Meet Watamu’s queen of trucking business Caroline Gikunda revolutionizing male-dominated sector

Caroline Gikunda. [Photo: Courtesy]
Caroline Gikunda. [Photo: Courtesy]

Caroline K Gikunda is a unique woman who revolutionizing the trucking business in Malindi.

Caroline is famously known as ‘Wa Malory’ in Watamu where she lives and Malindi where she has headquartered her business.

She recently opened up to Amakove Wala the founder of Wanderlust Diaries on how she ended up in male-dominated trucking business.

Caroline Gikunda. [Photo: Courtesy]

“I was putting up a house in the year 2013. The heavy transport industry in my region of Malindi was then a big scam. People would most of the times lose their money through shoddy brokers,” she narrates.

“I was a victim of these shoddy services. One would stand by the road side and wait for a truck. You would pay the money required to the driver on transit and wait for them to deliver materials. 

Sometimes it would take days and the driver you gave your money would have switched off his phone. Then one day you would come across the truck with a different driver who would act like he has no idea what you are talking about,” Caroline said.

She toyed with the idea of bringing sanity into the sector which is when she walked to a local bank and applied for a loan to purchase her first truck now operating her company The Alpha-Charlie Inc. 

With resilience, this truck opened more opportunities for her and she expanded her business to Meru.

Today, Caroline has 11 trucks – 5 serving in Malindi while 6 are in Meru serving Mt Kenya region.

Caroline Gikunda. [Photo: Courtesy]

She is inspired that he was able to penetrate the construction industry and established good relations with drivers, conductors, loaders and foremen which is a plus for her business.

Alpha-Charlie Inc has 32 staff. Caroline does not only run the business by ensuring things are running in order; she also drives the truck in the absence of a driver and pending delivery.

“I do deliveries in absence of drivers,” she quips.

For Caroline making it in this field that not many women venture into, she has made quality and trusts her hallmarks which distinguishes her from many others in the sector.

“I focused on quality services…There are Transporters who will deliver grade 2 machine-cut blocks when a client ordered for grade 1. There are transporters who deliver 14 tonnes of ballast when you ordered 16tonnes. We do it right all the time, and those who value quality knows where it’s found. They trust us to deliver quality on time.” 

Her major challenge has been intimidation by men in the sector, traffic cops who impound her trucks to get her attention and unruly clients who will try to get their way with her because she is a woman in this business.