Robert Mbati Cheminingwa, a teacher by profession, borrowed Ksh750,000 from the Stawisha Sacco in 2013 to purchase five acres of land in Endebess, Trans-Nzoia County.
He then decided to venture into potato farming and that was the turning point of his life. Before this loan, he had earlier on borrowed Ksh500,000 from the same Sacco to buy one acre of land in Kitalale Trans-Nzoia County for his homestead.
“I get a good harvest of potatoes from the three acres under the crop every 3 months,” says a beaming Cheminigwa.
He also harvests an average of 30 bags of maize from the remaining two acres of land.
From the sale of potatoes and maize, Chemingwa earns about Ksh1.7 million profit annually, thanks to the investment he made in Stawisha Sacco.
The farming business has uplifted the living standards of his family, making him a role model for fellow teachers and other members of the community.
Born in Chepkube, Cheptais Division of Mt. Elgon constituency, Cheminingwa, who is the fifth born in a family of seven children, lost his mother when he was barely four years-old.
However, that did not stop him from pursuing his education after he moved to live with his grandmother at Kaboiwo in Kaptama Division.
“Grandmother used the little money she received from the sale of vegetables and sugarcane to make sure I attended Kaboiwo Primary School which was 4kms away from home,” he says with nostalgia.
He was invited to Cheptais High School after emerging top in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCPE) in 1993 but was forced to join the nearby Friends’ Moi Kaptama Secondary School due to lack of money.
“Things were tough but the head teacher Mr. Gregory Ngeywa ensured that I was among the needy students who received bursary,” said Cheminingwa.
He later passed his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) and joined Garissa Teachers Training College in 2000 where he graduated as a trained P1 teacher in 2002.
He was later posted by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to Chepkerer Primary School in Mt. Elgon.
As a member of Stawaisha Sacco, Cheminigwa has so far taken three development loans.
He also bought some cows apart from investing in maize and potato farming.
“I believe in hard work and determination which leads to success in life,” he says.
The happy father of five children thanked Stawisha Sacco for uplifting his standard of living through loans.
By Martin Ruto