I believe success is a journey of personal development, an adventure that brings growth and maturity to the mind, body and soul. As author Jim Rohn once said, ‘You should set a goal that is big enough, that in the process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming’. Such is the story of Zaina Mavis Kanjadza.

“I was a super disorganized person, I thought it was being spontaneous and free, but I was just unfulfilled and unsatisfied with my life. I lacked purpose.”

Zaina Mavis was born in Lilongwe on February 15th, 1987. She grew up in Blantyre where she attended preschool and primary school. She proceeded to do her secondary school at St. Lawrence Girls Secondary School in Chikhwawa, and was among its first students. Next step was The Polytechnic, University of Malawi where she studied Accountancy. Within two years after graduation, she became a chartered accountant, and in that same period worked as an assistant accountant and also as a lecturer at one college in Blantyre. Zaina took her first real risk in 2009 when she quit her secure lecturing job; for a year-long contract in a capacity building project for local assemblies. At 22 she left her parents’ home along with its privileges, one of which was a car.

“I had read part of the book by Robert Kiyosaki, ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and one statement caught my attention. He said ‘When you start seeking something you begin to see more and more of it or related to it’. Since I wanted a car I started looking for ways to acquire one; then I stumbled upon vehicle asset finance”

Through a certain reputable bank in Malawi, Zaina was able to purchase a Toyota Vitz with no down payment. When the earlier mentioned capacity building project ended, Zaina survived on her rainy day savings for three months. In those three months of 2010; Zaina, then a chartered accountant and expert financial advisor applied for about 20 job posts and got zero feedback. Luckily, in the third month of Zaina’s job search, one well known bank recruited her as a Finance Manager.

Within two months of working, Zaina Mavis looked successful. At 23 she was a Finance Manager and was driving a Mercedes Benz. Being a creative minded person, the accountancy role did not suit well with Zaina’s personality, as such she was always trying to find an escape for example, frequent breaks at work.

Zaina in her rice field

“Even after achieving all this and having perceived success in society, I still felt unfulfilled. My work environment was crushing me; it was not bringing out the best in me. So I began thinking of pursuing my childhood dream”  

From early childhood, having a farm had always been Zaina’s dream. She was inspired by stories from her Geography class of how Scandinavian countries deliberately flooded lands to make them more fertile. This resulted in the production of fodder for the dairy industry. More often than not, her thoughts fluttered back to her beloved homeland, and how agriculture is supposedly Malawi’s savior.

“When I was fourteen, I drew a fruit and vegetable farm on a paper which I kept till university. I always told myself ‘One day am going to have this’. I knew agriculture could transform my country too, I just wasn’t sure how”.

In 2015, Mavis Kanjadza used her work bonus to purchase a seven-acre piece of land, a decision that would lead to the birth of Kanjadza Acres.

“Well, the bottom line is, I did not love my job. I am always reading something, and every book I studied mentioned something to do with stepping away from the comfort zone, a process that will make you very uncomfortable”.

At this point in her life, Zaina was dealing with a lot of uncertainty, fear, doubt, poor sense of personal direction and conflicts in spirit. She did not like her job but the mere thought of quitting sent shivers down her spine. In December of 2015, right before the holidays, Zaina Mavis Kanjadza quit her Finance Manager job.

In April of 2016, Kanjadza Acres was officially established and after extensive research, emphasis was made on horticulture. One of the challenges that Zaina faced in her farm venture was the inconsistent supply of water; which in turn affected the quality and succulence of her horticultural products especially cucumbers. Unattended livestock also damaged the crops at the farm until a seven-acre long fence was built to counter. Inadequate extension services were also detrimental to the farms progress as technical agricultural knowledge was of paramount importance, but was not readily available.

“I was exposed to a lot of success stories but not to the pain and challenges part. I learned that it’s important to start small, that way you can easily absorb and adjust to the shocks that you encounter due to lack of experience for example. Starting small gives you time to learn.”

“In pursuing your dream do not seek to impress others or prove a point, it only makes your journey harder.”  

However, despite all the challenges, Kanjadza Acres continued to grow. Zaina has specifically stated that she had to be careful not to let anything draw her away from the vision of building and growing her farm. Zaina plans to build a systematic supply of horticultural produce in bulk across Malawi, and probably the SADC region. 

I am a visionary, I take risks, am a creative person. In my journey with the farm I have developed patience. I believe every crop is profitable, the only question is; can you grow it in the required volume?”

Mrs. Kanjadza, a mother of two, is also the founder and CEO of Own Your Lane, a personal development brand through which she coaches people in physical fitness, lifestyle transformations, business as well as personal mastery.

To aspiring entrepreneurs;

“Hang around the right crowd, people who think like you. Control your environment. Be Disciplined”

“Whatever it is, start small. The process of growth will build your patience, character and vision!”

“Self-awareness. Always check your motives, why do you act the way you do? Be honest with yourself”

“Do not compete with anyone, we are all unique in our own ways, don’t feel the need to show off. Find your lane, OWN YOUR LANE”

Contacts; zainamavis@gmail.com Facebook


Humble beginnings are real! The famous Bill Gates once said, “It’s not your fault if you were born poor, but it will be your fault if you die poor”. Here is a story of a man who came from nothing, and has managed to build five businesses in car hire, general supplies, marketing and branding, advertising and catering services under Top Trading Group

Phingo-Phingo Makondi, born in 1986 lost both parents at a very young age and was taken in by his aunt. However, he did not stay with her long but moved to his home village in Thyolo where he completed his primary education at Nagwengwere school. Phingo-Phingo was then selected to Nyodola Community Day Secondary School, which was seventeen kilometers away from his home. Every day, for two years, he walked this distance to and from school, a total distance of thirty-four kilometers. Since his family could not afford to raise enough money for school fees at the time, he sought help from well-wishers. Luckily, he found it in Madame Shanil Muluzi, Malawi’s First Lady at the time who offered to pay his school fees when she visited their constituency.

