George Ayoo, a shoemaker in Kibra, has been in the shoe-making business for the past 28 years. He learned the trade in 1993 when he was 22 years old, just after completing his primary education. His in-law taught him how to make shoes, and back then, artisan courses were highly valued.
Ayoo takes pride in his job, which has enabled him to provide for his family. He has been able to pay his siblings’ school fees and has two graduates and a third-year student in his household, all thanks to shoemaking. In a good season, he can make at least KES 50,000 per day, especially during the back-to-school season from December to February.
Ayoo also creates job opportunities for youths during high seasons when he has more orders. He believes that when youths are busy, the rate of crime reduces. However, like any other job, Ayoo faces challenges. The country’s high cost of living and government policies that allow more imports have led to increased competition, making business slow.
Ayoo advises youths to pursue artisan courses and work hard as nothing comes for free. He takes pride in his job and the opportunities it has provided for him and his family.