July 5, 2017 by Thumbiko Nyirongo
“If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake,” said Bill Gates, one of the world business tycoon.
Yusuf Amin from Malukula Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Chowe in Mangochi district is a living example of a successful person who was not born with a silver spoon on his mouth but he managed to conquer the world.
Yusuf, a second born in the family of three boys and two girls was born in early 80s in Mangochi district, Malawi. He was born from a poor background. His father was a common fisherman.
Yusuf did not go further with his education since his parents were not able to provide him with school fees and other stationeries.
“After writing my Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations (PSLCE) l was selected to a Community Day Secondary School but l failed to report for classed due to lack of school fees. My father was only able to source money for daily meal from his fishing business,” narrated Yusuf.
Just like many young boys in Mangochi district, Yusuf left with only two options in his life to seek for green pasture in South Africa or join his father in fishing business.
“l had to found ways of surviving, l then joined my Father in fishing business so that l should source some money to process a passport and Fly to South Africa to seek for green pasture,” Yusuf told Africa Inspire Foundation.
He added that,” sourcing money for passport and transport was not easy. W e would spend the whole night on the Lake without netting fish. Sometimes government official would come to confiscate our fishing materials.”
As the saying goes hard work pays, Yusuf managed to source money and process traveling document (Passport).
“With help from my father, l managed to process a passport and transport money. I then traveled to South Africa where l was working as a garden boy,” he said.
He added,” Lucky was not on my side, after working for close to three months l was arrested by South African police after l failed to show them working permits. I was then deported back home where l started from Zero again, life was unfair,”
Back home, Yusuf made a vow of never to return to South Africa, according to him the treatment he was subjected to while in South Africa was enough.
“I was deported home with nothing in my pocket. The police didn’t allow me to collect my belongings and even the little money l had in my pocket was confiscated by the Police,” narrated Yusuf to Africa Inspire Foundation.
Tired of fishing and Village life, Yusuf traveled to the commercial city of Blantyre and settled in Bangwe Township. He started to work as minibus tout.
“After staying in the Village for almost half year, l decided to seek for green pasture in the commercial city of Blantyre. In Blantyre l was working as Minibus tout at Kapenga Stage in Limbe. At first life was not easy some of the town mongers would wait for us to work and take the money from us,” he said.
After touting Minibuses for a year, Yusuf discovered new business window. He applied for a place from Market authorities and opened a private pitlatrine (Toilet).
“l discovered that they were only two to three public toilets the whole Limbe market, this forced me to open my private toilet after seeing how people were struggling when they wanted to visit the toilet. The free public toilets were not health friendly,” he said.
He further said,” The business was growing day in day out. l was able to survive in town with the money l was getting from private toilet business. l stayed in the business for a quite number of years.”
Like a focused Eagle in the sky, Yusuf served enough money from his toilet business and with time he decided to switch businesses.
“After operating a private toilet for number of years, l used the money l was serving to start selling second hands clothes and shoes in Limbe Market. This was a turning point in my Life, things started working for me for better,” said Yusuf while smiling.
He continued,” From the selling of second hand clothes l managed to build a house in Bangwe and a decent house for my parents in the village.”
Yusuf a husband and Father of two children now said,” lam able to support my family and relatives from the sale of second hand clothes and shoes. My kids are at private school and l also pay school fees for my relatives in the Village.”
Apart from selling second hand clothes, Yusuf also owns a retail shop in Namiyango-Bangwe where he sales assorted items. He has managed to employ three people in his shop and two others who assist him with selling second hand clothes in Limbe market.
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