In the bustling town of Eldoret, amidst the daily hustle and bustle, there stands a symbol of unyielding determination and unwavering resilience – Jane Wanjiru Muchune.
At 63 years old, she has not only become a household name but also a beacon of hope and inspiration for many.
Every morning, as the sun rises over Eldoret, Wanjiru is already at work in her humble abode in the Kasarani area of Langas estate.
To prepare and distribute her renowned porridge, a culinary creation that has captured the hearts and taste buds of office workers and locals alike.
What began as a small venture has transformed into an inspiring odyssey, defying the odds and leaving an indelible mark on her community.
Wanjiru’s porridge is not just any ordinary breakfast fare. It’s a delightful blend of ground omena (sardines), milk, and assorted fruits, a testament to her culinary innovation and deep understanding of her customers’ preferences.
Priced at Ksh50 per cup, this flavorful concoction has become a staple in the lives of many, offering not just sustenance but also a taste of Wanjiru’s enduring spirit.
However, Wanjiru’s journey into entrepreneurship was not birthed from mere culinary aspirations.
It emerged out of sheer necessity, a response to the tragic loss of her husband three decades ago. Suddenly finding herself in the role of both mother and father to her children, she faced a daunting challenge.
The passing of her husband, the family’s breadwinner, left her with the weighty responsibility of providing for her family’s needs and ensuring her children’s education.
“It was difficult to cope with the situation after the death of my husband,” she said in a previous interview. “I knew it would be tough raising them alone, but through wisdom and courage, I have made it.”
Armed with a strong will and boundless determination, Wanjiru took a leap of faith into the world of business. In 1990, she began selling her porridge to her neighbors in the Langas estate, pricing a cup at a humble Ksh5.
What started as a small-scale endeavor soon blossomed through her relentless efforts, becoming a source of sustenance not just for her family but for her entire community.
Through hard work and dedication, Wanjiru’s venture thrived.
Her unyielding commitment enabled her to send her children to school, ensuring they received the education she knew was their ticket to a better future.
Her eldest son, George Maina Muchune, completed his degree at Moi University, a testament to Wanjiru’s determination to secure her children’s dreams and aspirations.
One of the most inspiring aspects of Wanjiru’s journey is the transformation she brought about in her family’s life.
Despite facing eviction due to rent arrears, she persevered, refusing to let adversity define her fate. Her message to women resonates deeply – life’s challenges are conquerable through prayer, hard work, and unwavering determination.
“Let me advise women that everything is possible in life. Whether you have lost your husband or parents, just keep on praying and also ensure you work hard. What matters is how you handle yourself without depending on men,” she says.
Reflecting on her own past, Wanjiru shares that she couldn’t proceed to secondary school due to lack of funds, despite her brilliance as a student. Yet, she stands as living proof that gender or circumstances need not define one’s destiny.