By Betsy Ramser Jaime
“To reach where I am hasn’t been easy but I thank God,” shares Emmanuel Wandiga. As a child, Emmanuel struggled to comprehend why he didn’t have new clothes or shoes like many of his classmates. Even money for lunch was not a given, growing up. The lack of school fees also made it difficult for him to consistently stick with his studies. However, even with all of these factors stacked against him, he was able to grab opportunity as soon as it presented itself. He explains, “I saw an opportunity from a friend of mine who was willing to teach me the trait of Disk Jockey(DJ). That was my breakthrough into the entertainment industry. The difficult part of entertainment is people tend to go for well built brands or established names hence not giving people like us a chance. I live, I eat and dream music.”
As a DJ and event organizer, Emmanuel believes that he is in an industry that is yet to be fully tapped. His philosophy is that a big part of success comes down to creativity and innovation. He continues, “It is a field I have always desired to be in, I can simply say it’s where my passion lies. I can honestly state that the little profit that comes my way is divided into two. One is usually reinvestment and secondly my basic up keeps. I would love for my business to stand on its two own feet in that I get to help others that are either in my position or worse, by creating employment.”
Emmanuel has done a great job of slowly building momentum with small but well-used Zidisha funded loans. His first four loans were all under $10 starting in December 2016. With his first $5 loan he purchased RCA cables which he explains are used to connect the players and the mixers. His next $5 loan in January 2017 was put towards a new battery for his phone. Since he doesn’t have an office and is always moving around, he considers his phone to be his office. Before this loan, his battery charge was unpredictable which made it difficult for him to reach his clients and vice versa. A new battery has allowed him to keep in contact with clients at all times. Shortly thereafter, he shared that his next loan of $5 would go to purchasing a power bank.
By September 2017, Emmanuel was ready for another loan as he began to plan for the future sharing, “It’s high time I start looking at the future rather than just taking it a day at a time. I really want to buy an external hard disk cable since it is better being prepared. As we know failing to plan is planning to fail. I had gone for an event two months back without a cable, I had to go back home get it and then return to the event hence being late. It wasn’t exciting at all. So to avoid such issues I’d rather have two. One that will be permanently in the bag and the other which will be flexible.”
A month later, Emmanuel was able to secure a $19 loan from lenders which he wisely used to purchase a high quality power cable. After having to borrow or rent them in the past, he knew that having his own would be a smart business investment.
In October, Emmanuel humbly shared, “Looking Back from where I started I couldn’t help but just assuming that everything is okay. Hence the project that I started. Every month I have made sure I visit either a home or a family that is in need of a helping hand. I usually spend a day with them and try to provide some basic items that I might have extra. Expanding my business will really make me do more.”
As 2017 came to a close, Emmanuel raised $45 and shared with lenders, ‘“I am so grateful to the Zidisha family as a whole. I am not where I started that is more than evident and for that I am sincerely grateful. I have come a long way. Truly as it is also evident the music industry is changing. I have to keep up with the industry. Keeping up with it means being hooked and addicted to music every second of the day. For my next loan, I am planning to purchase an mp3 player, Memory Card, Memory Card Reader and Earphones that will amount to at least $50. The main aim for the items is so as to have various mixes of competent deejays all over the world. With so doing I get to learn and keep myself abreast with current music and flow of different crowds, hence maintaining my position and even become a better dj. I am grateful once again for your continued support.”
Emmanuel explained that the extension cable has truly impacted his business as he can now charge his laptop, power his machines, and charge his phone all at the same time. He continues, “I can humbly say the extra cash that used to go to the expense of hiring one is now an addition to my profit. I even got the chance to adopt a child and pay for her school fees. All thanks to the help of Zidisha. We even have a group that is mainly meant for charity cause business has been looking up for me despite the political instability that we have undergone the past four months. Thanks again.”
With his next two loans, he successfully raised, ‘$69 and $83. The first loan was put towards a laptop backpack to help him easily transport his computer and equipment. Then, the $83 loan went towards the purchase of an external hard drive with 2 terabytes. This would allow him to store large quantities of music in a single place.
On May 24, 2018, Emmanuel recently shared with his lenders, “I am the happiest dj right about now. I just got to purchase myself a 2 terabyte external hard disk. I can now download and save a lot of music. I am so grateful to Zidisha and the lenders. I urge you to listen to some of my mixes at mixcloud. My username is Gazza Dj. Thanks again and be blessed.”
For many entrepreneurs, like Emmanuel, the Zidisha and borrower relationship is much deeper than a financial transaction. It’s also about personal transformation and growth as a person. As Zidisha borrowers grow their businesses they also grow as human beings, and as a result of that growth they are able to give more to their families and communities.
Emmanuel embodies this so well as he writes, “I write to Zidisha family and the lenders at large as a very happy man. I can’t finds words to quantify my gratitude. I have to say I have grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined and it is quite a joy since you have played a key part in my growth as a person, as a Dj and also as a brand that I make creating on a day to day basis. I have been so overjoyed that I even started going from one child to another just to offer my services and also have been contributing to their school pocket money. That tends to show how far and much I have grown from the first day I started being part of this awesome family. I am so grateful to the lenders and Zidisha as a platform. I am moving forward. The steps might be small but they do have a significance.”
Would you like to help other entrepreneurs like Emmanuel make significant changes in their communities? Head on over to our Lend page to read other stories of business owners like Emmanuel.