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Meet James Wamutue aka Wakichwa a renowned bicycle mechanic.

James Wamutue Mungai aka Wakichwa is a renowned bicycle mechanic whose craft has impacted close to three generations of Thika Town residents, he operates from a small store near Bible Fellowship Church, the senior citizen offers his advice to the current generation to strive and adhere to discipline, be obedient and avoid getting into bad and unproductive lifestyles.

James Wamutue aka Wakichwa at his workshop near Bible Fellowship Centre. 

 1. Did you grow up in Thika?

No I was born in Gatanga when they used to call it Kandara, I come to Thika Town 1964 when I was a small boy aged 15 and by good luck I secured a job courtesy of my dad’s employer one Mr. GG, I used to work as an apprentice for him where I was taught to be a better a bike mechanic. In 1980 we used to buy items from a business man of Asian descent called Naathi, he used to have a shop at the present day Wethethie Building. One day I was running errands for my boss GG, Mr. Naathi approached me and asked me whether I would like to start up my own job as a bike mechanic just outside his new premises near Munene Industries, an offer that I willing took up, I resigned from the job at GG’s shop after 10years and decided to venture into my own business armed with only Kes 75. I set up shop outside Munene Industries where I stayed for 12years until recently when Mr. Naathi shut down his business prompting me to secure a shop here near Bible Fellowship at the boarder of Majengo and Biafra estates.

2. What do you like about Thika?

Well what I can say is that growing up I always had that desire to come to Thika, the town offered numerous employment opportunities  given the presence of factories, many of the casual laborers used to go to work using bicycles, this presented an opportunity for me to put my skills into practice, most of them were my customers at Mr.Naathi’s shop they used to buy spare parts and as routine they would bring their bikes to me to be repaired, and as an act of generosity they would tip me handsomely Thika to date is still an economic hub.

 3. What would you like to change about Thika?

I would like to impact on young people’s lives, it saddens me to see so many young people waste their time in antisocial behaviours such as drugs, promiscuity there is a need for the society to invest in mentoring the young people, if only we change their lifestyle through a joint effort whether it is that parent, teacher in the society, we will save their lives and avoid plunging the future of this Town and country into uncertainty.

4. As a Bike mechanic how is it working in Thika? Is Thika open to what you do or what could be better? 

Yes it has I recall my days outside Munene Industries customers used to flock my garage, I remember I had employed close to 5 staff members, and even after shifting base to this current premises some of my old customers still bring their bikes to me to repair. The supermarkets within Thika town also used to offer me jobs for servicing there newly purchased bikes, though nowadays the influx of second hand bikes has really affected my business. Some of these bicycles have been used abroad for competitions.

5. If you had a friend coming in from outside Thika what three things would you say to sell them the idea that Thika is worth visiting.

First and foremost I would like to mention to them Thika is a rich town that said it presents an opportunity for doing business at all levels, be it small or large scale.

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