Chepkemoi Waithira Wambara

She Helps You Find a Good Doctor

For many years she suffered from a condition that led her to many hospitals and doctors. By the time the physicians finally established the correct diagnosis, Chepkemoi Waithira Wambara’s health had deteriorated so much that she had to resign from work and step back from everything to focus on her health. An experience that gave her a new perspective and appreciation on life and opened her eyes to the lack of awareness of women's health issues that most people – including medical doctors – tend to ignore. Realising how critical it was to create awareness for all, especially women, on matters health and longing to remove the stigma and suffering in silence most women go through, the 30-year old single lady decided to take action. She shares her journey with Mkazi Magazine.

Chepkemoi Waithira Wambara

What resources did you start with and how did you use them?

To start my blogsite Linda Afya www.lindaafya.co.ke I registered with the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) from where I got advice and guidelines on blogging. The advantage of blogging is that the blog can be run from anywhere as long as one has a computer and access to internet. That saved me from looking for office space as I was starting out. As the website progressed, I started working on the LindaAfya app. I wanted an app that all Kenyans could use to access medical care information at a go; such as ambulances, specialists, hospitals and medical insurances. I partnered with a software company and after several months of planning, creating and testing, the app was finally launched last month. It’s available on the Google Play store.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

By being active on social media platforms, engaging the relevant parties on matters health and through word of mouth.

What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business and how do you overcome them? 

My biggest challenge has been finances as Linda Afya requires a lot of adverting and maintaining an active online presence. I mitigated the challenge through regular interaction on social platforms both physical and online.

Tell us about your team.

Being a start-up business I currently do not have permanent employees so I outsource some of my services.

What do you love most about running your own business?

Independence. I have never been one to follow rules as I tend to feel like I'm suffocating but with running my business, I listen to my body physically, emotionally and spiritually and know what is needed to be done and when.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

Emails from people who have been encouraged or made aware of health issues that might have been affecting them really motivate me to keep on even when I feel discouraged. I also push myself whenever I want to give up. I try to be my own champion and cheer myself up bit by bit. I also take a break to recharge whenever I feel the need.

Chepkemoi Waithira WambaraWhat's the biggest lesson you have ever learned?

It is not an easy journey especially when starting out and you need to believe in yourself, lean on those closest to you and be very, very patient. I have also learnt when to drop extra luggage, especially people and situations that weigh me down.

How has entrepreneurship changed you?

I have learnt time and money management through distinguishing between needs and wants and how to prioritise my time.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

I would have started Linda Afya a few years earlier and done more marketing.

Where do you see your business five years from now?

I believe in five years’ time, Linda Afya will have grown not just as a website but also have a health awareness magazine and podcast that will reach throughout and beyond East Africa. I foresee creation of booklets that will reach all school going children to create awareness at an early age, because through knowledge we are empowered.

How do you keep a good work/life balance?

As an entrepreneur one needs to adhere to a strict time management especially when work interferes with personal time. I try – still working on it – to learn to stop when working time is over and focus on me.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Be patient with yourself and never stop believing in yourself even though in tough times things seem impossible. Reach out to other entrepreneurs and always be willing to learn.

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Chepkemoi Waithira Wambara

 

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Mercy Nzula

The Surprisingly Simple Remedy to Get Rid of Your Bulging Stomach

Mercy had seen some family members and friends suffer from lifestyle diseases that can be preventable with proper guidance and support. As wellness has always been a passion, when an opportunity to start Wellness For Life came up, the 35-year old young woman didn't struggle with it. Four years on, Mercy’s biggest joy is when people look better, feel better and earn a living. The wellness and business coach shares her journey with Mkazi Magazine.

Mercy Nzula

What inspired you to start a business?

Growing up I had such a passion to help people that I wouldn’t miss any opportunity to assist. Therefore when I decided to look for an additional source of income, I opted for something sustainable that I could be passionate about.

How do you define wellness?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions. We have embraced the concept of nutritional re-balancing, which is not dieting but a lifestyle change program. This includes removing the stored toxins from your body, replacing junk food with healthy foods and ensuring that you are getting the required vitamins and minerals.


Tell us about your business

Wellness For Life is a wellness and business coaching company. Our services include corporate wellness programs to help companies with customised corporate wellness programs through live motivational lectures to boost employee morale, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity. We believe helping employees attain good health creates tremendous long-term benefits for them and their employers. 

We also offer one to one wellness coaching programs. We believe wellness begins with good nutrition as this affects health, energy, vitality, organs, cells, skin and quality of life. We have noticed that if an individual takes action on their health, they will enjoy greater efficiency at work, improved employee morale, more quality time for family and friends, a feeling of well-being, social success and overall great health.

What resources did you start with and how did you use them?

I began my business from home with an investment of USD 500. It took sometime before I could get connected to mentors in the wellness industry. I started with one on one coaching sessions and the revenues were used to purchase the materials that I needed.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

Social media and wellness talks. We have been able to give wellness talks on different topics. In October we focus on breast cancer awareness and we reach out to women groups.

What advice can you give for cancer prevention on diet?

