Why ain’t we millionaires?

Why ain’t we millionaires?

Fisho Mwale writes on his page

WHY AREN’T WE MILLIONAIRES?
Last week I was ecstatic and proud . A brother of mine from SA sent me an article about a certain James Ndambo, a Zambian multi millionaire( in dollar terms) who is setting up a VIP Executive Jet company. I felt my chest swell with pride because James is a brother of mine . James is one of the most astute businessmen I’ve come across. But his most disarming virtues is his simplicity, his humility and generosity. James’s success in business rests on his ability to rebound from setbacks and embrace the most audacious business challenges and environments. When James was frustrated and harassed in his own country he moved to South Africa where he became a successful entrepreneur. Inspite of vicious Xenophobia. When I migrated to South Africa as “an economic refugee” James took me in and organized my papers as he has done unconditionally for many Zambians.
James decided to conquer DRC when it had a very difficult political and economic environment. He introduced digitalized Customs clearance. He has become one of the most successful businessmen in DRC and Africa.
James tried to do the same in his home country , but because he is Zambian we killed his dream and decided to give the same business to those who are lighter than us, it’s a Zambian thing.
When therefore I received another call from a Chairman of a big public listed company in the UK who asked if I could introduce him to my brother James Ndambo in Kinshasa because he was such an important man in DRC I gushed with pride as a Zambian and someone who knows such a successful home boy.

The question: Would James have succeeded if he had stayed in Zambia?

The Answer: No

The Reason : James would have succeeded but not to the same extent. He could have been a millionaire but not a multi millionaire because our environment and culture is hard and belligerent on our own. We create more conducive preferential conditions for “bazungus” than ourselves. A foreigner is easier seen or met or listened to than a Zambian entrepreneur. It’s a mindset thing. A Zambian in his own country has to work 5 times as hard to be recognized. A simple business example a Zambian running a first class restaurant will hardly get muzungu clients but a muzungu restaurant with even lower standards will be fulu fulu with muzungus and Zambians . For instance check out Rocky Sombe’s CAPELLOS at Lewanika Mall in Woodlands, it’s first class but no Muzungu. We are our own enemies. We still consider having a million dollars as exotic, a miracle or let alone criminal and the reason is because we DO NOT THINK BIG like James Ndambo .
James Ndambo has now set up an airline . The Zambian government has been trying to set up an Airline for the past 5 years . Who is a hero?
The lesson is that as HH said this is now an era for Zambians First. We must allow our own Zambians to built capacity in fuel procurement, in construction , in Farming, in Renewable energy , in financial services , in Real estate development etc. Don’t condemn but encourage don’t pull down but build and those who succeed we must recognize them for making us proud . A Big up to you James Ndambo my own brother.
To the young entrepreneur James Ndambo is your icon. Emulate his resilience , his focus and ability to embrace change and technology but importantly you live in a Global village without borders. If you are too far ahead of your society find one where you will be appreciated. Do not let small minds stop you from being Great.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • comment-avatar
    Muntu Bulyo 2 weeks ago

    The problem is our attitude. We seem to have a tradition of not appreciating rich people and people who are doing well own their own. We accuse them of all sort of things. Satanists, selling their years in Dubai, relative killers etc. We even despise cattle keeping and in the UNIP days we introduced animal diseases just to make sure everybody looked to the party and its Government for help. This your problem guys.

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    Fisho Mwale was no economic refugee in South Africa. He knows wht he was running away from in Zambia but cannot disclose it. He wants Zambia to hv local millionaires despite bad governance where some lucky few can steal public funds and get away with it. It’s the other way round; good government pays its bills regularly to suppliers in fair contracts that are transparent and good value for money. This is wht helps to create local millionaires. Negative attitudes towards local entrepreneurs is a challenge that can be overcome by enlightened people willing to sit down and craft appropriate policy to slowly deal with it.

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    Chief Chipoka 2 weeks ago

    Congrats to James. Let cancel the Ethiopian Zambia airways deal & let us bring James on board & let us set up a national airline together with him. 

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    CHIPOLA KUYANDA 2 weeks ago

    THERE ARE MANY FACTORS WHICH HINDER ZAMBIANS FROM BECOMING MILLIONERS SOME OF THE FACTORS ARE: SMALL POPULATION WHICH RESTRICTS MARKET GROWTH, LACK OF POLITICAL WILL TO SUPPORT LOCAL ENTERPRENUERS, PHD SYNDROME AMONG OURSELVES, CORRUPTION, LACK OF FINANCES AND RIGID CONDITIONS ATTACHED TO ACCESS FINANCING. LACK OF BUSINESS PLANNING AND SUCCESSION PLANS IN FAMILY OWNED BUSINESSES.

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    Knowledge 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for the article it is well written. The problem we as Zambians is jealous and hate those who are rich. In Zambia it is a taboo to be rich, richness is associated with witchcraft and corruption which is wrong thing and perception.

    Even at places of work ideas originating from fellow are not easily accepted but those coming from a foreigner especially the white persons are easily accepted and no one can question them. We are an enemy of ourselves. A very basic example is the Burundians they have flooded our compounds in Lusaka doing same businesses of Groceries and shops they are doing well and Zambians are very supportive to their businesses yet these people are foreigners and most of them have shop attendants without genuine permits and we know that. Yet no one bothers to question their illegalities. Zambians we don’t support each other because of jealous and greediness coupled with inferiority complex.

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    George Kabwe 2 weeks ago

    This is an interesting article which fully outlined our attitude and behavior as Zambian people We hate our fellow Zambians but embrace foreigners. When it comes to setting up a business, our regulatory boards will condemn everything but for foreigners they advise to improve in certain areas without shutting down the business.

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      Misheck 2 weeks ago

      You are the same people who hinders others even politically.
      Go to malambo kwàjumbe, you feàr and you are singing abwelelepo where