If you are well acquainted with Thika Town, you may know that it is the home of macadamia kernel processing. You may have heard that Kenya ranks high in Africa in this business, and that it is right here in Thika that the foundation of the macadamia business was laid, with big names and brands in the trade claiming the pride of place.
There are obvious names that will ring home in this industry. There are also other names that have lately become part of the vocabulary in the discourse amongst industry players, which not many outsiders seem to be familiar with. Not many people have heard the name Simon Kariuki Ng’ang’a.
On the Kiganjo – Athena road, overlooking Athena residential area, a green roofed complex of go-downs rises majestically in the Kianjau neighborhood; a development that changed the face of the place towards the end of 2020 and grew robust at the beginning of 2021 and continues to change the face of this landscape. This development is the center of heavy human traffic from all directions, with many workers commuting between their areas of residence and this new landmark in Thika. All this activity is in response to the motto of ‘delivering quality beyond expectation.’
What could possibly be the reason for this spike in human traffic in this hitherto sleepy part of Kiambu County? Is there some erratic centripetal cum centrifugal force that sees people get sucked behind the walls of this factory complex and get spewed out every morning and evening? Could this be a pilgrimage site for some new faith in town?
Back in 2015, when most youth his age were members of the national pity party chorus that lamented the shortage of jobs on this side of the earth, a young visionary emerged from Mukarara in Gatanga, Murang’a County, with a vision and mindset that was far ahead of his time.Born in a region where there are hundreds of small scale farmers each having only a few macadamia trees, Simon Kariuki was exposed to the business early in life, and he started from the ground in a very literal sense.