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Kenya

How Becky Ndegwa stumbled upon her successful traditional blanket business

Becky Ndegwa stumbled upon what would become her business, Indigo6, during a cold and rainy afternoon at her home in Athi River, on the outskirts of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. While trying to shield herself from the cold, Ndegwa found that the Maasai shuka (a traditional garment worn by the Maasai tribe in Kenya) wasn’t warm enough. So she complemented it with a normal fleece blanket. “When I put them together it kept falling off… so I thought, ‘How about I join these two, then it becomes one?’” she explains. Ndegwa then asked her mother-in-law to stitch together the Maasai shuka and the fleece blanket. She was thrilled with the outcome, and made a another blanket, embroided a personal message and gave it to her husband for Father’s Day.

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How A Top-Ranked Female Tennis Champ Became An Exercise Entrepreneur In Kenya

Kenya has long been known for churning out fantastic long distance runners but not so much for entrepreneurs who focus on making a business out of fitness. In fact, being a fitness nut on the African continent used to be a bore. That has changed in recent years. Meet Saloni Kantaria Mathur, who in 2016 opened Reform Cycling and Strength Studio in Nairobi’s affluent Westlands neighborhood near the city’s central business district.

Reform is an indoor cycling studio that distinguishes cycling and strength experience from the daily gym experience. You know the experience if you have been to your average gym for a cycling class: blast the music and get pumped up by the instructor yelling “Faster, you can do it, if you can’t, medium is OK, or go at your pace.” That does not necessarily get my blood flowing or push me over the top. It is the one-size-fits-all approach that Reform has changed. I am a 220-pound man who loves weight training and prefers a good run or elliptical training over cycling. I also appreciate dedicated studios that address specific types of training.

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Kenya Railways Dismisses Comparisons Between SGR and Morocco, Ethiopia Projects

Kenya Railways Corporation has come to the defence of the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway following concerns over the cost compared to other railway projects in the continent. The Corporation Managing Director Atanus Maina says the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is built based on the needs of the country which is to primarily ease the moving goods to and from the port of Mombasa. Speaking to Capital FM Business, Maina says Kenya's objectives for the railway are different from those of other countries like Ethiopia, and that the dynamics of rolling out the massive infrastructure projects are different.

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Tapping into Nairobi’s growing fitness trend

Impressive economic growth, rapid urbanisation and the growing influence of western culture and diets have seen a growing number of fitness centers being set up in Kenya in recent years. This trend, coupled with experience as an athlete in her formative years, drove Saloni Kantaria to quit her legal practice and open Reform Cycling and Strength Studio this year. “In 2013 I just started to notice the city was changing very, very quickly,” says Kantaria. “Lots of things were going on. New concepts were opening up. Lots of franchise hotels were starting to enter into the market. There was more optimism among people in Nairobi about the economy. So I noticed obviously nobody was doing anything properly in the fitness space.”

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