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Breaking Ground: A Story of Survival and Success

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Chiukepo Mwenechanya

People usually say life is a journey ​but if you look around, you will notice that our life journeys don’t have destinations, let alone journey maps or routes. We dream to be successful one day; have a dream job, own a successful business, or company, break our family poverty chains, drive expensive cars, live in mansions, etc. Yet we are too afraid to take any risk and we let opportunities pass by each and every day. We never sit down to reflect on our past and future, we always take the easy way out and always focus on what’s wrong around us. In the end, we wonder why or how others get extremely successful within the very same realms of our existence. Well, I do agree with Robert I. Kiyosaki; Failure​ defeats losers while it inspires winners. ​First, we must understand that every problem is a gift because without problems, success, growth and innovation would not matter to humankind. Look at great innovations of all times, most of them were done during the great world wars or at least every innovation is but to solve a problem.

But do we need to be like Bill Gates or Aliko Dangote to be innovative and successful? Well, if there is one person with an answer to that question in this world it is you and only you. Maybe, you might also ask yourself, do you need to have a well to do family, great ideas already brainstormed for you, millions of dollars left for you to be successful person on earth? Well, maybe it worked for someone somewhere but do you have such opportunities? Look around you, your family and your community: In fact, they all look up for your breakthrough in life so that they can have a taste of a good life. Do you want to be successful in life? Do you believe in yourself? Trust me, you can make it and this is your time. Allow me to share a story of a young man, John (not real name) from my site, TA Mzikubola, Mzimba District.

John is 2nd​ born in a family of 5. He is now 25 years old and got married in 2017. He has a 2-year-old daughter now. John is a businessperson and considered as one of the successful young people in the area. He owns the biggest shop at a nearest trading centre and trades in agricultural commodities. I was always curious to hear his story considering that most youth in the area are much into drinking and smoking. He is always busy in his shop. I could not hold it any longer; I had to chat with him. I whispered to him during one of my visit to his shop: “Akulu,​ Muli makola? Tingachezgako pachoko pala mungasanga nyengo?” ​(Brother, how are you? Can we have a chat if you have some time?). Luckily, he said yes and called someone to watch over the shop while we went at the back.

I learned a lot about life, business and being successful in life from the conversation than he did from me, if I shared anything at all. He said for one to understand the John he is today, we first need to know the story of his upbringing. His family was very poor to the point that he did 7 years for a 4-year secondary school because his parents could not afford paying school fees. A day could pass without food. His turning point was after he finished secondary school but could not find anything meaningful to do for 5 months. At that point, he asked himself some set of important questions. What will my life be in 10 years? Will I be poor my whole life? What can I do so that I am able to buy soap, clothes and help my family? In that moment he convinced himself that after the harvest, he will start a small business. At that point, he reminded me of a saying that one​ day your life will flash before your eyes, make sure it’s worth watching​. Yes, with only 10,000.00 Malawi Kwacha (US$13) he started selling tomatoes, beans and soya pieces in December of 2015 using a bench. With the desire to turn around his life, he also understood what his community needed most, namely relish. Against all odds, business flourished and he was determined. In 2016, he built a 4-room structure of which two rooms are rented out, he uses one as his shop and the other for storage. As of today, he makes over 70,000.00 Malawi Kwacha (US$93) in a day from his shop only and he is into agri-business. He has made about 2 Million Malawi Kwacha (US$2,000) from last year’s sales and he confessed to me that he is very rich in his own world.

Remember, business inspiration is not just about getting fired up inside—it’s also about building an understanding of what it takes to launch and run a successful business.

Know that, “what the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”​ -Napoleon Hill

Understand that, “we​ are what we repeated do. Success then is not a one-time random life event but a habit” -Aristotle

Embrace the fact that, “success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”​ -Winston Churchill

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