Female chang'aa brewers reform
08 May 2013, 12:34
A group of women in Chaka area of Kieni, Nyeri County which was engaging in brewing of chang’aa has reformed and started engaging in constructive income generating activities.
The women who founded the Chaka Traditional Women Group in Kieni district are now engaging in activities such as poultry keeping, bee keeping and also growing of tree seedlings for sale.
The group comprises about 30 members most of whom are single and have encountered many challenges. Some of them have even worked in local quarries and others engaged in illegal trade such as selling of bhang.
50 year old Priscilla Nyawira says she cannot compare her earlier life with the current life since she is now reformed and benefits a lot from the group.
“Back then, I would sleep with any man since I was brewing chang’aa the whole day. I had neglected my family. I later joined church and life has improved ever since. I’m now able to educate my children and live a decent life. My family can now afford three meals a day,” the mother of six narrates.
Nyawira who has been in the group for over three years now says all the money she collected back then would end up in court bailing her friends out.
Another member of the group, Ann Wanjiku who is a mother of ten children, says she has been able to improve her lifestyle and educate her children since she stopped brewing chang'aa. She now depends on the group.
“The group which was founded six years ago started as a simple merry-go-round. Every Thursday, four members would take home KES 3 000 but later we formed a traditional dancers group that has helped us live decent lives since then. We have performed in many hotels in Nyeri, Meru, Nairobi and Eldoret where they sing during functions,” says the Group chairlady, Nancy Wangechi.
The area sub county commissioner Daniel Odambu later chipped in and provided them with a space where they started a nursery for tree seedlings for sale.
Last year, they started a poultry keeping project where they collect over 100 eggs daily for sale.
“This is a very disciplined group and that’s why I helped them with a site for a nursery bed. They have been making good cash singing, selling the tree seedlings and also selling eggs,” said Odambu.
The members say they will expand their businesses in future since they don’t want to go back to their old habits.
They have also created DVDs of their songs and sold them to earn some income.
The group with members aged between 40 and 80 years of age lament that the market of their products has been a big problem though they hope it will improve.
They say that if they can get land, they can start keeping goat or dairy farming.
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