All you need to be a self-made millionaire is time and a positive never-die attitude. Sounds strange, right? Well, today our entrepreneur spotlight is shining brightly on Leah Wambui. She is a young Kenyan lady who has beaten all odds to build multi-million dollar real estate in Kenya. Her mentality during this difficult venture echoed that of Elon Musk when he once said,
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”
Who is Leah Wambui?
Wambui is an entrepreneur born and bred in Kenya. She has been through thick and thin throughout her life. At only 16 years old, Wambui was orphaned. This meant that life would not be the same again for the young girl. She managed to go through her high school education and passed with flying colors. The sky was the limit for her as far as education was concerned—so she thought.
The Broken Dreams of an Orphan Girl
Unfortunately, Wambui was unable to continue with her education as she would have wished. She did not enroll in any university because she could not afford the tuition fees. However, instead of wallowing in her misery, she decided to move on with her life.
With the free time she had on her hands, she decided to look for a job. At last, she got some assistance from a kind relative and got a receptionist’s position. Her life was now on a positive trajectory and would not remain the same again.
A leap of faith into entrepreneurship
Having set her mind on higher things, Wambui was not looking back. Her desire for a better life led her to seek greener pastures. Finally, she quit her job as a receptionist because of the meager salaries she earned. She felt that starting her own business was the only way for her to better her life’s standard.
After much deliberation, she settled on starting a liquor store. She could not set her business in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital city, due to high expenses. However, with the help of her maternal aunt, she managed to start the business in the neighboring town of Kiambu where she could afford.
The Begining of Leah Wambui’s Real Estate Company
Wambui’s entrepreneurial skills started blooming. At some point, she moved with her car from shop to shop and from city to city looking for customers. Finally, after much struggle and determination, she saw a light at the end of the tunnel. In 2015, she managed to buy five acres of land in Kitengela.
At this point, Wambui’s life took another turn for the better. That seemingly insane move marked the beginning of Cheriez Properties Limited. This is a real estate company that currently boasts of over 200 house units worth more than Ksh.15 million each.
Her Source of Inspiration and Support System
While growing up, Wambui drew a lot of inspiration from her maternal aunt who was an entrepreneur. She admired her aunt’s way of life. Thus, she made up her mind to one day be just like her. She wanted fine things in life. Wambui is grateful to her aunt for nurturing her entrepreneurial skills.
On the other hand, her husband has been her support system in this massive venture. Together, they have faced the challenges and tackled them head-on. Their struggles and triumph is a lesson for all young Africans hoping to tie the knot soon. Always choose a partner that understands your dream and is willing to support you through thick and thin.
Wambui’s Risks and Rewards
One of the biggest challenges that Leah Wambui faced on her journey to making it in real estate was land acquisition. She sacrificed a lot and took huge risks that would not appeal to many people. Together with her husband, they decided to sell their family house to raise money for the construction of the first 10 houses. They also used all their savings on this project.
Although they had thought out their plan well, the lack of funds was another huge challenge. At some point, the project halted. However, they had managed to complete a show house that was ready for sale. Despite marketing her product and inviting people living in Kenya and abroad to see and buy her houses, she could not seal a sale. This threw the ambitious Wambui into depression and desperation. But she kept the faith and hoped for the best.
Theft incidents were also a big challenge and they stalled the project to some extent. At some point, she fired all her employees. Looking back on her struggles, she said,
“This is a project that taught me a lot. There is a day I woke up and relieved everybody of their duties because the syndicate of theft was too much. I would ship tiles and they would bring trucks at night to take the tiles. The project manager would also collude with contractors and inflate their invoices.”
One day, just as she was about to give up, somebody offered to buy one of the houses. As they say, the rest is history. From this first sale, Wambui got the finances to continue constructing the other units and customers kept coming for more. This was the point at which her multi-million real estate began and she proudly joined the prestigious millionaires club.
Leah Wambui’s Message to Youths
A bon mot said, the harder the battle, “the sweeter the victory”. Despite all the challenges, Leah Wambui encourages youths to go all out for their dreams. She had no regrets whatsoever for venturing into the real estate world. Whenever she gets the opportunity to speak, she seizes the opportunity talk to youths. She once said,
“If there are no opportunities, create those opportunities. We have to believe that we have all it takes to do what other people have done. People dreamt when they looked at the birds and finally, they invented the plane.”
Currently, Cheriez Properties Limited, located in Kitengela, is among the best mid-level rising developers in Kenya. Leah Wambui who is also the CEO attributes her success to God adding that she is a prayerful woman. She also notes that offering high-quality products and perfecting even the smallest of the details has seen her this far. She said,
“Our products sell for themselves, we go over and beyond and make sure that we have cut out a niche in the way we deliver our products. We try to wear the shoes of the person who is going to buy and live here.”