Wangechi Kamau wears many hats as a creative. She founded The Picnic Kikapu out of her love for food cooking and creating that later inspired further the creation of honey and nuts company.
While appearing on RX Radio’s The Groove Cafe yesterday, she said that she has found her place in the creative space, creating brands, developing and managing them away from producing.
“I have realized what I want to do. I've realized that I am a person who is creative, I am just not the producer. I write down business ideas, plans, I buy the name and URL and keep them because I want to sell them,” said the 50 year old business consultant and developer.
“I am creative, I just don't want to be the producer. At my age, as much as I love food, I don’t want to spend my whole day in the Kitchen making honey, I don't want to produce it but I can help one who wants to and I will help them market and develop it,” she said.
Now working with the Fintech Company, Kamau was born and raised in Kenya. She moved with her family to the UK where she studied and juggled with work at the same time. At 17, she was crowned manager of a Jewish Bakery where she worked at the time.
She pursued a course about food and thereafter returned to Kenya and worked with a logistics company for three years. Kamau decided to go to the USA for her college education, worked as a business consultant and later returned to Africa.
“As a consultant, a lot of organizations in Africa don't appreciate the work that goes to consultancy. They don't necessarily want to pay you top dollars but they are willing to pay other people who come from the developed world. Yet you in Africa, know the problems that affect the continent and best placed with knowledge of what works and what doesn't,” Kamau said.
Because of the mystery surrounding the job, Kamau decided to start the picnic Kikapu, providing people with food to eat while on road trips or long journeys.
“When I started, I sent a message to my friends and within two days, I had three people who were going away for the weekends and needed my baskets. And it started to pick up. But you know with a picnic kikapu, its sandwiches and salads and as Africans we want matooke, potatoes.
After advice from a client she further ventured into gift hampers for valentines, baby gifts, birthdays, weddings and related events which she did for a while until her work started being duplicated and charged less than her who charged a premium for her gifts because she was exporting them.
To cope with the competition, she started the Nuts and Honey company. She could include honey in the gift hampers. Kamau started with the Whiskey Honey to the chilli then Walnut honey and later infused honey.
However with the covid 19 Pandemic, her business was put to a stop in Kenya when she could no longer produce and supply the honey from Uganda.
“Before Covid, I was in the process of getting the honey certified but the process was very expensive compared to Kenya where it takes about 150,000 shillings as compared to hundreds of thousands in Uganda to millions,” she said.
Having had a negative impact on her business, Kamau says she is yet to decide on when to resume her honey and nuts business. She is also grateful about her small successes, her business risks which eventually helped her find out what she wanted to be in the creative industry that she now looks up to.
The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5pm on RX Radio.
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