In Summary
  • I grew up in Ndeiya along with my three siblings. My father was an accountant and despite the harsh conditions around us, we never lacked.
  • When I was in form two, a tragedy occurred. My ailing mother passed on.
  • I remember holding her frail, pale body in my arms as she breathed her last. It was ten days to Christmas.
  • Do you have

Joe Kairu, 21, is the CEO of Cairo Graphics that offers graphic design solutions ranging from logos, flyers, corporate brochures, business cards and packing designs. His company is run purely online.

Clients send him a description of what they need accompanied with all the relevant details and his work is to convert this into finished designs.

The economist turned graphic designer narrates how he stumbled onto an opportunity that saw him embark on an exciting and fulfilling career as a top-notch graphic designer.

“I grew up in Ndeiya along with my three siblings. My father was an accountant and despite the harsh conditions around us, we never lacked.  When I was in form two, a tragedy occurred. My ailing mother passed on. I remember holding her frail, pale body in my arms as she breathed her last. It was ten days to Christmas.”

Joe Kairu, 21, is the CEO of Cairo Graphics that offers graphic design solutions ranging from logos, flyers,
corporate brochures business cards and packing designs. PHOTO| COURTESY

Joe completed his KCSE in 2012. The following year, 2013, was an electioneering year - with which came plenty of activities. He joined campaign teams and was given menial jobs such as plastering campaign posters all around Ndeiya.

“Campaigns were my first job. I would make a thick paste of wheat flour and water then use it to stick the posters. At the end of the day, I would receive Sh200, an amount I found quite generous. That was the earliest stirring of my entrepreneurial spirit.”

The scenic Ndeiya. PHOTO| COURTESY

Joe worked on the campaign trail all day and spent his evenings dancing with his mates at their local church.

By the time the campaigns were coming to a close, Joe had saved a substantial amount of money.

His father’s topped Joe’s savings enabling him to buy his first laptop. Joe got admitted to Kisii University to study economics and statistics, seemingly following in the footsteps of his father. 

OPPORTUNITY BY SERENDIPITY

“When I came home for the long holiday, my father enrolled me for CPA classes in town. Sometimes the class would end early and I would kill a few hours at a play station joint in town before heading home. That is where I met him. A mysterious stranger. Judging from his sleek MacBook and phone, I could tell he was not struggling to make ends meet. When he initiated a conversation I jumped right into it.”

The mysterious guy turned out to be a professional graphic designer with an impressive portfolio. He indulged Joe in stories about his job as Joe hung to his every word, spell-bound.

He went ahead to enquire how much Joe knew about graphic design as he was looking to hire designers for an upcoming event in Naivasha.

“To be honest, that was the first time I was hearing the term graphics. However, I was broke. When he talked about a hiring, my mind started doing the math. I had a laptop. From the brief chat, I had a rough idea what his job entailed. I was not going to miss my big break on the account of mere semantics. I looked him in the eye and told him about my passion for graphics. He bought it, hook line and sinker and we scheduled for an interview.”

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