- Edgar Otieno has taken the interwebs by storm after photos of him went viral owing to his sharp dressing while going about what he does best;selling pencils on the streets of Nairobi.
- While some may disapprove of the street vendor, others are endeared by his willing nature
- Praised for always looking as sharp as his pencils, Otieno has been carving out a living for himself
With over 10 years of experience in selling pencils, Otieno knows for his products to sell, he has to attract his customers by looking neat, decent and sharp.
Photos of the 42-year-old man shared by Ndungu Nyoro on his Facebook page showed him in a neatly-pressed suit as he wades through city traffic to sell his pencils.
“Some people wonder why I show up every morning sharply dressed yet my work involves chasing after customers and convincing them to buy pencils; in sales, people buy you first before they buy whatever you are selling,” he said.
Otieno was only 25 when he first ventured into sales and marketing with a firm that specialised in selling pencils and cutlery.
Recruited on commission, he was optimistic of making it big in the city.
“I was so good at it, that I was named best agent multiple times. When the company folded in 2005, I decided to continue with the job,” he said.
He has reportedly turned down a number of job offers just to keep doing what he is best at and from his savings, he has managed to keep livestock back home and take himself back to college. Otieno is said to have a diploma in social work.
Some of his long-time customers have testified of his unique marketing and selling techniques that would make one buy his pencils time and again.
"We worked with him at Barclays Bank, but he quit and went back to hawking. He makes good money," Jymoh Msema Kweli wrote.
"I love his heart. One of us poached him for insurance, but he didn't go for long. He preferred hawking," added Bancy Roba.
Although his dressing code is one of the factors that most potential customers find appealing about him, there are those who make misinformed opinions about him.
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