Meet American lady who relocated to Africa and started hawking on the streets

An American lady, Sylvia Bichanga, who went viral after being spotted hawking on the streets of Kenya has shared her experience after relocating to the East African nation.

The woman who is married to a Kenyan man named Kelvin Opanga, spoke to Tuko about her relationship and life as a hawker on the streets of Kisumu, Kenya.

According to Sylvia, the snack she sells are largely well-received in the lakeside city as clients love her food stall because of the unique American food she makes.

“I don’t make chapatis or mandazis, so the food is unique, and many people have never tasted it before.

“My pizza pocket goes the best among the younger generations, while the tea is a big hit among matatu drivers and conductors,” she said.

The businesswoman also revealed that people find it curious seeing a Caucasian lady hawking.

“Most people are very curious of what I am selling and are quite excited about trying out the food,” she said.

Sylvia, who grew up in Ohio, USA relocated to Kenya with her family through the Conservative Christian Mission, and she had no plans on getting married.

Speaking on how she married Kelvin, she recounted how robbers raided their house in Kisumu and carted away their electronics. She accompanied her father to an electronics shop where Kevin worked, and that is how they met.

“I could not believe my eyes when I saw him. My spirit left my body. My hands were trembling, I had never seen such a handsome man in my life. That is where I went down a difficult road,” she said.

They eventually got married in April 2021 and some photos from the auspicious occasion showed Sylvia with her parents.

However, Sylvia said the a major challenge of being in a cross-cultural marriage is: “Having been raised in different cultures it takes more communication than a normal marriage would.”

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