In the modern age where both the young and old generation has turned to stimulants, Muguka is the new goldmine for those who have smartly mastered the art of making money. It is a common spectacle now for one to see boys on the roadside chewing muguka every day and this lifestyle has quickly spread and gained popularity making muguka the most sought-after stimulant.
Muguka goes by different names in the streets including ketepa, jaba, gomba and guks. It is consumed by chewing the leaves together with either gum or nuts. A soft drug it is, and with the crop going for as little as Ksh 50 for a handful of leaves, this trade has boomed and the money from it is quite enticing.
Normally bought in large bags, muguka leaves can be purchased from various kiosks that have hanging banana leaves on the outside.
‘Wholesale’ from Ksh 3,000 direct from places of harvest, in the cold and wet Mt. Kenya region. The prices are variant depending on the season. An acre of this species of Khat can earn a farmer up to KES 5 000 daily when well cared for. The plants have forced many farmers to abandon food and cash crops including maize, beans and Coffee.
The leaves are later repackaged in smaller packets and sold from a cost of about Ksh 50.
Johnnie a local university student saw potential in the muguka business and begun selling it to his fellow students. He says;
In a good day I would say I make a profit of about Ksh 1,500 on top of the sales. Muguka is slowly being preferred to by many as it is cheaper than miraa. I can’t really articulate the benefits of the stimulant, however chewing ketepa is so addictive and feels good. It keeps me awake and hyped up. Best when I have assignments that need to me to stay up late.
Around Ngumo area a host of wooden kiosks selling Muguka have sprouted. All in the hope of minting easy money with the quickly growing clientele base.
The muguka craze is undoubtedly something at fever pitch and the number of muguka businesses tell the story quite well.
Have you ever chewed guks? Tell us your story.