By Betsy Ramser Jaime
From the Copperbelt province of Zambia, Kelvin Malambo struggled as a child, sharing, ‘I encountered hardships in my childhood as I was raised not in my parents home. I started school in 1991 and completed my secondary education in 2002 at the age of 17. I studied Business Management from 2005 to 2007 that earned me a diploma.’
In order to attend college, Kelvin asked his Grandmother for the funds, and she was able to provide around $30 to assist him. Using this small startup amount, he was able to start trading and raise the funds for his tuition fees. While his Grandmother is no longer living, Kelvin believes that this opportunity that she provided for him gave him some valuable business experience.
However, once Kelvin was able to successfully finish school, the next hurdle that he faced was finding employment. He was able to secure some part-time jobs to pay the bills and also got married during this time. Looking back, Kelvin says that he ‘almost lost hope’ during this period of time. But, he never gave up as he explains, ‘As a family man I learnt to be responsible and worked even harder. I was able to raise 700 dollars with which I started a poultry business in 2014. Since then I have been through thick and thin, ups and downs until recently when I become more tough and an experienced business man.’
Today, Kelvin and his wife have a beautiful family with two boys and one girl. Kelvin must have passed on his entrepreneurial genes to his children because they love spending time with him and his business. With both a busy work and family life, Kelvin enjoys spending his free time playing with his kids and reading business materials.
Currently, Kelvin operates in the electronics and hardware business and also offers computer and phone solutions for his customers. Kelvin shares with lenders that, ‘The goods and services are in demand because people are either building or need home essentials. Computers & phones have become so important in one’s life such that every person will need them. People are buying these goods every day for work, education or as a luxury. Because of the demand and the knowledge that I have about the goods and services I decided to join this industry.’
Within his business, his typical costs are primarily inventory for computers, basic phones, smartphones, and accessories. Since joining the Zidisha community in late 2018, Kelvin has been able to to raise 6 Zidisha funded loans to keep growing his business. With these loans he’s been able to purchase new inventory and buy a laminator.
As a parent, he also has a passion for education and for helping children in Africa receive a good and affordable education. On October 6, 2019, he went to his discussion page and shared his vision with lenders, ‘Every child have the right to education. In Africa, about 75% of children have either not enrolled in school or going to very poor schools mine included. Schools are charging very high fees with poor services. A big number of children are dropping out of school. It hurts a lot as a responsible parent and citizen to see these children grow up uneducated and poor citizens. This is why poverty in Africa will continue for generations ahead.’
He continues, ‘I have a dream and I’m dedicated to fight hunger and poverty through education. I bought a plot and some blocks to build an excellent and affordable educational facility. I will look for help from well wishers to sponsor 65% of the poor children and charge $11 only per term for those that can manage. This charge is nothing compared to $48 most private schools are charging on average.’
Through his business and his plans for his school, Kelvin is working hard to improve his community and country for both himself and his children. Speaking to the changes that his business and being a part of the Zidisha community has had on his life, he shares, ‘This is going to better life for my family.’
Would you like to support an entrepreneur like Kelvin and empower his or her business or vision? Make sure to head on over to the Browse Projects page to read about other amazing Zidisha entrepreneurs.