MEET GIFT KITI – STUDENT, FUNDRAISER, AND ENTREPRENEUR
Studying chemistry at the American Bates College, a start-up in Kenya with a revenue of $1600 per month and a fundraising project that is going into the next stage – these do not sound like the activities of a young lady whose family of eight did not even have enough money to send her to school. However, this is daily life of whose impressive success story started with an Aiducation scholarship in 2010. We recently her in our blog as the first AiduAlumna who donated a scholarship. With support of the and, together with her sister Anzazi, she has now set up Taste Afrique Limited, a business that manufactures natural food seasoning.
The brand name of the seasonings is Chibundiro. It contains a mix of natural spieces that are beneficial for your health and add “extra yummyness to your food”.
Gift, can you tell us how your fundraising project “ELIMU” is going?
The Elimu Project is going on well with Magdalene (editor’s note: Gift’s AiduFellow) finishing up her third year of high school. We were able to successfully transfer her to a better school Murray girls and she has since then improved in her academics. We do hope she continues with the same spirit of hard work. The initiative is yet to sponsor someone else for now. Fundraising is very challenging because it basically turns you into a begger, it requires a lot of strategy so that the givers don’t tire from giving. First of all, I personally as the founder learnt a lot from the fundraising experience. One of the key lessons was that fundraising is not easy and it requires one to have some essential skills that will better equip them to carry it out. I therefore applied to be part of the New Leaders Council of Maine class of 2016 whereby alongside my studies at Bates College I attended an intense weekend each month for 6 months on leadership aspects including how to fundraise and manage an NGO. As a rising junior at Bates College majoring in Chemistry it can also be tough to balance out the student life verses all the other aspects of identifying who to sponsor and ways of raising money to support them. That said, Magdalene is the only beneficiary so far and hopefully there will be many more in the near future.
The manufacturing room is simple, but the team produces 40 glasses of seasoning per day.
What other projects are you involved in?
Apart from my studies at Bates College, I co-run a Start-Up company with Anzazi Kiti called Taste-Afrique. So far we are selling Chibundiro which is a natural spice that takes food to the next level. Taste-Afrique does not only offer health first from nature’s best but also inspires young students to achieve their dreams. Once in a while we carry out motivational talks at high schools and have even started donation kittys to provide for some of the students that might be in need of a few essentials. Since I have always been a science student, I applied to an online business course with Harvard Business School and am currently doing a summer online course which will equip me with skills that will not only come in handy for the Chibundiro business but are also essential for someone who is hoping to manage any enterprise as general knowledge or lifeskills.
In the last article, we called you an agent of change in your own society. How could you inspire people so far? What kind of changes do you see and wish to support further?
Apart from Education, Health is my other passion. I am working hand-in-hand with my mother, who is a nurse in order to come up with a way in which we can possibly elevate the health standards of a semi-rural area in Mombasa. More details will be offered once the plans are much clearer. I still think I do have a long way to go but am grateful to God and the people who believe in me daily and I hope to keep doing what I love to inspire those around me and be inspired by the much that the world has to offer. While I am not studying, I enjoy singing with a gospel acapella group at Bates college called Gospelaires or volunteering at local after-school programs in Lewiston, Maine.