Sarah Ng’ang’a, director, Juja Modern Hospital.

Once a dream, Juja Modern Hospital is now a fast growing health facility, drawing patients from different parts of Kenya

By George Gichuki

Like the proverbial  cat, Sarah Ng’ang’a  has nine lives.  She has  weathered  many  storms  and  navigated  difficult  terrain  in  her  tough journey as an entrepreneur.  A professional nurse whose speciality is midwifery,  Sarah is bold, calculating, assertive and resilient. Her vision to venture into business was conceived while recuperating  at her residence after developing  slip disk complications. The complications forced her to retire from her nursing job at St. Scholastica  Uzima Hospital in Nairobi. While undergoing physiotherapy sessions at the Aga Khan Hospital, she was advised by  the doctor  not to carry heavy weights in order to recover fast and fully.  


 Sarah  is  a  devoted Christian.   Her boss at St. Scholastica Uzima Hospital,  Sister Rosa Pascal was a close  friend  and  mentor who  played  a pivotal    role  in strengthening  her faith as a   Christian.  In that respect, she  embraced her illness with a lot of grace  and accepted  to take an early retirement. With a young family requiring  her support, her  future at that juncture seemed   bleak. Amidst all these challenges,  she one day  had a vivid   dream.  Some  chicks which appeared lost and helpless at a dingy place, were crying for her assistance. At that point in time, the dream made no sense to her.  That was not the end of  this mystery.  After a few days, while washing dishes, Sarah  experienced a strange  vision. “ I saw a mother  knocking a gate, while carrying an infant ;  a  man was holding her hand,” she recalls vividly.

The dream and vision triggered her thoughts.  Gradually,  it  dawned  on  her   that  a  pastor, by the name  Maina Njagi had  confided in her   that her illness would  catapult  her to the world  of   entrepreneurship as an owner of a  healthy facility, where babies would be delivered.   “ This  was a pipedream in so far as I was concerned given  that I didn’t have any capital to invest in such an ambitious  project,” she further recalls.

A step of faith

As  she sat  in  her  house  trying  to  figure  out  how  she  would  cope  with  her  predicament,  a   voice that was urging her to embark on the  ambitious   project  became louder and louder. She decided to obey it. She therefore used  public means  from her home  at  Kenyatta Road estate to Juja town. Her goal was to get a suitable building  for setting up a   business.  After alighting from the matatu, she   painfully walked   to  a  nearby  commercial   building  that was nearing completion.  After negotiating  with  its   caretaker, she decided  to  let some space  in the building once it was completed.  “  Believe it or not,” she says. “ That is the building which had appeared in my  dream,” she adds. Since her savings  had been depleted by  illness,  she borrowed money from a friend in order to book space in the building. That marked the beginning of her gruelling  journey as an entrepreneur.

Family support

 The next major  task was  equipping  the hospital, purchasing  drugs and hiring staff. Clearly, this required a lot of capital. Sarah therefore  requested  her mother and siblings to allow her sell a family plot at Nairobi’s    Embakasi  Ranching  Scheme in order to  generate the seed capital.  Fortunately, they agreed.

 Even after managing to get someone who was ready to purchase the plot,  Sarah still faced another hurdle. The management of the   giant  ranching scheme insisted that she had to wait until the issuance of title deeds was complete.  That made her very anxious. As luck would have it though, the directors of the ranching scheme convened a shareholders’ meeting  to address that issue. Sarah accompanied her mother to the meeting. With a lot of confidence, she   rose  during  the meeting and requested  the chairman to allow her mother to sell her plot before being issued with a title deed since she had an urgent domestic issue to address. Ordinarily,  Sarah’s   small body frame would have made her inconspicuous in  the  meeting since it  had a very high attendance. But she rose to the occasion by eloquently prosecuting her case to the chairman and his directors. Moved by  Sarah’s  fighting spirit, the chairman gave  her mother a waiver to sell her plot.

FROM L-R: Sarah Ng’ang’a, Ronald Ng’eno (theatre technician), Vincent Odiek (nurse),
Vincent Chesire (nurse) and Damaris Muhoro (nurse).

