Biacara is a kikuyu word from the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya, meaning a business or businesses. These can either be small-scale or large-scale.
I opted to focus on small-scale businesses that are thriving in Nyeri town. From the cobblers to the basket-weavers to the sugarcane seller who can be spotted by the roadside, and inside the market place.
17-year old Felistar hails from Kisii, a town in the South-Western part of Kenya. She was initially based in Kiambu county but was later transferred by her employer to Nyeri town where she has been since late 2015. She is part of a group that sells sugarcane all over Kenya. Some of her colleagues are based in Nyahururu, Kiambu, Nanyuki and NaroMoru town. The sugarcane is grown in Kisii town and deliveries to the listed areas are made every evening using lorries.
Ndung’u makes very tasty chapatis. In a day he uses up to 3 packets of flour, making over 100 chapatis. He has no prior culinary education, but has taught himself all that he knows out of curiosity. He has tried his hand at other occupations including construction and farming.
Joseph (left) and Chege (right) have been business partners since time in memorial. Chege attended school at Gichira Polytechnic in Nyeri, where he learned everything he knows about shoes. Thereafter, he set up his shoe-repair business and passed on the newly-acquired knowledge to Joseph, who assists him every other day.
Waithaka (pictured) does not really work here. On this particular day though, he was manning his friend’s business, while his friend had stepped away to handle some personal business.
Jeff stood out the most in a crowd of people because of his sailor hat. I thought it was pretty dope. Don’t you agree?
“Niite Kiromero, (Call me Kiromero)”, he said. His name means one who “eats” a variety of food stuffs. Kiromero is a farmer and a vegetables seller. This business happens to be a family business, which was passed down to him by his father. His family has farms in NaroMoru, Kiambogo and Kiambaru, where they grow carrots, cabbages, to mention but a few.
Mama Esther was kind enough to demonstrate how she removes the chaff and dust from her cereals.
Mama Gacheru, the jovial basket-weaver