Lusaka entrepreneur thrives on garbage
Published On March 31, 2021 » 471 Views» By Times Reporter » Business, Columns
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By MWAPE MULUBWA  –
MANY a time people think the garbage is worthless.
From household waste to scrap metal, a number of people have become fabulously rich dealing with such refuse.
This just proves the adage ‘one person’s trash is most certainly another person’s treasure’.
Here is a tale of a success story of one such entrepreneur, Harrison Musonda.
A dumpster has proved that a little luck with a lot of patience and a high tolerance for sickness could mean big financial rewards.
Mr Musonda was known around Chunga for rifling through garbage bins to collect cans and bottles, eating thrown-away food.
What his neighbours didn’t realise is that he took the refunds from recycling to the markets.
He is a prime example of how a little can go a long way with the right attitude (and a knack for investing).
The entrepreneur, who now owns Recyclemenia Limited where he is managing director, can be said to be one of the few youths who always looked or saw the other side of the coin.
His stories rather headlines have done their rounds the latest on him when he received a surprise visit by President Edgar Lungu on June 15, 2020.
In an interview, Mr Musonda says Recyclemenia under the Multi-sectoral Youth Empowerment program ( MsYEP) launched by President Lungu, provided him an opportunity to get a loan of K6.9 million to
recapitalise and grow the business.
With his sad history of earlier life where he depended on garbage for survival, Mr Musonda says he now wants to empower more scavengers through cooperatives for the youths in the country.
“Like I saw an opportunity for making money from trash thrown at the Chunga dumpsite, it’s my desire to encourage my fellow youths to likewise venture in this business, “he said.
He reminds his fellow youths throughout the country that the trash people dispose off is cash which they can treasure, as many of them will be able to keep families and other dependents from the same
garbage.
He advised his fellow youths especially those in urban areas not to continue procrastinating or avoid venturing in any form of entrepreneurship.
He says entrepreneurship is key to Zambia’s social- economic development.
“The tendency by most youths, among others, to depend on others for virtually everything from food, shelter, even entertainment merely inhibits their capacity to innovate and generate an income,” he said.
Studies under taken recently show that most youths delay their abilities and potential by having a negative mind-set such as inheritance mindset where most look forward to inheriting the property
or wealth created by their parents, guardians and other folklore.
The other one is the dependency syndrome where one breadwinner is obliged to feed, cloth, shelter and educate everyone in his/her household.
Presumably, this is what discouraged Mr Musonda who, had wanted, would have just accepted the disadvantaged situation his family he was born into.
He would have accepted his aged father’s difficulties in feeding and educating him and his many siblings.
Mr Musonda could have accepted going to sleep with little or no food.
That is if he accepted to depend solely on his parents.
He, however, wants and encourages his fellow youths to stand up and join him in entrepreneurship ventures such as waste management he has been since the age of six as a scavenger.
Encouraged by President Lungu’s surprise visit to his company, Mr Musonda said he will this year onward spearhead the formation of youth cooperative’s in all the 10 provinces which will each have aggregating points, where scavengers will be empowered with containers and push carts with the help of the local authorities.
“We want this project to be rolled out in different districts across the nation, and if they offer land, Recyclemenia will go there and make sure that more points are opened together with co-operatives,” he
said.
He noted that the ‘waste’ co-operatives are meant to train youths on how to separate the waste and make money as it is done in Lusaka.
Mr Musonda, who has a humble background and education, urged youths who recently benefited from the K 470 million MsYEP to work hard and contribute to turn around the national economy.
The entrepreneur says he has employed more than 20 youths who have equally been scavenging at various dumpsites in Lusaka after setting up his waste management business.
“Like for me, I am currently rearing more than 2000 chickens apart from working at the dumpsite. I am making a lot of money,” he says.
The entrepreneur says he has offered himself to go around the country and motivate fellow youths to utilise their full potential.
Mr Musonda, who is grateful for his recognition by President Lungu, says he would endeavour to dedicate his life to helping youths in the country with various life skills.
“In the dumpsite business, there is literally no capital needed but one’s energy and committed to picking up materials such as plastic bottles, plastic bags and metals which can be resold to scrap metal dealers and firms which recycles plastic materials to my company,” he says.
From scavenging at the Chunga dumpsite, Mr Musonda is currently a breadwinner in the family.
He has since managed to build a number of houses and bought a farm. – ZANIS

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