By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Mathews Kasamika was born and raised in Mpika, a small rural village in northern Zambia. He was born into a large family and completed his primary and secondary school studies locally. After finishing school in 2001, he began selling homemade ice cream in the streets of his community. With the proceeds, he was able to raise the funds to attend a mission school. After finishing his program, he began working as a volunteer mission worker through his church which he continues to do today. In addition, he is also happily married, has one child, and loves playing volleyball in his free time.
To support his family, Mathews decided to enter the arts and crafts business where he also does t-shirt printing. Zidisha has proven to be a great partner for him as his lenders are able to help him grow and expand his business in ways that he wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
With his business profits he is able to invest in other ventures such as a poultry farm. So far, Matthews has acquired 5 Zidisha funded loans. With his first loan of $63 in February of 2017, he purchased printing ink to print t-shirts.
For his second loan, in April, 2017, he had a very practical request. He decided that buying a bicycle would be a smart move as he spent a significant amount of time and money on transportation costs. He was spending $20 a month just to get to and from his workplace and this did not even include the additional transportation costs to visit his clients. For as little as $90 he could purchase a bicycle of his own.
A few months later, in June 2017 and in August 2017, he was ready for two more loans. While his business and work were going well, he hoped that Zidisha lenders would assist him with a project at home. His home was not unfinished, however, with the help of his faithful lenders, he was able to pay for cement, door frames, building sand, and labor costs. He shares, ‘First and foremost I thank you all my lenders for my past loans, you have really made my life lot more easy.’
On August 31, he updated lenders and shared, ‘Thank you so much my lenders for having confidence in me. I will use the money to buy cement, sand, door frames and to pay for the labour cost of plastering the inside part of my house. I am very grateful for the help you have given me. May the Almighty God bless you.’
Most recently, in December 2017, Matthews secured his fifth loan. With $788 from lenders he was able to purchase an egg incubator for his poultry business. As a multifaceted entrepreneur, he was ready to shift gears, and make progress in his poultry farm. He explains, ‘The incubator will help me grow my poultry business, at the current time I’m spending a lot paying for incubation service. If I buy my own incubator I will cut on incubation costs and I will be able to raise some extra money through incubation services. Your assistance towards raising this loan will be highly appreciated as it will greatly boost my business.’
On December 23, Matthews proudly shared, ‘Hi lenders, this is the incubator I have bought from the loan I got from Zidisha. Thank you so much for your help. This will greatly improve my business.’ Then, exactly one month later, he was back with an additional update, ‘Hi lenders I just want to let you know that I have already started using the incubator. On 20th January, 2018 I had my first hatched chicks. I’m always grateful for your support.’
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