GIVEWATTS caught up with one of our serial customers of 3 years, Mr. Kingi in Marereni- Kilifi County. It was a hot and humid journey to Marereni, with instances of cool breezes and multiple sightings of salt farms- salt harvesting a prevalent activity in Malindi. Marereni is a 2 hour drive from Malindi town- a town mostly made up of small businesses in the town center. In the near distance borders a cluster of villages separated over short distances, with homesteads that thrive on subsistence farming. Mr. Kingi is married with 6 children and a proud grandfather. He is also a retiree from the military and currently a serial entrepreneur who has invested in agricultural farming and property.
We were warmly welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Kingi upon arrival on that sunny late afternoon. Their grandchildren were playing about and greeted us with momentary curious looks before resuming their play. The sun’s rays trickled in as we settled into the family living room, with the products Mr. Kingi has purchased over the years notably in good use…from the home system solar lamps, to the solar powered TV he bought months before our arrival.
Mr. Kingi's home area is not supplied with electricity hence he has found solar powered products to be very efficient and cost saving in the long run. The family depended on kerosene tin lamps for lighting, which was expensive as they had to replenish kerosene almost on a daily basis. The fumes caused the family irritation of the eyes and respiratory system. That all changed once he purchased our solar products.
Mr. Kingi talked to us about how well his TV is working since he purchased it, as well as the solar lamps. The lamps serve different purposes varying from household use, security, to lighting for study that his grandchildren use after school. He has set up the lamps in every room and has also set one up outside his house to light the compound for security. "Having lighting outside the house is advantageous as no one dares to trespass on the compound during night time- at the risk of being spotted." he stated. He has also purchased a clean energy cook stove for kitchen use. Neighbors have taken interest in purchasing solar lamps, with Mr. Kingi serving as a good testimony to the benefits.
Other than household purposes, Mr. Kingi also purchased a solar lamp to light the goat's pen at night where his herd of goats rest after grazing during the day. All Mr. and Mrs. Kingi's children are grown up with families, and some of their grandchildren live with them during the school term. The lamps Mr. Kingi has purchased are efficient when it comes to the children's study time as they can do their homework and study as long as they need to without any interruptions.
Mr. and Mrs. Kingi's grandchildren. Photo by: Angela Kamande- GIVEWATTS
Mr. Kingi is well known as a respectable man to locals living in the area. He also has acres of land on which he grows crop for commercial purposes such as Eucalyptus and Baobab trees, which he later showed us as we took a walk around his farm- as well as occasionally renting out some parts of the farm to neighbors for farming. He also has a water tank from which he supplies to neighbors. The family also sustain themselves with fresh produce from their farm.
Photo by: Angela Kamande- GIVEWATTS
The family is very happy with the products they have purchased and Mr. Kingi is impressed by the quality and durability of those he has purchased- eager to add some more. He keeps in touch with the team to stay updated on what new products we have and believes that the more people purchase solar lamps, the more they will save and allocate resources to other projects that will elevate their livelihood. Mr. Kingi has played a vital role in spreading word to his fellow environs about GIVEWATTS products so that they can have the opportunity to improve their socio-economic outcome as well as academic outcome for their children.
One thing that remained constant is that there were smiles going around showing content whenever the family talked about the convenience they enjoy with the clean energy products. We are thankful for Mr. Kingi's and his family's time and hospitality, and look forward to meeting again in the near future!