Walking race champion Ndigiti tips sporters
Kenya walking race champion Dominic Ndingiti yesterday urged the sporting fraternity in the country to invest more in life after sports if they are to lead decent lives after retirement.
He said the investment is a prerequisite, failure to which they shall risk living a life of penury once they quit sports.
Ndigiti who has been making a fortune out of his skill in making modern jikos says most athletes do not invest more in life after sports because they wrongly believe they will be in action forever.
In a candid chat with People Sport, Ndingiti who is the Under-20, 10,000 m race walking champion said he decided to venture into artisanship to tough times occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
He says he developed an interest in making jikos after visiting Finland during a walking race tour where he learned through apprenticeship but shelved the skill after being called up to the national team.
However, once the corona scourge hit the country and which forced the government to lock down the country, Ndingiti was forced to venture into the business to fend for his family.
“I developed the interest of making jikos after visiting Finland where I was amazed to see people in Europe using the same and I said I must bring out what I learnt back home. However, I had to take some time off because of the intense training for various competitions,” Ndingiti said.
With business and livelihoods affected by the measures put in place by the Ministry of Health to curb the virus, Ndingiti says it was a blessing in disguise.
“When the pandemic hit the country the entrepreneurship in me started working and I had to implement what I had learnt in Finland. I then decided to start my small company which also grew with time and I am now able to deliver my products all over the country,” Ndingiti offers.
According to Ndingiti, travelling to deliver his product was a tall order when he began despite clients placing orders for the fast-moving commodity.
“I have experienced difficulties over the two years, but my small company has grown with time, and I am now able to deliver my products all over the country with the demand of his product on a season-high,” the visibly delighted Ndingiti said.
This forced Ndingiti to walk around with a small notebook to be able to record and be at per with the orders.
“Due to the high number of orders, I had to keep track with my esteemed customers to make sure the deliveries are done on time to each client,” Ndingiti said.
Ndingiti further refuted claims that he engaged in the business after lack of good pay in the national team.
The alma mater of Kiandege Secondary School said the effects brought about by the COVID-19 forced him to seek alternatives so that he can be able to survive, and he is not ashamed to have made the decision which has impacted positively on his life.
When asked about the affordability of his product, Ndingiti says it depends on the size of the jiko and the location where his clients want it delivered.
The father of one reveals he has created a loyal clientele over the years with his clients residing in various parts of the country including Nyeri, Eldoret, Nakuru, Mumias and Kisumu respectively.
During the 17th edition of the SOYA awards back in 2021 Ndingiti was declared the winner in the innovation category for his skill in making the energy-saving jikos.
Besides being an entrepreneur par excellence, Ndingiti is also the World racing Under 18 bronze medallist.
He revealed his target this year as a senior athlete in Kenya is to be on the podium in the world championship, commonwealth and Africa games with his target being setting the best time.
Ndingiti will be gearing up for the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships in Muscat, Oman, on March 4-5
The indefatigable walking race king has just signed a two-year sponsorship deal with DBA Africa.
A non-profit making company, DBA Africa shall provide Ndingiti with training kits besides assisting him with negotiating new contracts and facilitating his travels to races.