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Stephen Odhiambo: Multi-purpose bench maker set to rake in millions

Stephen Odhiambo was little known to most Kenyans before he and his team replicated the design of a multi-purpose garden bench the former had seen on YouTube.

A client shared the video online and Odhiambo and his team were catapulted to overnight nationwide fame.

For the past one week, the Jua Kali artisan operating along Ngong road has received over 700 orders from eager clients with 11 already having paid for one.

READ ALSO: Made in Kenya: Netizens wowed by Jua Kali innovation that converts to table, bench

The unique multipurpose garden bench has wowed thousands if not millions of Kenyans online and the world.

In the past one week, the Jua Kali artisan operating along Ngong road has received over 700 orders from eager clients with 11 already having paid for the multipurpose garden bench.

“Huwa naingia nyumbani six, nakuambia kutoka saa hiyo ilikuwa simu juu ya simu hadi kitu kama saa sita na nusu,” said Odhiambo in an interview with Citizen TV. ( It has been phone call upon another since the video went viral).

The bench which costs KSh 22,000 a piece can accommodate three well-fed persons but when extended it takes up to six people facing each other complete with a table.

The hype surrounding the innovation has seen Odhiambo take over 700 orders, with 11 clients having paid to get one. That translates to over KSh 15 million ( 150,000 USD) gross income for the team.

Using a grinder and other tools, Odhiambo and his team of artisans say at the moment they can make five such benches in a day.

“Hapo mwanzo hatukuwa tunaelewa vizuri tulikuwa tunaunda moja, lakini saa hii tunatengeneza hata tano kwa siku,” said Dennis Otieno, one of Odhiambo’s assistants. (At first, we were abit slow but we can now make five benches)

Respected hotelier Mohamed Hersi who one of the people to share the video of the innovation has called upon the government to allocate more funds to Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs).

“Why should we import furniture from China and many other places when Ngong Road guys without any support are able to fix such unique strong pieces?,” posed Hersi on his Facebook page on Sunday, June 14.

READ ALSO: Day I was removed from WhatsApp group while typing a reply

Commenting on Twitter, John Kioli called on government and local players to support the intitiative by buying the multi-purpose garden bench.

Odhiambo and his team are now calling on the government to factor in the Jua kali sector in the funds set aside to cushion different sectors during the corona virus pandemic.

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