Lewi’s freelance design gamble pays off big

In Inspiration

“When my first client paid me four hundred shillings for the five hundred I used to design a wonderful poster, I started doubting whether there was any future in being a freelance designer”.

But now everything is falling into place.

He quit a well paying job for at least two reasons, as he puts them in his own words :

“Despite my deteriorating health due to a condition called Migraines with Aura, a recurrent head-splitting headache, the chiefest of the reasons I dumped my first job of up to Sh85,000 a month was the inborn desire to be independent, doing my own things at my own pace, ” narrates Lewis Ngugi, now a much sought-after User Experience designer.


He puts the interesting part of his job ditching story as follows :

“In fact, after I had worked for someone for only seven months, I felt all the more the need of having the flexibility to choose my clients as opposed to having them chosen for me and forced on me, so I decided to quit without looking back.”

But since he had only Sh10,000 in his pocket, he knew he was in for tough times for as long as he had nothing lucrative to do.

“The many bills I had were driving me crazy, but I had to live anyway, ” he says.


But still it didn’t get better sooner, notwithstanding he had put a lot of effort to get well paying clients who were nowhere to be found yet.

However, Ngugi was not just about to give up yet. He soldiered on most of the time doing pro bono work.

“But eventually I began to get t some good jobs including from my own church friends, who saw my self-less spirit, for I was using my own money, Internet and time to craft fortune fetching designs for my church, all the while for free,” he reveals.

Now the designer by nature, as he calls himself, consults for both reputable local and international clients.

“They include Capital FM, which, since contracting me, are pestering me a formal job offer, which I won’t fall for.

Safaricom, Taafrija, Binary Software, Graduates International Corner, Asiatic Rhythms, are others.”

Incidentally, when we get here, it becomes abundantly clear that he is not just blowing his own trumpet: he has been mentioned honorably on many platforms for his designs.

Best mobile User Interface
” For instance I have been featured once on the Pratt Institute of Portfolios, one of the best design schools in the world, for clinching the best mobile User Interface and User Experience award. Not forgetting Graphics Mob which featured me and my logo designs, ” indicates Ngugi.

But how did his fine art begin?

“When I was just in class there or thereabouts, it was my hobby to draw near-perfect people from illustrated children’s magazines, for example Supa Strikas”.

When he got to campus, to polish his unique skills, he and his two friends would skive lectures to attend design boot camps instead which he highly credits for his great ability.

Yet he is careful enough to recognise his creator God who he says originally gave him the skills now taking him places and raking him a fortune.

READ: She quit banking to sell celebrity socks

“I am making quite good money, but everyone knows it is never enough for anyone,”  he wittily observes.

But when the exchange comes to an end, Ngugi releases a bombshell :

“Most people tend to think others reach dizzying heights in life because they were
merely talented or lucky. No.

READ: How Kenya startup community is cutting costs and turbo charging the economy

Everyone has talent, but if it is to bring you enviable success, you have to work very hard and smart at what you appear to be good at. ”


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One commentOn Lewi’s freelance design gamble pays off big

  • Hi, I love Mr. Wanjala’s moving story of incredible returns of tree farming. Can I have his phone so I can speak to him to gather more information. Thanks Herman

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