He looks young in his best suit, a rather deceiving appearance of the otherwise 65-year-old Jason Oteng’o Nambaka, as he stands next to his newspaper stand, a household to hundreds, if not thousands of readers of newspapers in Mombasa.
While many he knows have changed business premises or moved to other places or changed trade, Jason has remained faithful to his original business and spot, and humbly retained this same spot where he has been selling newspapers since 1972, along Moi Avenue, outside Mombasa’s Cannon Towers building.
“Most of these buildings here were not built when I started, I have seen them constructed. I used to sell Nation newspapers for Ksh.5, Standard for Ksh.5, Taifa Leo for twenty five cents” Nambaka says, adding that even the government-owned Kenya Times, now out of the market, used to sell many copies until technology and social media set in.
“People are not buying newspapers nowadays. The offices that used to buy four or five daily newspapers are no longer doing that. Especially from last year I think people are not reading,” he says.
Nambaka is a happy family man who says he has educated his children with money earned from selling newspapers and magazines.
The father of six, 3 boys and 3 girls is also an Arsenal and AFC Leopards fan. He hails from Maholya village, Khwisero, Butere-Mumias in Western Kenya.
Asked about future plans and career development, he says, “There is no future, no benefits after selling newspapers for many years. In the past years it was better because we had better agents.”
Jason confirms that he earns about Ksh.7.45 from every single newspaper he sells.