Michael Obuya was once a bank teller in Nakuru earning Sh30,000 per month. It was a prestigious job where the 31-year-old would don dark suits with pride. Deep down, however, he wanted to do more than merely paying his bills.
While working at the bank, he would spare an hour every day to attend salsa dance lessons.
“Since my childhood, I have always enjoyed dancing,” says Obuya.
In 2012, while seeking further dancing challenge, he came across the Zumba dance online, which emphasised health and fitness.
“This looked like a great opportunity for me. People are seeking ways to keep their bodies fit,” he says.
He could not find any Zumba training school in Kenya, so he enrolled with a South Africa-based company. “With my little savings and help from my family, I raised enough money to take me to South Africa.”
After a one week training, Obuya was awarded a certificate as a basic Zumba instructor. He came back home to his banking job. He would perfect his art by watching online videos and practising at home.
“I resigned from my bank job and started Zumba classes in Nakuru and Nairobi, much to my siblings’ and parents’ dismay,” he says.
He registered a company, Matata Dance Group. Nakuru, though, lacked a proper gym and clientele. “Only three people, including the manager of the club, showed up for the first month. In Nairobi, I had 15 regular people.”
With time, his clientele grew as word went round.
Currently, he holds up to 11 sessions per month in the two towns.
“In my banking job, I used to earn Sh30,000 per month. I can now earn that in one session,” says Obuya.
“Zumba is a great way to exercise, especially for those who like dancing to good music.