John Ngugi – Owner Alientech Cyber Cafe (Muranga)
Since childhood, I have always had a passion for computers. Having seen how cyber cafes around me were incompetent and not up to speed particularly with the current trend used to make me very upset. At the time I was running an agrovet which was doing fine until Covid 19 pandemic hit and business started to become very slow. Many are the days I would sit idle without getting a customer and at the end of the month utility bills and rent still needed to be paid.
It got to a point where I had incurred a lot of debts as the business was incurring losses. By the time I was closing the agrovet, I had incurred a huge electricity bill to the sum of Kshs. 150,000. Not sure what to do next, and loaded with only a laptop, I looked for a corridor and opened a cyber cafe. It was very hard for me because I was facing financial challenges, did not have enough knowledge on running a cyber cafe, what were the pros and cons of the different printers and computers amidst music copyrights issues and other hangups. I tried approaching different financing institutions for a small loan to upscale my cyber, but I couldn’t meet the minimum requirements and neither did I have guarantors.
My vision of having a huge Alientech Centre with Entertainment (gaming and television), Digital services, ICT, College and Hackers (pen testing & software engineering) services seemed to be slowly slipping away until I came across dijITali. I joined dijITali because their mission was job creation for the youth. Being only 23 years, I saw an opportunity to grow. The knowledge I have acquired by being part of the network has elevated me from my initial position of “trying out” to a more well-rooted and confident young entrepreneur in the digital world through attending online classes, meetings, webinars and opportunities that dijITali offers. Not forgetting the seamless process of getting equipment at a “lipa mdogo mdogo” financing that does not require a lot of complications.
Today, I can confidently say that being part of the dijITali network has helped me a lot and people around my locality have started referring to my cybercafe as a Huduma Center. If asked to rate the dijITali on a scale of 1 – 10, I would give it a 10 because of the experience and exposure I have today, I cannot get it anywhere else. For any other Cyber café owners who want to grow economically and add more skills, I would highly recommend you join the dijITali network.