Written by Eric Lumbasi
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Un-employment, is a challenge that the government, elected leaders, religious leaders, idle people and any other person whether working or not, all agree should be faced and addressed.
No one person who gets a chance to address the public fails to acknowledge un-employment is the door to some of the vices bedeviling our community and the society at large.
Economic experts, analysts and business persons, teachers, journalist, students, the young and the old, all have come up with strategies, ideas and means that could lead majority of the jobless atleast get their hands on something which will offer returns in terms of wages or salaries on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis.
However, the situation remains as if nothing has ever been done to cushion it. There is the Kazi kwa Vijana initiative that was implemented but somewhere within its implementation, money meant to get to the pockets of the youth changed route and the youth got no more money for their financial needs.
Nonetheless, many are not letting the sleeping dogs lie but instead, they are waking them up so that they could get that ground to work their way out.
Thirty One year old Cyprian Simiyu from Kimilili in Bungoma County, who earns a living through decent living of making toys and modeling house designs. [Photo | Eric Lumbasi]
Such zeal, is what one creative young man, who dropped out of school at Form Three, quit as a cook at a Eldoret hotel, has in defying all odds to earn a decent living through making of toys and modeling of house designs.
Thirty One year old Cyprian Simiyu from Kimilili in Bungoma County has been in the art since 2005 after he quit working as a cook in a hotel in Eldoret citing underpayment.
He discovered and developed his interest in toy making through a friend during one of the annual Eldoret Agricultural Show.
“I started making and selling the toys in Eldoret town until 2008 when I was among the many displaced by the post election violence, which landed me in Kimilili,” said Cyprian.
He established links with dealers of scrap metals in town who often sell to him barbed wires which are part of the raw materials he uses for his work.
Later, a Christian organization in the town called ICFEM got impressed with his creative arts and got his toys exported to shops in England.
''Am glad to have had such a breakthrough in life which has enabled me purchase a piece of land as well as paying school fees for my two children'', said Cyprian.
He sells the toys locally in towns of Kimilili, Bungoma, Kitale and Eldoret and calls upon the youth who wish to learn the art to join him.
He said that this will help them earn a living as opposed to waiting for the ever evasive employment by the government of Kenya.
He further said it will help them engage their lives fully and evade drug and alcohol abuse. Cyprian called upon the government through the ministry of national heritage to identify and nurture people with special talents as his in the informal sector as a way of reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.
He makes utmost 25 toys per day which he sells between Sh100 and Sh150 outside Kimilili town and Sh70 and Sh100 to customers within the town.
He makes around 20 house models per day and sells them between Sh300 and Sh500 to available customers.
Being a seventh born in a family of 12 the 31 year old Cyprian said he dropped out of school in form 3 at Shieywe Secondary School in Kakamega County due to lack of school fees.
He however hopes to resume education sometime later after saving enough from his work.
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