When Cyprina Olang’o opened Nyataya workshop 18 years ago, she had lost her husband and her Cereal business was not doing well.
A 68 year old woman and a mother of 8 children is bold calm and cultivated as she tells how she single handedly started it all,coffin making as a widow and as a woman.
I saw two Kikuyu women mechanics repairing a car. I was curious and asked why they were doing a job meant for men. They told me to them job was a job as long as it could give them money. That was how I motivated myself to open this coffin making workshop. I wanted to make money as well since that time I had lost my husband and my family were not that well off to support me with my many children, says Syprina.
Cyprina worked closely with his trained carpenter son until his untimely death when she was left alone.
My son taught me how to make coffins until he died. I then hired thee carpenters to help me around, She inserted.
She recalls how difficult it was to start and to push through.
She reminisce how difficult it was to take harsh words from people who were bad mouthing her instead of offering her.
When I started people thought I would not do it. But now that I’m well off, they are according me with respect on seeing the changes the so called ‘coffin making’ has brought in my life, Mrs. Olang’o says smile dawning her face.
And now,counting things this job has done to her,she seemed oblivious of my presence. She looked about to the passing vehicles , to the moving trees close by and back to unfinished coffin and confess how this job has helped her.
From the time I started this business to this moment my life has taken a U turn. I’ve bought four Hector of land, two of my children are now in the university, my children and my grandchildren are kept in schools thanks to this job. She said this looking at my direction this time round.
Moreover, she has created employment to many married Kisumu youths and that’s one among the endless list of things to smile about according to Syprina. Death is permanent and making coffins should not be associated with wishing people early death whatsoever, George Syprina’s son pointed out as he was siting close to his mother.
Syprina feared coffins when she was a young girl but now she is indifferent about it.
I remember how I would cry on seeing a coffin but when I started making coffins, everything changed. I can even measure myself inside a finished now. Something I couldn’t have done before I started making them.
And now holding firmly her hand plane, she finishes the unfinished coffin which was resting on working board all that while. She advice’s all jobless women especially widows not to be choosy when it come to job. She says job is a job as long as it can bring food to the table.