FORMER DIASPORA AND REAL ESTATE MOGUL WHO HAS CHANGED THE FACE OF MOMBASA
Decent houses are no longer just simple structures, with time they have evolved to become a status statement; the epitome of affluence, sophistication and class.
It is for this reason that the name Mwenda Thuranira, the CEO of Myspace Properties, comes to mind when one thinks of owning a decent house.
He went through the normal phase of career indecision’s like most of us do, from working with Air France in customer service, taking an aviation course in Orlando, a construction and real estate course in Texas before eventually making a breakthrough and returning to Kenya in 2008.
Nairobi News spoke to the real estate mogul who is largely credited with steadily changing the face of Mombasa.
1. What are the challenges of running a real estate company in Kenya?
What is challenging is that there are no systems especially in the real estate market. Knowledge is not sufficient. That is why there are so many cases of people getting conned by ‘clever’ people. I can attest to that for I was conned when I came back from the US and only because there are no proper channels. It was a very expensive lesson I learnt.
2. How do you handle your failures in life?
To me, failures are like stop signs that tell me I am moving too fast and I need to take a pose. They remind me that I need to look left and right before moving forward. To handle my failures I usually make a tally, if I try ten things and fail in three and succeed in seven then I am OK.
3. What dictates how far one goes in real estate?
It is a tough world out their but at the end of the day it is your determination, zeal, persistence, luck and being at the right place at the right time. People also play a major factor and the ability to communicate.
4. How do you unwind?
I like traveling because this is how you get new and fresh ideas. I must visit the gym in the morning at least for an hour for some aerobics and cardio exercise. I read about investments and real estate and also spend a lot of time on YouTube watching people around the world who are on the real estate business. I also love to watch these Mafia movies or cartels. If I believe in reincarnation I think when I die I would come back as a Don or leader of a Mafia group.
5. What is your greatest insecurity?
I fear poverty. Financial freedom to me is the ability to go down and come back up again. Take for example if the peaceful stability of our country changed and we all had to be refugees in a foreign country, I think of how I would be able to build a business at the refugee camp.
6. Being a real estate guru, how comfortable is your house?
It is nothing much but it serves its purpose. It’s a beach apartment and I know what you were thinking that it must be a mansion of some kind – with big manicured lawns – but I think as a business man do I’d rather stay in one or sell one and enjoy the commission.
7. What are some of the golden listings you have in your pocket right know?
We have the one Twiga Apartments that is 60% sold, Nyali View Park, Links Plaza on Links Road, English Point Marina among others.
8. How do you find equilibrium in your life?
My family gives me equilibrium, my wife and three children. To me they are a clear indication that I have to be responsible at the end of the day, because if I mess up my life I mess up theirs too. I have to act as a moral compass to them.
9. Do you think you are a good father?
I try but according to them I am the best. I try as much as possible to spend time with them and teach them life’s values. Sometimes I go to work with them and try to show them that money is earned.
10. Can you say you have reached the epitome of your career?
One fact that I would never understand is that when you are not at the top you feel that reaching there will be enough but when you actually reach there, you realize that you still want to go higher. Ask me that question after five years and see what level I will be in then.