MKU Alumnus , Moses Gitile Mwenda excels in wine making business
Meet Moses Mwenda Gitile, a 30 year old budding and successful entrepreneur who is excelling in the making of fine and quality wine branded as Eleven Buddies.
Moses Gitile the Director Henken Wine Agency Limited
Born and bred in Meru County, Moses has defied the odds by venturing into grape farming through his ten acre vineyard in Kamulu, about 15 km off the Eastern Bypass in Nairobi and currently plants cabernet sauvignon grape variety.
He imported the good quality seedlings from South Africa which is synonymous with vineyards and by extension, wine making. South Africa also has the technology to produce the seeds since the quality of the grapes and the amount of vines that a grape tree can produce really matters.
“Believe in yourself before you start actualizing your idea because dreams are bigger than ideas.”
To fulfill the market niche for wine enthusiasts in the country, he enrolled for a course in Food Science and Processing Technology at Mount Kenya University from 2009 to 2011. After completion of his course work, he embarked on extensive research and realized that most of the wine brands consumed in Kenya were being imported from South Africa and overseas, this encouraged and inspired him to create a Kenyan brand.
The company started in France and South Africa and Moses felt the need to cater for the expansive East African market. He registered Henken Wine Agency Limited in 2004 together with a partner. However, production began in 2017 where he launched the bestselling brand, the Eleven Buddies Wine.
Currently in stock are 750 ml both red and white wine and also dry wine
He aspires to manufacture best wine brands and whiskies locally through their fully fledged state-of-the-art brewery. He also launched Grape Growers Association of Kenya, where he is the Chairman with an aim to promote grape growing in Kenya. The association will as well register farmers who want to start growing grapes and enter into market contract with Henken Wine Agency Limited for buying their produce to ensure they get enough grapes as raw materials for wine making here in Kenya.
Moses is currently pursuing a Business Course in Mount Kenya University, his Alma Mata which will aid in acquisition of more knowledge on managerial skills especially with the robust and promising market.
The wine chain of distribution is currently through wine stores, clubs and restaurants since they have more than 120 distributors all over the country with 2 distributors in Uganda. They are also planning on expanding their regional market to Tanzania, Rwanda and Sudan.
Moses hopes to introduce one more wine-grape variety (Shiraz) and one table grape variety (vitis vinifera) as the Kenyan middle class have expressed interest in home grown wine for the quintessential Kenyan bourgeoisie.
In his interview with Claire, Mwenda appreciates the knowledge imparted by MKU staff during his studies at the institution for the thriving enterprise. He further advise potential students to seek preferred courses at the leading private institution