#10Morans: He never thought he could earn a living doing what he loved

Paramasie 2.jpg

“The best thing I have now is peace of mind. With savings and a business, I no longer have to worry about where my next meal is coming from.” — Paramasie Lesanang’i, Mechanic and Entrepreneur, Ol Donyiro Conservancy (and 5th in our #10moran series)

For as long as he can recall, Paramasie has had a passion for motorbikes. “Nobody taught me about motorbikes or how to repair them, I just developed an interest and became very good at it. In my home area, I was known among my fellow morans as the one who could fix any motorbike problem.”

But Paramasie never dreamed he would one day make a living doing what he loved, after all, he assumed he’d never be eligible for a business loan . For many years, he had sporadic low-paying jobs as a construction worker and casual labourer - a situation that left him discouraged and worried about his future.

Then he found out about Ol Donyiro Conservancy’s microcredit programme. “I heard about loans being given out through our community conservancy and applied. I was surprised to find out that the conditions were favourable and that I did not need to have any property to apply, just the backing of the conservancy.”

With the capital, Paramasie started a motor-bike repair shop - enabling him to do what he loves and fill a gap in the market. “People no longer have to send to faraway towns such as Isiolo for spare-parts for their motorbikes, they can now get parts and repairs right here in our town, saving a lot of time and money,” he says.

Paramasie now views enterprise as a force for positive change. “Running my own business has given me a lot of focus, I am no longer idle, and my mind is focused on how I can expand my business,” he says. “Most young men, especially those from poorer families, often do not have much to occupy their time, and this puts them in a position to be influenced into harmful activities that endanger their lives and those of others. Now more than ever, they need opportunities such as these.”

Sophie Harrison