The Story of John Magiro is inspiring and a lesson to all that your grades in school should not define you. From scoring a D- in high school to founding Magiro Power – a company that generates electricity from a local river powering over 600 households in Murang’a County.
John Magiro is a 28 year old man born and raised in Mihito village, Murang’a County in the Mount Kenya region of Kenya.
After clearing his secondary education, he scored a D- in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) but he never allowed that to shut down his dream of becoming an engineer.
He began experimenting his skills and at first, he used a bicycle dynamo to generate electricity for his family. His neighbours who were equally poor and couldn’t afford to raise enough money to get electricity from Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), approached him to share the electricity from a bicycle dynamo. That’s when he realized that he can use his little skills to help the community living in his village. He identified a local river named Ngondo River which had a waterfall and began his production project.
His story of how he had generated electricity from a bicycle dynamo spread widely across the country and it was not long before he was approached by the National Environment Trust Fund who trained him on power generation skills.
He was also given a grant which he used to buy turbines, poles and enough machines to generate electricity. In 2016, he officially established Magiro Hydro Electricity Limited and began connecting his community with affordable electricity.
Currently, Magiro Power has connected over 600 households with electricity in Murang’a county and impacted over 3,000 people. Every household pays a monthly fee of Ksh 200 and a subscription fee of Ksh 15,000 which is payable in phases to get a voltage of 145.
The power company currently covers over 30 kilometers and has earned him several national and international awards. In 2020, Magiro Hydro Electricity Limited was among three Kenyan startups that received Ksh 161 million from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma under the Jack Ma Foundation.
This was after the company emerged in the top three of the Africa’s Business Heroes competition successfully beating over 22,000 other companies from all the 54 African countries.
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