23 years ago, Stanley Joseph Njue and a few business people from Embu County came together to form a self-help group, whose monthly contributions started at Ksh100 but now stands at Ksh1,000 monthly.
The self-help group has now matured into Mediators Savings and Credits Cooperative controlling a circulating capital of more than Ksh80 million. It has also changed the lives of its members for the better and Njue can attest to that.
Njue said that his family now enjoys a good life because of how impactful the Sacco has been to them.
Speaking to Sacco Review in his home which lies on a quarter of an acre commercial plot in Gatondo, Njue reveals that saving through a Sacco is one of the best decisions he has ever made in life.
He bought the quarter acre at Ksh950,000.
He revealed that his contributions have enabled him to acquire pieces of land. His first loan was Ksh280,000, which he used to buy the plot.
“I’ve also disposed some to increase my non-withdrawable funds,” he said, adding that his family stays in a comfortable four-bedroom house whose construction work took two years and cost him more than Ksh3.5 million
Njue started as a small scale desk radio repairer in a makeshift backstreet cubical earning himself the name “Njue wa Maredio”.
Today he operates one of the most well-stocked electronic and electrical equipment outlets in Embu town: Njue Electronics, which stocks televisions, radios and sound equipment.
The outlet also supplies various modern electrical units.
His two children have gone through their education courtesy of the money he borrowed from his Sacco.
His daughter’s secondary and university education cost him Ksh250,000 and Ksh400,000 respectively while he has spent Ksh350,000 in his son’s education.
“My most recent investment was a venture into cargo transport business after acquiring a seven-ton truck at Ksh1.5 million through a loan secured from the Sacco,” he revealed.
He noted with pride that he also has an M-Pesa outlet and does poultry, vegetable and general mixed farming.
Njue said Mediators Sacco is an interesting organization which brings together business people from all walks of life. The Sacco also hosts people in muguka farming and trade, a popular income generating undertaking in Embu County.
Njue confesses that he owns a Miraa farm in which he had invested more than Ksh200,000 in water supply system. He borrowed the money from Mediators Sacco.
He notes with regret that in the past he borrowed from individuals, shylocks and banks and found that system of financing stressful.
This is because the lenders can ambush borrowers and confiscate their property without notice.
He says that Mediators Sacco offers advice on finance and business management to ensure that members save, borrow and invest so as to repay their loans smoothly.
Njue says he has been encouraging his children to also embrace a saving culture.
“Young people need to come together and form self-help groups. Unless they start learning the benefits of saving and investing wisely, the future of Saccos is under threat,” Njue added with concern.
His daughter, a Bachelor of Education graduate and an online teacher and writer, recently joined a self-help group where they save Ksh500 per month.
His teenage son, now undertaking a plumbing course in a Nairobi college, has been managing his own kienyeji chicken business. He hopes to emulate his father’s business acumen by opening a plumber shop once he is done with his education.
By Robert Nyagah
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