Charles Karanja: Meet young kenyan making millions from decorating graves

Charles Karanja is one of brilliant young Kenyans with special ways of handling the tough economic times. With high level of joblessness, Karanja decided to try his luck in one of the infamous sector. He ventured into painting and embellishing graveyards and he is making a kill out of it.

While speaking in an interview with local media, Karanja revealed that his services though differs with those in the same sector pays him well. He disclosed that he makes an avarage of 3 million shillings per year.

Karanja studied construction in his undergraduate studies. He however did not manage to secure a job.

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After unsuccessfully searching for job for sometimes, the Kiambu Based businessman decided to try his luck in decorating graves. According to him, he identified the sector as untapped market. True to his thoughts, the fast growing venture started so well and it has seen him employ seven people.

In the interview, the grave decorator said that the course he studied helped him set up his workshop where customers would come to him with original ideas like building a gravestone that looked like a house.

I build graves and embellish them. People are constantly coming up with new methods to honor the deceased. A long time ago, people were buried in the bush or a banana plant was planted to serve as a marker for the graves, but today, people honor and remember their loved ones.”

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Karanja believes people should honour the dead with unique and permanent structures.

I assist them in doing that in a unique way. A person’s special home remains thereafter burial for all time. So it’s good that you respect the deceased and value that individual,” Karanja said.

Karanja charges Ksh.60,000 for every project. On a good month, he earns Ksh. 300,000 and Ksh 150,000 in a bad one. This means that he makes an avarage of Ksh 225,000 each month and close to Ksh 3,000,000 annually.

The venture has seen him employ several people in various capacities.

I have a managing director, seven regular employees, and a few temporary employees. I had no money when I started. My business was launched with the help of a client’s down payment ,” he said

His work is however not without challenges. Karanja lamented that some clients underpay or fail to pay completely.

Yes, I do face obstacles, especially on finances. There are times when a client underpays you and might even refuse to pay. I am forced to follow up by phone, particularly if they are outside of Kiambu. Some people would disregard and even block you.”

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