By Philes Davis
Like most of the ladies her age, Angela Chimaliro Banda is a family woman. But unlike most of Malawian ladies of her age, she has totally different ideologies to life in general. To her, being a woman is just a biological set up; a woman can do whatever a man can, even surpassing them. To Angela, a real woman hustles, and hustling she does.
Angela is a proud owner of Legacy Bride and Fashion House, a boutique that uptown dwellers crave for in Lilongwe, and Blantyre.
Typical of modern day successful entrepreneurs, Angie’s rising to stardom in the business world did not come on a silver platter.
Flashback to 2008. Angie was an employee with one of the popular car rental firms in the country. By nature of her job then, she was required to be frequently visiting Mzuzu. The more she visited the Green City, the more her craving to be her own boss grew. Here’s why.
“I fell in love with Taifa clothes. I could purchase a few and sell them back in Lilongwe at a profit. With time, I realized this could be a profitable venture.” She recalls.
So, every time she set her feet on the soils of Mzuzu, she could make it a habit of purchasing a couple of merchandise for sale.
With time, more and more of her city folks fell in love with her wares. The demand for her merchandise was plummeting.
By then, she had no shop so she could just hand-deliver her products to prospective clients. Social media was her biggest marketing channel… but it was not that sustaining. The pressure was becoming unbearable.
So, come 2013, enough was more than necessary. Angie lived her longtime dream by opening her shop in Lilongwe.
This was/is a shop that is home to designer shoes, uptown clothing lines, and assorted household items to make her clients’ houses complete homes.
Source of motivation
Angie has always had the fuel to move forward via her beloved mother. According to Angie, her mother had cleared the path for Angie to soldier on in both trials and tribulations.
“I’ve always been inspired by a very charming and beautiful soul, my mum. She is a hardworking woman. A woman who taught me to always face life ahead and to believe in myself. With what she injected in me, I believe I can make it in life,” she revealed.
That is not all. If one ever thought Angie was raised on a silver platter, then you better update your knowledge bank.
“My Beloved mum instilled in me some basic entrepreneurial skills way back in my youthful years. I remember she used to be sending us, (with my cousin, Charles Nyasulu, and my late bro) to be selling flitters (Mandasi) at Area18 market (Lilongwe). We could also be selling beans across our neighborhood. Little did I know she was teaching us a valuable lesson. “ She recalls.
The darker side
Being an entrepreneur is no mean feat. It takes guts to be a successful entrepreneur. And Angie is a living testimony. As expected, most Malawians are fond of not honoring payments upon being entrusted with Angie’s merchandise.
“Some of my clients like taking my business venture for granted. They’re fond of not remitting my monies in time. This really cripples my business,” cried she.
That is not all.
The dawn of the social media, though good, has also some serious repercussions to her business as she has ever been a victim of verbal tirades from her clients.
“Customers expect a seller to be perfect and whenever someone who sells stuff makes a mistake, Facebook goes viral. You become the talk of the town. You’re insulted left right and centre without being given a chance to explain your side of the story,” she said.
And she came to a conclusion that business is not for the faint hearted
Time is the master so goes the adage. Through the nine years that Angie has been in the game, she has learnt to be strong and face challenges head on.
Five years from now, she sees herself as a big person. With time, Angie has grown to never disclose her plans because she does not want to give a chance to her enemies to easily know where to strike.
But she says she is maturing and ready to toast to the riches that are coming say half a decade from now.
The magic wand
When all hope seemed to have been gone, there came Frank Banda, her beloved hubby. It is through him as well that she is where she is today. Through his unceasing support, Angie is where she is today. Frank, according to Angie, is every woman’s dream soul mate.
“My beloved soulmate, Frank Banda has always been the pinnacle of my success. It’s through his support and his mature pieces of advice that I have reached this far. He always respects me and cherishes my dream and has always invested knowledge unto me to be where I am today. I owe it to him,” she praises.
- When people think that they are pulling you down, confuse them by rising up and move like never before.
- Life is based on how you want to live it like.
- Angie’s Blantyre shop is located behind Immigration Offices at Pacific Mall shop A9 downstairs
- In Lilongwe, her shop is located in Philemon house, Devil street.