The tough economic times have pushed many people to drop their pride and class in order to make ends meet.
Silvia Bichanga is arguably the most eye-catching food hawker you come across in the streets of Kisumu.
One of the reasons that make her noticeable is because she is an American, who has settled in Kenya.
She came to Kenya in the company of her father through the Conservative Christian Mission.
In 2019, she met Kelvin Bichanga and after two years of dating, they wedded in April this year.
A few months into the marriage, Silvia realised that she had to look for something to do to support her husband, who repairs laptops at his friend’s shop.
She came up with the idea of making and selling American street food. Silvia recruited a friend, Eve Ochieng’, which is how they started their business.
They make pizza pockets, apple pie, pretzels, mango pie, and tea.
They sold the food by the roadside for the first two days before acquiring a stall at Car Wash Estate. They named their joint Mzungu’s Pretzels.
But even with a business site, Silvia and Ochieng’ move around the streets selling their food items.
Silvia said that the locals were shocked and wondered how a Mzungu could resort to a hustle associated with low-income earners.
“Some discouraging questions like, ‘why are you hawking, yet you people have money and you could even pay my rent’? Little do they know what’s actually on the ground,” she said, as quoted by the Star.
However, many people around Kisumu, especially men, she says have been supportive.
“Most people say, ‘this is how I can experience America right in Car Wash’,” the woman said.