What you need to know:
Eagerness to better run her home hatched Susan Muriithi’s passion for sharing her hacks. Susan, 39, runs a YouTube channel, Suzy’s homestead, and was named one of YouTube’s Black Voices class of 2023
At 10 pm while most of us are preparing to go to bed, Susan Muriithi is talking on the camera. The unwritten rule she abides by is that she has to post two videos on YouTube, a video-sharing platform, every week.
This she does on her day off from her full-time work as a customer care executive. On a day like this when she got caught up with other things, she labours at night. “I try to sleep before midnight, though,” she shares.
After the festive season, it is not uncommon for many people to be crippled with both big and small debts, empty pockets and household shopping.
As many mourn over the engorged receipts and a beeping token meter, they may turn to the internet for ideas on how to survive “njaanuary” on a shoestring budget.
This is the area where Susan, who started her YouTube channel, Suzy’s homestead, at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, thrives. She shares tips and tricks for managing a home, staying within the household budget, minimising budget and keeping a clean-ish home. “Perfection is highly overrated,” she declares.
She has more than 100k subscribers and her videos have been watched by more than nine million viewers.
Some of her followers ask, “How do I store carrots to last longer?” to which she goes forth on camera explaining, “Put cold water in a dish and submerge the carrots. Remember to change the water after every four to five days.”
Another one wants to know how to make yoghurt at home and she refers them to videos she made a year ago.
How it begun
The mother of four started entertaining the idea of a YouTube channel in 2019. “I felt that I had learnt so much that I could share with other women, especially mothers who were struggling to keep an organised home.”
This research, on how to maintain her home came from a place of frustration. “I had three toddlers at the time and two house helps. Yet, even with four hands, I would be greeted by toys at the door and a waft from the washrooms. That’s when I went in search of answers and I found out more than I was looking for,” says Susan.
She started making detergent at home. Tossed store-bought peanut butter for homemade one and now makes lard from pork fat.
However, even after amassing this knowledge, it wasn’t until the company she works for temporarily closed due to the effects of the Coronavirus that she found herself home and idle.
“Before then, I was afraid of going on camera because I was partly afraid of what people would say. But, with the support of my husband, who is my cameraperson, I managed to shake it off,” she says.
Last year, Susan was named one of Youtube’s Black Voices class of 2023. Now in its third year, the initiative is a follow-up to a global multi-year commitment made in 2020 to uplift and grow black creators, artists, songwriters, and producers on the platform.
With support from YouTube, grantees each received between $20,000 and $ 50,000 (Sh2.4 million and Sh6.1 million) as seed funding. This amount, a representative from YouTube said during the announcement ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, would be determined by the maturity of the platform, channel size, and engagements.
“When I received the email that I had been selected for this year’s cohort, my first reaction was disbelief. I actually thought it was a scam. There are many times that I still ask myself, “why me?” I am so happy to be part of the programme because I know that this will be a game-changer for me, my channel and my fan base,” Susan says of the November 2022 award.
“I plan to use the seed funding to get better equipment and grow the channel,” she offers.
To ensure that she doesn’t get in the way of her full-time work, she only shoots during her days off work and has an editor who edits the raw videos.
Learning and using these tips and tricks, Susan says that her household budget has been reduced by almost half.
“I have four children and they love yoghurt. Before I learnt to make it at home, I was spending Sh1, 000 on it every week. This plus other costs like buying detergent or peanut butter is off my budget list,” she says.
How to make yoghurt at home
What you need:
Culture (buy store-bought natural yoghurt)
Mix the culture with regular warm milk (boil first) cover and put it in a warm place. After 24 hours, your yoghurt is ready. Then you can flavour it with your flavouring of choice—vanilla or strawberry.