That opportunity was godsend. Very fast, the family sold the plot and Sarah got the seed capital for her business. She named it Juja Modern Hospital.   To start with, she purchased the  hospital   equipment from a leading supplier in Nairobi.  After that , she recruited five staff members –  a clinical officer and three nurses.  At  long  last , she thought that she had got a breakthrough. But no!  In the first three months, the business was very slow. Three of her staff members left.  Bills were accumulating – especially rent.  Given these difficult   circumstances, Sarah decided to  bring two partners ( who were medical doctors) on board.  The two partners injected more capital to the business which was used to purchase more medical equipment.

Gradually, the business started to pick. But before Sarah could uncork the champagne bottle, her partners made some proposals that she found quite difficult to meet. This broke the partnership just . Once again, she found herself in a tight corner.  Compounding her challenges,  after breaking their relationship, the two medics took  away the equipment whose purchase they had financed. It was very devastating.

A rock and a hard place

Caught between a rock and a hard place, Sarah made a very bold decision. She made an agreement with Trust Med Suppliers     to sell her residence at Kenyatta Road. In turn, the company replaced the lab and medical  equipment that had been seized by her former partners.  The debt would be settled after selling the property. On another positive note, Juja Modern Hospital was accredited  to  the National Hospital Insurance Fund ( NHIF).

The entrepreneur might have thought that she was finally out of the woods. But Lo! She encountered yet  another challenge.  One unlucky   afternoon,  the landlord locked up a section of her business because she had unpaid rent amounting to Kshs. 1.6 million.  This caught her off guard.  Just before she threw in the towel, she made a call to the area chief who advised her to  appeal to the Business Premises Rent Tribunal.  As luck would have it,  the tribunal gave her a  court order restricting the landlord from evicting her until her case was heard and determined. Bernard  Odero Okello, a lawyer whom she met by  chance  when the hearing  of  the case was about  to  commence, agreed to represent her.

Dr. Hillary Lang’at, the resident doctor, Juja Modern Hospital with his team preparing
for an operation.

It said that when it rains, it pours! On another fateful afternoon, while  Sarah was waiting for a team from a leading savings and credit co-operative society ( Sacco) to negotiate for a loan facility, some strangers came knocking. Guess whom they were?  They were the dreaded   auctioneers. They had a court order demanding that she should settle her rent arrears failure to which her equipment would be auctioned. 

The auctioneers refused to honour the court order that she had  secured from the rent tribunal despite her plea. Consequently, they took her equipment and office furniture to Juja Police Station.  Fortunately, her lawyer came in the nick of time with a new   court order. He negotiated with the auctioneers who agreed to release  the  seized goods on condition that she would settle their fee. She obliged.

Lady luck

A few days after the ugly incident, lady luck smiled on Sarah. She got a call from the United Kingdom ( UK).  The caller was willing to buy her house.  To that end, he visited Kenya. After settling   on the price,  a  sales agreement   between   him   and  Sarah   was prepared  by a lawyer.  As a commitment to this agreement, he gave  Sarah a  down payment  of Kshs. 2 million.  “ I used that money to settle my rent arrears,”  Sarah happily says.

When he went back to the UK, Sarah’s customer finally  acquired the house after paying the balance ;  Kshs. 11 million.  It was a huge relief for her. She used that money to settle her debt with Trust Med, pay rent in advance and to purchase a residential plot at Kenyatta Road estate.  For sentimental reasons, the plot was  in the same locality  with the property that she had sold. In the new plot now stands a magnificent maisonette put up by the resilient entrepreneur. Many doubting Thomases would  never have  imagined   that her huge gamble would by any  chance   pay off at  some point. It did.


Juja Modern Hospital has overcome great odds to register substantial growth over a short period of time. It draws patients from different parts of the country including : Uasin Gishu, Nairobi and Kiambu counties.

