We keep seeing how innovation and determination are changing lives, and Charlot Magayi stands as one of such examples. As the founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves, her relentless efforts have revolutionized cooking practices, improved air quality, and empowered communities across Africa.
Photo Credit: Charlot Magayi
“Yesterday, I saw an article that started with ‘Mukuru Girl Awarded by Prince Williams’ and it made me very emotional because I’m a Mukuru girl, proudly so. I’m a Kenyan girl. In 2017, I started a company to help women like myself, protect their children, reduce fuel costs, and also reduce household air pollution. Today, about 200,000 Kenyan households use our stoves, and The Earthshot Prize just ensured that one million households are going to get access to those stoves by the end of 2025. I’m very grateful, I’m very honored and I would like to promise you all that in the spirit of Kenyan youth, I plan to carry this work, take it to Africa, raise the name of my country, and also help save lives.” – Charlot Magayi
Charlot Magayi’s Mission is Fueled by Personal Experience
Charlot Magayi’s speech was made before the First Lady of Kenya, Mama Rachel Ruto EGH, the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, and the British High Commission Resident in Kenya. Who is Charlot Magayi, and for what reason is this proud Kenyan woman always ready to tell her story to anyone who cares to listen and understand the importance of her work?
Photo Credit: Charlot Magayi
At the heart of Charlot’s mission lies a young mother who witnessed her two-year-old daughter suffer a severe burn caused by a traditional stove. This incident ignited her drive and became a turning point, not only in her life, but the lives of other Kenyans. Born and raised in Mukuru, one of Nairobi’s largest slums, Charlot, orphaned at the age of 10 and pregnant at the age of 16, understood too well the dangers her community faced due to household air pollution and inefficient cooking methods. This influenced her decision to pursue adult education and later on birth her company, Mukuru Clean Stoves.
Founding Mukuru Clean Stoves
In 2017, Charlot founded Mukuru Clean Stoves. Her vision was clear: to provide environmental-friendly, efficient, and low-cost cooking solutions that would benefit families, reduce air pollution, and alleviate the financial burden of fuel consumption.
The company’s first breakthrough was the development of stoves that burn fuel for longer, minimizing pollution and optimizing efficiency. Charlot had put herself in the shoes of other Kenyan mothers and was determined to help them provide a safer world for members of their households.
Photo Credit: Charlot Magayi
Empowering Women and Local Communities
Mukuru Clean Stoves not only transforms lives through improved cooking practices, but also empowers women in the process. Charlot’s commitment to inclusivity is evident in the fact that 18 out of 25 artisans working at the company’s rural factory are women, and women are also her primary distributors. She is also building a community of women—both old and young—who are inspired by her work and are also willing to make a difference in society. By providing women with opportunities to build stoves and become distributors, Mukuru Clean Stoves stimulates the local economy and enhances the prospects of these enterprising women.
Mukuru Clean Stoves is Making Tangible Impact For a Sustainable Future
One of the remarkable achievements of Mukuru Clean Stoves is its commitment to affordability without compromising quality. By sourcing locally recycled metal and optimizing production processes, the company has been able to manufacture stoves priced at just 10USD. This affordability makes a significant impact on families, as it reduces fuel consumption costs and improves their financial well-being.
Photo Credit: mukuru Clean Stoves
The impact of Mukuru Clean Stoves is both tangible and far-reaching. Over 70,000 stoves have been sold, positively impacting the lives of more than 200,000 individuals across three Kenyan counties. Cleaner air in households has resulted in improved health outcomes, reduced CO2 emissions by over half a million tons, and savings of over 20 million USD in fuel consumption. This success has fueled Charlot’s determination to distribute 10 million stoves across East, West, and Central Africa, extending the benefits to millions more.
Global Recognition and Support
Charlot’s hard work and transparency are some of the reasons she has won several awards and prizes that have helped to propel her closer to her dreams. Her work with Mukuru Clean Stoves is like a light set on a hill for the world to see and you best believe that many people in our world are willing to support a good cause.
Charlot was the Clean Our Air 2022 Winner of The Earthshot Prize founded by Prince Williams. She has made the Forbes 30 Under 30 and is a Fellow of Cartier and Echoing Green. She also sits on the board of directors for – D-Prize, Rockflower, and Just Peoples. She’s also a Stanford Global Energy Hero and an Africa Business Hero.
Charlot Magayi’s unwavering dedication to improving the lives of families and the environment has resulted in transformative change across Kenyan communities and soon all of Africa will benefit from it. By providing safe and efficient cooking solutions, empowering women, and fostering sustainable practices, Charlot and her team of artisans and distributors are paving the way for a brighter future. Let us join hands and support the incredible work of Charlot Magayi and Mukuru Clean Stoves, to create a healthier, cleaner, and more prosperous Africa.