Ndigiti: Walking champion making a living out of making jikos

Ndigiti: Walking champion making a living out of making jikos

Thomas Alva Edison, described as America’s greatest inventor, once said “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”.

Russian composer Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich, whose music made a lasting impression internationally said; Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.

These quotes best describe the tenacity of Africa Under-20 10,000m race walking champion Dominic Ndigiti who is now making modern jikos to combat tough economic times after his world was rocked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since its onset, the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to almost all countries of the world, with guidelines to curtail its spread such as social distancing and lockdowns causing disruption to many regular aspects of life, including sport.

It has forced athletes and footballers to become creative to stay fit and for some, to continue a living.

“I developed the interest of making the jikos since I was in class seven that’s even before I joined team Kenya. I took some time off and because of the intense training for various competitions.

“In 2019 April a friend of mine called me and informed me about a group of foreigners from Finland who were visiting Nyaore Polytechnic to train the youth on different skills that can be helpful in life,” Ndigiti told Citizen Digital.

It is then that Ndigiti learned his craft and, having perfected it, he adds he is happy to pass on the knowledge.

“Most of my customers are women who love the kitchen. I have developed a great network and sometimes they come looking for me in groups for training at the coast of Sh300,” he said.

‘Aim Higher’

Dominic Samson Ndigiti from Kenya celebrate after finishing third position in 10,000m boys race walk during their WU18 championship at Kasarani stadium,Nairobi in July 15,2017. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

Asked about how affordable his services are he said that depends on the size of the jiko and the location of the site.

“If it’s within Kisii County and it’s a small jiko I will charge Sh1000. For clients outside Kisii County it will cost Sh4500,” he said.

Ndigiti has had clients form various parts of the country including Nyeri, Eldoret, Nakuru, Mumias and Kisumu.

“What surprises me is that anytime I make a post on social media I get contacted even by clients from abroad. One time, someone from Texas placed an order for their Kenyan relatives.”

When Ndigit met Eliud Kipchoge at an athletics seminar in Eldoret, he says the marathon great advised him to work hard.

“He is so down to earth and a big mentor many athletic around the world he told me to work hard ,remain disciplined and always aim higher he even professed to me that if I perfect the race walk which I have specialized know one day I will run the marathon because no human is limited ,” he said

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