This year The African Exponent featured inspirational stories from different people across the continent. They shared their experiences and what keeps them motivated to spread positive vibes to other people in their societies. Here are a few moments that we feel are inspirational and worth remembering:
1. When it comes to putting your all into a business, no one knows it better than Wahu Kagwe. “It took me a lot of gut, a lot of sacrifices and real power. It has not been easy,” she says of her business. “I pushed on even when it seemed impossible because it has always been my dream and passion.” Wahu Kagwe is the owner of Afro Siri salon in Kenya.
2. New technology is transforming the way people live. Churchill Nanje is utilizing new tech platforms to ensure that young people in the continent are updated with the latest job offers. “When I see young people, ‘I’m like, maybe if someone had taken me like this, I would have been [where I am] faster.’” To Nanje, young people are a source of inspiration. They remind him of where he comes from, and of his younger self. Churchill Nanje- founder of Njorku, a Job Search Engine Company based in Cameroon.
3. It takes a lot of courage for an individual to quit a well paying job to start a business. “It is never easy, but consistency pays. Yes, the market is as big as the number of people who walk to work, but there are still many infrastructural challenges.” Wycliffe Waweru- owner of Play Guru, a company that deals with selling second-hand bicycles in Kenya.
4. “What I believe is, when you get to commit yourself to your dream, and you know how big your dream is, it informs you how high you should jump.” “For me, I know how big my dream is, what it needs, and how much commitment I need. So, that keeps me going.” A business also needs as much passion, Janerose Gatobu the founder and owner of Jagari Designs in Kenya said. Her company deals with making bags using Ankara and leather.
5. As much as Eric earns millions of shillings, he does not see himself as a boss. “I deal a lot with young people. You can’t boss them. I mentor them and build their capacity in life skills, something that I never got in my younger years.” Eric Kinoti is a Kenyan entrepreneur who believes in supporting as many start-ups as possible. He is the owner of four companies including Shade Systems (EA) Ltd, his flagship company that manufactures and supplies luxury tents in East Africa.
He advises entrepreneurs to be: “passionate about their business, be risk takers, remain focused, be patient and team players.”
6. Beatrice Nkatha, the owner of Sorghum Pioneer Agencies in Kenya, had to rise above herself to get into and sustain her business.
“I learned to be alert, memorize details and to be honest.” Her interest in business was roused while working for other business owners. From these, she acquired first-hand knowledge of the business.
Image credit: http://www.iyfnet.org/