products, attracting a wider customer base.

Despite the challenges that come with running a business, such as acquiring bales containing low-quality clothes that result in losses, Stacey remains resilient. In such cases, she bears the loss alongside her customers.

Additionally, she faces the demanding task of managing difficult customers who are dissatisfied with her products.

.She credits her success to her mother’s unflagging support and the collective effort of the women who contributed funds that enabled them to order a container of bales.

In addition to her thriving business, Stacey wears another hat as a football coach. She shares her love for the sport by training the Black Warrior soccer team based in Ruiru, Nairobi.

Her journey in football began during her time as a student at the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, where she honed her skills for four years before transitioning into coaching.

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