By Thecla Thando.
Gone are the days when school leavers had to wait for someone to employ them. It’s old civilization to hear someone wincing courtesy of tough bosses at their various workplaces. After all, why stress when you know you can be your own boss?
Asante M’manga is one example of modern day breed of Boss Ladies who courageously bid his job goodbye and created her own heaven on earth; self-employment.
Asante is just 24. She is the proud owner of Zonse Shop located in Area 49/Shire in the capital city of Malawi, Lilongwe. She sells cosmetics, groceries and other assorted items.
Triggered by frustrations from the company she works at, Asante made a decision that changed her life for good; she called it quits.
“I was struggling financially yet I was on a payroll. So I paused and asked myself can’t I do something more instead of just sitting in an office? After thinking over it I decided to quit my job,” she recalled.
Inspired by the writings of Robert Kiyosaki, Asante recalls that her business started small.
“Well I got into reading books and I came across Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and it got me, I learnt many principles on how to start and I came across the principle “Pay yourself” which is well explained in a book titled The Richest man in Babylonian.
“I later got a copy of it and read it as well and that was the genesis of my business. After reading the two books I got convinced and believed that I could be my own boss,” she narrated.
Asante then saves K5000.00 within a period of two weeks and managed to order her first goods which were men’s underwear (second hand). Despite that, she aimed at saving k10,000.00 but sold out all her goods within less than 24 hours and restocked the same day.
“I remember that the first money I saved was K5000.00. I ordered men’s underwear in the morning and sold out by noon, so I restocked the same day.
“Two months later I registered as an Avon representative with a capital of K52, 000.00 and of course I invested my salary from my previous work. And later on, late 2017 I decided to expand my business hence I opened my shop,” she recalled.
Talking to people on social issues is what she likes. So starting up this business meant that she would get the chance to talk to people easily more especially her customers.
“Well I chose this business because I am that type of a person who likes to interact with people, getting their views on social issues and all, so this business offered me that opportunity. I find it cool talking to a customer beyond just business because I get to learn new ideas, explore life and hence improving my business in the process,” she explained.
Asante describes her business journey as being great as she has learnt a lot of great lessons along the way.
“I have lived every moment of my business journey with gratefulness. I have learnt a lot of lessons along the way. Hitting the rock bottom, crawling and rising up again and I don’t regret quitting my job and becoming a business lady,” she said.
Just like a lot of others, Asante also shares a time where she wanted to give up and stop whatever that she had worked hard for.
“I remember it was a business day, as usual, I got up to do my hustle, with a bag full of shoes I went to Bunda College with the hope of selling my shoes. To my disappointment, I didn’t sell even a single pair and I tell you it was devastating. I went home and said to myself I can’t do this anymore. But upon meditation I soldiered on,” she explained.
Apart from many other things that Asante has managed to go through this business, changing from being an employee to an employer is the biggest achievement she cherishes.
“One of the biggest achievements I cherish is the fact that I have changed from being somebody’s employee to an employer. Yes, I have employed myself and one other person and I see this as a big achievement,” she said.
Just like any other business, Asante also faces a number of challenges in her business but they have not discouraged her at all.
“Delaying debtors are a virus to any business. High inflation rates, devaluation, and high lending interest rates make it hard to survive on the market,” she explained.
She is a lady with big dreams. She wants to venture into leather making in the nearest future and as our chat was coming to an end she left words for aspiring Boss ladies.
“Believe in yourself. Don’t listen to negative views from family or friends, let them call you crazy but as long as you believe in yourself, go and get it,” she concluded.
She is strong, selfless, smart, smiley and she is a lady. She is motivated by Seodi White and Thompson Mpinganjira and she can surely be a source of motivation to some of you.