From Mjengo Worker to Wholesaler: The Determined Path of Andrew Wanyonyi


In the vibrant Bungoma County, a story of grit, perseverance, and strategic thinking emerges. Andrew Wanyonyi, a determined entrepreneur, transformed his life from working in a mjengo (construction work) to owning and operating a successful wholesale business, Wal-Quick Wholesalers. His journey is a compelling narrative of identifying market gaps, overcoming challenges, and continuously striving to improve his business acumen.

Early Life and Humble Beginnings

Andrew Wanyonyi, born and raised in Bungoma County, faced financial hurdles early in life. Despite studying until high school, the lack of school fees forced him to abandon formal education and start hustling. He took up various jobs, including working in mjengo, to make ends meet. However, his entrepreneurial spirit remained undeterred.

Spotting the Market Gap

While working and observing the local market dynamics, Andrew identified a significant gap in the availability of affordable food supplies. Recognizing that food is a basic necessity, he saw an opportunity to serve his community by providing essential goods at reasonable prices. This insight led to the establishment of Wal-Quick Wholesalers.

Challenges and Learning Curves

The journey of running Wal-Quick Wholesalers was fraught with challenges. Andrew lacked formal training in business management and marketing strategies, which made it difficult to effectively manage and grow his business. Additionally, the recent floods that affected the country nationwide severely impacted his operations, destroying much of his stock.

However, these challenges became valuable lessons. Andrew realized the importance of acquiring knowledge in business management and marketing. The floods highlighted the need for an insurance cover and the importance of setting aside savings for unforeseen circumstances.

Business Practices and Community Impact

One of the key practices that has helped Andrew manage his business efficiently is conducting stock taking on the first of every month. This practice helps him keep track of profit margins and manage inventory effectively.

Wal-Quick Wholesalers stands out in the community for its affordability. Andrew ensures that essential items, like maize flour, are sold with minimal profit margins, making them accessible to low-income earners.

We only put a profit margin of 5 Bob on maize flour,” he explains, underscoring his commitment to being pocket-friendly.

Future Aspirations and Vision

Andrew’s vision for the future includes expanding his business into a supermarket. This expansion aims not only to grow his enterprise but also to create employment opportunities within the community. He firmly believes in the importance of assessing market gaps and understanding customer needs before starting any business.

You cannot start a hardware store if there are no constructions around,  he advises aspiring entrepreneurs.

A Call for Community Support

Andrew’s journey is also a plea for support from his community and organizations. He hopes for a secure environment where community members are mindful of the products and avoid theft. He also appeals to well wishers for financial assistance, especially to restock his business after the floods, even at a low interest rate. 

He also urges charity organizations to have business workshops in low in come community to educate small business owners on effective ways of running a business from financial management to stock taking. Such support would be instrumental in sustaining and growing his business.

From his humble beginnings as a mjengo worker to running a wholesale business, Andrew’s journey is an inspiration to many. His commitment to affordability, continuous learning, and community support defines his entrepreneurial spirit.

Support Andrew Wanyonyi

If you would like to support Andrew in any way, whether by purchasing products from him or providing financial assistance to boost his business, please contact him through the following ways:

Andrew’s story is a testament to the power of identifying opportunities, learning from challenges, and striving to make a positive impact on the community.

Let us #EmpowerLocalEntreprenuers!