Moses is much better off than the majority of Kenyans. Having served in the armed forces, he now works for a large security firm in Nairobi. He leaves his house at 5.30 am everyday and travels one hour by bus to the upmarket Westlands district where he spends his working day. As the sole bread-winner, Moses is responsible for supporting his wife and their four children. At 22 years old, Jemima is his oldest child, and has three children of her own to look after whilst also studying to become a teacher.
Despite a steady income, and living in close proximity to the mains power network, Moses cannot afford conventional electric light. Instead, like most Kenyans, Moses used kerosene lamps for lighting. One member of the family had to go and buy kerosene every few days.
Moses says “Kerosene is a health hazard, the emission of the smoke and so on, and often we couldn’t get hold of it in times of fuel shortages so my children couldn’t study”.
Through Indigo, Moses and his family have what they call “permanent light”. And since the children’s studies are no longer restricted by the availability of light, things are starting to change. Four months after they purchased Indigo, one of Moses’s children, Fortune, who is 10 years old, was awarded a place in secondary school after coming third in his school after sitting the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam; a result that Moses says simply would not have been possible without permanent light. What’s more, they are also saving money.
“With Indigo we get permanent light and phone charging, don’t have to look for Kerosene, and we are saving $5 per week, so I am very happy for that”.
Moses knows this is just the start. Currently Moses has a 2.5W Indigo system, but after 18 months or so he will have the opportunity to upgrade to a larger system; in Azuri’s terminology, riding the ‘Energy Escalator’ to gain progressive power as the user’s energy needs change. Two years ago he purchased his first TV set aware that he had no way of powering it. A simple wish for a man with a steady income, he waits for the day when he can watch the News and follow Manchester United in his own home.