At 23, Edwin Waweru proudly wears the title ‘managing director’. He is the founder of a tours and events company Eddie Mors African Tours and Safaris (Emats).
Eddie is a final-year student at Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) where he is pursuing a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. He enrolled for the course against his parent’s wish, he offers.
“I performed well in my secondary school education, and my parents were curious to know the course I was to pursue. They only suggested the “big” courses like engineering and applied sciences. Deep down my heart I was not passionate about them but I did not complain to avoid disappointing them,” Mr Waweru explains.
When time came to apply for university courses, he opted for a university at the Coast and the Joint Admissions Board (now KUCCPS) picked him for tourism.
The name of the business is a combination of his name and that of his father “although this is not a family company.”
In early 2015, he assembled 17 people and arranged a city tour around Mombasa.
“I was perplexed to realise that there were people who had lived in Mombasa but have never been in Fort Jesus. I advertised the event on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The budget was Sh350 per person. We visited Fort Jesus, Pembe za ndovu, Kenya Ports Authority fish market and Swaminarayan Hindu temple.”
In organising events, the proprietor balances class and work and paid 10 dollars to advertise on Facebook and events sites like events Bright and Tourist Link.
In early 2017, in his third year, he launched the company, which now has a website, two employees, assistant manager and a photographer. It manages tours and safaris, hiking and camping, honeymoon packages, team-building, hotel booking, conferences and events and photography.
“So far I have been a tour leader for a family from USA. I took them for snorkeling at Kisite Mpungute, Dolphin watching and sandy beaches along the South Coast” When he showed his business card to his parents, “they said, ‘Go on, son’ and they embraced me”.