During the Covid-19  epidemic period, most patients could not travel abroad  for treatment. The hospital filled that gap by organizing tele-medicine sessions with hospitals in India among  other countries.  “ That way, many patients were able to  consult their doctors in foreign countries from our facility,” says Sarah adding that these patients would then buy the medicine prescribed to them locally. The hospital is offering this service to date.

The fast  growing  hospital   has also   been able to attract  corporate patients ( mainly from its neighbourhood)  including : Wendani Valley View School, Corner Brook School, ACK St. Mathew School in Juja, Bristar Girls and Precious Blood Children’s Home.

From a skeleton staff of two, the facility now has thirty staff members comprising : a resident medical doctor, three clinical officers  and  nine nurses among  others. Additionally, the hospital has engaged consultant doctors in gynaecology, dentistry and orthopaedics.

Sarah is a visionary entrepreneur.  “ My goal is to grow this hospital to a Level five status in the near future,” she says.  In order to achieve that audacious goal,  Sarah has purchased a plot in Juja town where she will put up   a building to house the new hospital. “ We have already applied for building approvals  from the county government and construction will commence soon,” she says adding  that this development will  help her to lower the operational costs since she will stop paying rent.

By and large, Sarah attributes her success in the business to the support from Madam Ann Wambui Njoroge, mother to her landlord, Robert Mukundi Njoroge.  “ She stood by my side when my rent arrears were very high  to the extent of almost disagreeing with her children,” recalls Sarah.  “ She is very precious to me,” she adds.

Juja Modern Hospital staff members.

Giving back to the community

Her father passed on two weeks before she was born. He  never got an opportunity  to see his  beautiful  girl. Sarah  was left under the care of her mother who is a small scale farmer. “ We  are ten children in our family and my mother educated us single handedly after a lot of struggle,” Sarah painfully recalls.   The local community organized a fundraiser to meet her college fees.  “ I will forever be grateful to all those who raised funds in order for me to pursue my nursing course,” she happily says.

Against this background, Sarah is active in giving back to the community.  Currently, she is educating three girls in the university and two in primary school. Additionally, she is educating a boy in high school.  “ I would like   my legacy to be defined by the role I play in supporting the education of children from needy family   backgrounds,” she says. “ My goal is to  transform their lives  and to make them financially independent,” she adds.

Advice to women entrepreneurs

A few decades  ago, one of the major challenges that women faced in their entrepreneurship  journey was shortage of capital. That was   mainly because they did not possess  collaterals like title deeds that were  required by financial institutions in order to access loans.

 Times have changed though.  Nowadays many women have broken the glass ceiling.  They own  property, operate bank accounts and run big enterprises.  Sarah is a good example.  Nevertheless, the world of business is still dominated by men.  One way of filling this gap is by   encouraging successful women entrepreneurs to mentor their upcoming colleagues.  “ My advice to women wishing to succeed as entrepreneurs is that they should not fear challenges since they usually turn out to be opportunities for more  growth because  of  the lessons  that they offer,” she says.

Sarah also advises prospective women entrepreneurs to be focused on their businesses. “ If you want to succeed in entrepreneurship as a woman, you should avoid paying attention to  pessimists and naysayers,” she firmly says.  “ it is also important for you as an employer to treat your staff members with utmost decorum since  they  are  the backbone  of   your  business  and   they should  therefore   be   highly motivated and productive,” she adds.

Sarah’s  moving  story  is unbelievable. It is like a piece of fiction – with imaginary  characters and  episodes. She has been able to soldier on after being bruised  by  hard jabs in  the world of the entrepreneurship. Her fighting spirit  has set her apart from ordinary folks…the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Sarah at a glance

Favourite cuisine :  Ugali served with beef stew and kale

Hobbies: listening to gospel music and dancing

First car : Toyota Fielder

Dream / current   car :  Toyota Harrier

Diary:  Sleeps after mid night, wakes up at 8.00 am and reports to work at 9.00 am

Favourite book : My Life in Crime by John Kiriamiti



  1. This is a very inspiring story of Ms Ng’ang’a..Thank you Jehovah God in Heaven for hosting the efforts of this lady …May xhe continue to do even more exploits in the Mighty Namd of Jesus..Hallelujah.


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