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David Kyalo is a young man of many hats. He is the C.E.O and Co-founder of Afriqque Group. A group of companies that is dedicated to providing the ultimate business support solutions in Events Management, Public Relations, Marketing and Information Technology. He also is the Managing Partner and Co-founder at Young entrepreneurs Expo.
Kyalo’s entrepreneurial journey took off in 2014 after his graduation. He was driven to starting his own business due to lack of employment. Like any other graduate, he was faced with the challenge of looking for a job .Unlike many other others, he did not sit back to lament about his situation. He took up the challenge to venture into entrepreneurship.
The now 27 years old, born and raised in Githurai, Kiambu County does not know how to give up. In an interview on #WhatItTakes, Kyalo tells Inversk how he grew up in inadequacy lacking some of basics items. This insufficiency drove him to the desire to make life better for not only himself but also his family.
He understands the experience of living a life of hopelessness, a life of desperation. He desires to be a source of inspiration to his fellow youth through being an example of never giving up.
The journey of being an entrepreneur has not been an easy one. Kyalo like many other entrepreneurs has had to make some sacrifices for the sake of his business. He sacrificed his social life. Kyalo denied himself leisure that always involves time and other resources for the sake of his company. Most of his friends did not understand why he was making the decision of taking the entrepreneurial path.
One of the most trying times of his entrepreneurial journey was he and his business partner Cephas Gathii had organized the third edition of Young Entrepreneurs Expo at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). They had sought a media sponsor and another one who was supposed to pay for the venue of the event. The sponsor unfortunately pulled out the last week to the event.
“I still remember the words used “Do you guys have a Plan B” on a Friday and the event is on Tuesday and actually to make it worse, they asked on phone. We made fun with my business partner Cephas Gathii because it sounded like a huge joke.” He Narrates
However, it turned out to be serious and the duo were denied access to the event venue. “KICC management told us that we could not do the event that Monday, but we told them that we would pay on Monday (msijali kuna pesa tunangoja mahali) >>> IN REAL SENSE NO MONEY was in waiting at all>>JUST FAITH.”
Stressed and downcast, many would think that the duo would quit and do away with the event. The two kept on with arrangements of the event.
“We did pray about it and started picturing the way the event would be. We needed KES. 1.3M to pay KICC and we had 2 days. We wanted to give up but we said, let’s wait and see what will happen on Monday. People started coming as early as 7am to set up for exhibition, by 10.am everybody was at the venue. We told the management that the money is going to be wired by 1 pm, just allow us to start. They agreed. (We had literally 3 hours to make something work).”
This was their turning point; they had a phone number of one Catherine Namuye the former Youth Enterprise Development Fund C.E.O whom they had never met. They however believed that somehow, someway she could assist.
“We called her. It was tough because she said she couldn’t assists on that short notice, but we told her we had over 2000 young entrepreneurs from across the country in attendance. It was a tough sell, after the 4th call she said let me call CEO KICC and see if they can agree on a postdated payment due to the procurement process.”
By 12.40 Pm everything had been sorted and the event was now legal.
The greatest lesson among the many that Kyalo and his Cephas learnt on that day is that your network is your net worth. Also trust in God without doubts.
He advises that even business people ought to make God the Centre piece of their plans, be it social or business. Giving up is NEVER an option. Achieving dreams may be a difficult and bruising journey but it is not impossible. Life taught him to have eyes on the prize no matter any amount of dust that maybe blown in his eyes.
He advises that it does not mean you are in the wrong path or you are lost just because you are in a rough path, just hang in there. He warns of the world been unkind so he advocates strength always.
“You are the captain of your ship and no one can take charge of your own responsibilities. The world owes you nothing.” Kyalo finishes.