‘It has made me happy’
Josephine Wanjiru and her family live in Joska, around an hour’s drive from Nairobi, at least when the traffic isn’t too bad. “I work part-time in my family’s butchery, where we sell meat and we make, cook and sell samosas,” the 26-year-old says. “Before, we used to close at around 10, but now with d.light we close at around 12. So it means that we make more money than before. The profit margin has increased, and the money that we save, we reinvest in our business.”
D.light is not only about helping businesses stay open longer. As a young mother and a part-time student who commutes to Nairobi on most afternoons for her classes in IT, Josephine works very long days. She also appreciates having guaranteed light to study at home.
Another d.light customer, Catherine Maina, lives with her husband outside Joska in the countryside. They are retired, but they have a few cows and produce milk. The family home, still under construction, is a labour of love. It’s also a meeting point for Catherine’s children and grandchildren, who often visit from Nairobi.
The location feels a world away from the sprawling, hectic, crowded capital. This has its drawbacks, though. “We used to travel very far just to charge our mobile phones,” says Catherine, a former designer. “Can you imagine walking three kilometres just to do that? Now we have lights, we have television and I can just charge my phone at home. It has saved me time. It has made me happy and comfortable.”