HUSTLE HARD! Making Money with your Hobbies in Nairobi

Often in Kenyan households, straying away from the norm of Going to school, getting a job, getting married, etc… end up overshadowing what could become of a person if they pursued their dreams.

There is no reason why you cannot turn what you love doing into your side hustle. All you need to do is spend time creating the right angle of how to make a profit from it and trying it out until you eventually you start making money from it.

Before you start, research on what others are doing. This will guide you on how to outline what idea will work best for you and then from that you will be able to tailor make it to your surroundings.

Below are five common hobbies that you probably already do but should be earning from it too, and they are:

1. Cooking/Baking

Majority of us will have grown up knowing how to cook and you might find it a very easy and natural thing to do. You probably enjoy catering to guests or even baking for family occasions, birthdays to Christmas too. You get a lot of compliments when you do, so how about you turn it into something you do on the side.

Did you know that for a 2kg cake you could charge about Kshs 2,500? So if you made one a day for five days you will make Kshs 12,500 in a week and times that by four that’s Kshs 50,000, simply made from doing something you love and comes naturally too.

2.Handmade products

This can range from facial products, hair products, food products, jewellery to greeting cards. You could be passionate about it and also have a natural talent. Natural and organic products can from you wanting something that suits your face, your hair type or simply what gets your taste buds buzzing, jewellery can because of your love for fashion and wanting to make something that is uniquely yours or greeting cards concept can come from your love for art and you simply enjoy experimenting with paper. The great thing about turning these kind of hobbies into a business is the various markets of which you can test out selling the products, to see whether there viable and from it, learn the best pricing points.

If you choose to experiment with this idea, keep your costs as low as possible, and in the initial stages before signing up to a market check it out first to see if it will be a viable option for what your selling. Also try to spend less than Ksh 2,000 a day for a market space because the idea is to spend on what is easy to recover back, even on a bad selling market day.

3. Makeup

If you spend a lot of time in the mirror getting those eyebrows one fleek, can get that winged eyeliner spot on even with your eyes closed and are able to easily advise others on the ideal shades or even occasionally will do make up for friends and family, perhaps being a part-time makeup artist might be your thing.

On average for just a simple occasion you could charge Kshs 5,000 and the prices do increase for bridal or even commercial work. The better you get at it, not only will you be sought after but it can lead to an array of opportunities, for instance, last year Muthoni Njoba was one of the makeup artists for New York Fashion Week.

The key thing about makeup is to find your niche, your flare and your style. There is no limit to how creative you choose to get and in fact the more you explore with your ability the better. Also, invest in networking and collaborating with photographers, hair professionals and stylists because when one gets a job they will often think of also getting you the same gig too. Which leads me to my next point, keep time and be professional in all your gigs, this is what will definitely lead you to have an impressive portfolio and a growing fanbase too. Lastly, take nice pictures of your work and share them in every realm possible, so people can begin to start building the association with you as a makeup artist.

4. Photography

It all usually starts with taking pictures with your phone and exploring with editing facilities too before posting pictures publicly. You most likely enjoy taking pictures of everything from food to decor to people to nature. If for every picture you put out you’re getting a lot of double tap action maybe photography might be your thing. Start getting better at seeing what you can achieve with your phone, and then invest in a good camera. When you do start out with taking photos for family occasions, take pictures of food, or go out across the city and take pictures of what you see. This will lead you to slowly discover what type of photography you enjoy, and when you do explore your ideas creatively until you find the style and signature that’s you. As you continue to grow it is wise that you invest in equipment that will help you improve your ability.

Again just like makeup connect yourself with the right people within the same industry as you, be consistent with what you put out publicly, connect with other photographers like you and learn from them. Ideally get yourself a mentor who is at the level you want to reach, enjoy the process of growth and watch yourself become the next Osborne Macharia, Ben Kiruthi or Sebastian Wanzalla.


If you enjoy waking up at the crack of dawn to get your fitness on and invest a lot of time in getting your nutrition right then maybe being a fitness instructor or a nutritionist might be the ideal way for you to go. One way of testing it out is, sharing your results on things you’ve tried out that have helped get you, your ideal health results as well as maintaining them. If from sharing you get a lot of traction, perhaps all you need to do is explore ways on how you could earn from it and then try until you get the winning formula.

Granted this might be a little bit more of a difficult hobby to translate into a money making option because you will need to get certificates that confirm your credibility. However, you can start out with branding yourself as a health advocate, like sharing videos of you at the gym working out to giving before and after photos. Once you get people talking then as money comes in you can invest in getting the right certificates that will lead you to earn money from it the right way. You could be the next Jane Mukami or pair up with a friend and be the next Frank and Shiv.

The ways in which to earn money are limitless but how to identify what can be a money-making opportunity for you is basically what you would do without earning a dime, what you do naturally as well as what you constantly get complimented for doing. Whatever that maybe try your hand at turning into an income opportunity and if you don’t know how to research on what can be done and then identify which one works best and do that.

Practice will make you a master of perfection.

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