Difficult life experiences have helped shape some of the most influential and successful people. That includes George Mburu, an entrepreneur and founder of Mizizi Africa Homes, a real estate company.
Mburu was raised in a remote village in Kinangop, Nyandarua county by his grandparents after his parents moved to Nairobi when he was in nursery school.
The decision by his parents to move to the city, he says, was motivated by the desire to improve and secure a brighter future for him and his three siblings.
The young and reserved Mburu would later join his parents in Nairobi while in Class Six, a period he reckons offered him culture shock and which took him a bit of time to adjust and freely mingle with his fellow learners.
“I was born in the village and spent the better part of my early childhood with my grandparents since my parents had moved to Nairobi and my dad wanted to further his studies. He was also operating a timber business,” he says.
He successfully sat for his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Ndururumo Primary School, Ruiru, in 2001 and was enrolled at Murang’a High School.
It was during his schooling days in Murang’a High School that Mburu says his confidence and interactions with fellow students was enhanced throughout his four-year stay at the institution.
After his diploma in accounting at Pinnacle Business School, Nairobi, between 2005 and 2007, he landed his first career job as an accountant.
Mburu says he would also juggle between his new job as an accounting tutor in Murang’a county and his parents’ timber business in Nairobi, which he religiously pursued for close to two years before he resigned.
Soon afterwards, he secured another accounting stint as a bookkeeping assistant in Kiambu county.
“This gave me a first-hand-business experience as I could get to interact with various customers at my parents’ timber-yard,” says the 33-year old who believes his economic obstacles offered him an opportunity to work hard.
After he settled down and got married in 2010, he realised he had to work extra hard for his family.
“The year 2010 offered me opportunities and challenges alike. It was during this period that I made a decision to settle down and soon after, responsibilities began to overwhelm me after we got a baby,” narrates the soft-speaking father of four.
As a result, he was forced to put on hold his quest to pursue a degree course at the university in order to concentrate on his daily source of income as well as fend for his young family.
With dwindling revenues and growing family demands, Mburu was again forced to change jobs and was lucky to get an opening with Equity Bank in 2014.
He started as a cashier before slowly rising through the ranks to become an accountant at the bank.
It was during his stay at the bank that Mburu, who is also a gospel singer, says he met a friend who was at the time working in a real estate firm a career he had revered.
“I would admire his job, which was mainly an outdoor affair compared to what I was doing at the bank and which meant I would stay there the whole day.
This was taking a toll on me and I approached my friend with inquiries of a job opening as an accountant at his company,” narrates Mburu.
A leap of faith
The eventual success of Mburu was the decision he took in calling it a day at Equity Bank in 2016 to join his friend who already had vast experience in the real estate business.
“It was purely a leap of faith and I was convinced it was the right decision,” says Mburu. Unfortunately, Mburu did not last long in his new company and eventually made the decision to quit following internal wrangles between its founders who later parted ways.
Interestingly, while the wrangles were ongoing among his bosses, Mburu was secretly and quietly setting up a similar business operation and off he registered a company, set up a company website with the help of a cousin and started off with a Sh10 million bank loan from the Co-operative Bank. He spent it to purchase a piece of land. He would later subdivide it and sell it in portions.
“Mizizi Africa Homes was born in June 2019 — a spiritually inspired name that I felt resonated with the idea of how I had envisioned my business,” he says.
Today the company, which formally opened its doors to clients just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, has handed over 16 housing units this year with 100 units others still under construction at various stages.
Mizizi Africa Homes, which mainly deals in off-plan property development has future plans of venturing into other counties with promising prospects and a long term plan of planting its footprints across the continent by 2030.
His business insight, he says, has been assisted by his Christian values and humble beginnings.
“The secret has been to remain humble, I do not have the desire to live a large life.
There is beauty in simplicity and ordinary,” says a man who takes to the swimming pool on his free days.
His message to young aspiring entrepreneurs? “You can get through hard times as long as you are willing to work, put effort and not sit back waiting on everyone else.”
Mizizi Africa Homes Ltd is a leading property developer in Kenyan that offers homes & investment solutions that are pocket-friendly, high quality and timely.