I will not talk about cancer prevention, because there are many factors involved; but I will give tips of how to optimise your health to ensure a healthier life. I have worked with doctors over the years and this is what they have helped me understand: keeping hydrated is good for your health. Taking preventive measures and increasing the alkalinity of our bodies can help us avoid even deadly diseases such as cancer. Junk food, processed food, coffee, processed sodium, medication, alcohol, soft drinks, cheese, processed meat, white sugars and lack of enough water among other factors make our bodies acidic. Keeping hydrated by drinking a lot of water and consuming plenty of green leafy vegetable increases the alkalinity of your body and keeps disease at bay.

Mercy's husband attending to clients during an exhibition

What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business and how do you overcome them?

When we began, the biggest challenge was helping individuals who are not feeling unwell. Getting people, especially the younger generation, to have that paradigm shift from curative to preventive measures for their health has been happening gradually; as people realise that lifestyle diseases are on the increase. They have learnt how to ask the right questions. We have overcome the challenge by providing well researched information to our clients.

Tell us about your team 

Our team is composed of two consultants; a medical nurse and financial consultant. We also have ten dynamic, energetic people who are team players and eager to assist. They have diverse skills and readily share the benefits of good nutrition with anybody they interact with.

Mercy giving a talk on wellness

What do you love most about running your own business? 

What I love about my business is when I see individuals who have gone through our programs embrace healthy lifestyles and look younger and healthier. Most of our clients suffer from what we call autointoxication; ‘auto’ meaning ‘self’ and ‘intoxication’ meaning ‘poisoning’. We poison ourselves by a faulty lifestyle, sometimes out of ignorance. The main cause of autointoxication is poor bowel function or poor colon health. Dr William Hunter said: ‘The colon is the sewer system of the body, but with neglect and abuse, it becomes a cesspool of toxins that spill over into the body.” A toxic colon poisons the body. 61% of the adult population is overweight due to waste build-up in the colon. The colon can expand five times its normal size, leading to a condition called ‘mega colon’. Most people are walking around with at least 4 kg of faecal matter in their large intestine.

At Wellness For Life, as part of our nutritional rebalancing we offer a fantastic cellular cleansing program. When cleansing is done correctly – in a healthy, safe and controlled environment – getting your body clean and healthy can result in a wide range of positive effects. Detoxing can help you lose weight, increase energy, reduce craving, get a clearer skin, reduce cellulite and fatty tissues, improve bowel movements, have a sharper mind and better memory, enhance liver function, improve your moods, sleep better, reduce the effects of ageing, balance hormones, and reduce fluid retention as well as bloating. The testimonies of transformed lives keep us going because we know we have helped a family.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times? 

Earlier in my business, opportunities to speak to people and give corporate motivational talks were limited and this could be discouraging. However, getting calls and testimonies from clients we had worked with about how their lives have changed by being part of our wellness program, such as the one below, would give me the energy to keep on. 

Thank you Mercy for the cleansing programme that I completed two days ago. I bear testimony, it could not have come at a better time! Before I was fatigued, but after undergoing the programme my body is rejuvenated and I feel light and energetic. Before I could not even jog for five minutes; now after only nine days I can jog for almost an hour! My wife, who also enrolled for the same programme, does not need to take a vehicle to her place of business 4 kms away. She WALKS to and fro! Thank you Wellness For Life for the phenomenal programme!”

It has also been key to keep reminding myself WHY I began the business: to help people live healthier lives. My husband has also been a great source of encouragement whenever I feel like giving up. He keeps cheering me on to do better and reach out to more people with the message of wellness.

Training on wellness

What's the biggest lesson you have ever learned? 

Leaders are readers. To be able to have an impact we constantly need to understand the trends in the wellness industry in order to better assist our clients. And to succeed in anything, one needs accountability partners to keep you on track. My husband has been that for me.

How has entrepreneurship changed you? 

Being an entrepreneur has helped me think more outwardly about what impact I am making to the lives of people I interact with daily. I always wake up thinking “Who will I help today?” I have realised that every minute is precious. I don’t spend time anymore; rather I invest it by performing time audits periodically. I have built resilience in the way I conduct my business and interact with people. I am always looking for new skills and take personal development courses.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently? 

I would get a financial consultant to begin with, to help me put structures in my business.

Where do you see your business five years from now? 

In our five year strategy we see ourselves having a children's centre to take care of their holistic needs; training 10,000 people in the corporate world, attaining a turnover of USD 100,000 and serving 100,000 clients.

How do you keep a good work/life balance? 

Initially achieving balance was a challenge due to the amount of time I had to put in. Time audits have been key to becoming aware of what impacts my time and getting balance. This has also enabled me to identify any pitfalls to productivity.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? 

Don’t give up when things are tough. Persistence is the key to achieving your goals. Have three goals that you are working towards accomplishing and stay focused. Personal development is paramount to the growth of your business. Work on improving yourself as the CEO of your company. Put in structures so that your business doesn't need your constant presence and you are free to think about strategy and growth. Put God first in your business. Remember that God has given you the company to steward. Thank Him for the good times and trusting Him during the difficult periods.

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Mercy Nzula

 

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