In the year 2004, Phingo-Phingo moved to Blantyre where he completed his last two years of secondary school at Michiru View. His Malawi Schools Certificate Examinations results were not satisfactory to his guardians as such he was sent to Kaphuka where he scored 20 points on his MSCE in 2006. He was later selected to pursue Media for Development at Chancellor College. Unfortunately, he did not like the course and opted to enroll at National College of Information Technology. Three months down the line, he withdrew from NACIT.

I did not like the Media for Development course and did not enjoy studying IT. I was never great with sciences. So I enrolled for a marketing degree course at Malawi Adventist University. I have always loved business related subjects; and I was the best in Business and Accounting at Kaphuka”

Phingo-Phingo graduated from Malawi Adventist University with a marketing degree and joined Chibuku Products Limited in 2012, as the first graduate trainee for its marketing department. Phingo-Phingo has always had a mind for businesss; while in school, his first business was selling bread. He would buy a loaf and sell slices to fellow students. He then moved on to stationery, printing, selling airtime as well as sanitary pads. While working for Chibuku, Phingo-Phingo still had the entrepreneurial mindset and was always looking for business opportunities.

I was always looking for an opportunity for business, by the time I was finishing college I had run over seven businesses. After school, I registered several businesses with nothing on the ground. I started building these businesses one by one and currently I have built five and am remaining with six”

“My drive in entrepreneurship is fueled by my background, where am coming from and my belief in God. What I have been through helped me to be hard working, be a ‘go-getter’ and to believe that everything is possible.”

In the next seven years, Phingo-Phingo plans to roll out his remaining companies and also venture into construction. He also believes that in-order to succeed it is imperative that we accept the fact that we are all different. As such, we have to create an environment where everyone feels included.

To aspiring entrepreneurs:

“Malawi is the best country for business, especially for those who dream big. It is an emerging market and any idea can work if you know how to execute it, there are so many opportunities here.

“We need to prioritize professionalism and formality in our businesses. Register your businesses and open a bank account; that way you can easily get financed, if need be”

“Don’t wait to have millions or billions to start your business. All you need is high self-esteem and belief in your abilities.

Phingo-Phingo Makondi 2020

Contact Top Trading Group (Car Hire, Catering, Construction) on: +265 888 749 661 and email; innocent@jericho.co.mw

2020: BE, DO, HAVE.

The New Year is finally here, and as usual, most of us including me have formulated our New Year resolutions. Plans, goals or habits we want to adopt and break in 2020. The unfortunately sad truth is that a good number of people will not achieve their goals; in fact by May they will have forgotten about them. Why is it that most goals end up getting rephrased and refined at the end of every year with no significant progress? It is because to achieve what you want; it takes more than just writing it down.

In the mid-1970’s, a young man in Hawaii took a class on goal setting. He could not believe that he was spending $150 and a beautiful Saturday and Sunday to learn about how to set goals. His name, Robert T. Kiyosaki and little did he know that that class would provide him with one of the most important lessons in his life. In his book ‘Cashflow Quadrant’ Robert tells the story.

On the board the instructor put up three words; BE, DO & HAVE. She
explained that

“Goals are the ‘have’ part of these three words; goals such as to Have a nice body or have millions of dollars. Once most people figure out their goal and what they want to have, they create a to-do list and start doing. The problem is that they do for a brief period then slide back to their old habits, back to the junk food and spending their savings. This is an example of Doing instead of Being.”

“It’s not the diet that counts; it’s who you have to become to follow the diet that counts. They focus on what they have to do, rather than who they have to be. A diet won’t help if your thoughts don’t change.”

“So many people look everywhere for the perfect person, the person of their dreams. They look for the right person instead of working to become the right person. And when they finally find this perfect person, they then try to change them. It’s easier to change yourself than change everyone else.”

“When it comes to money, many people try to do what the rich do and to have what the rich have. So they buy a house that looks rich, a car that looks rich and send their kids to schools the rich send their kids to. All this does is force these people to work even harder, which is not what the truly rich do.”

It is easy to note that most of us have fallen prey to this type of approach to our goals. Denzel Washington once said that to achieve your goals you need to apply discipline and consistency. The consistency part works when in the mind you first become the best version of yourself necessary for you to do what needs to be done.In this new year, let us do ourselves a favor and first become in our mind, then do and finally have.Happy New Year to you all!


Jack Canfield’s book, How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be outlines twenty five success principles, of which number thirteen is “Taking Action”. They say if you don’t take action, your dreams will be just that, dreams. There is one young man I know that has taken action taking to a phenomenal level. Twenty Seven year old Tiyese Malikebu, is a 2016 Agricultural Economics graduate from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is the founder of Anameal Trade and Research; a dairy cattle farmer and owns a transport business. Currently he is doing his Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics.

Born 11th September 1992 and raised in Lilongwe, Tiyese attended Lilongwe Christian, Golden Gate Memorial and Good Hope primary schools, and later went to Bwaila and Malosa Secondary Schools. In 2011, he enrolled into the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources to pursue undergraduate studies in Agricultural Economics and graduated in 2016.

In September of 2015 Tiyese started a poultry production initiative, which lasted nine months. He then proceeded to join the Ministry of Information and Civic Education for a brief six-month internship period, which ended in April of 2016. In the same year he was joined by a colleague and started a business that focused on the legume value chain. They concentrated on providing high quality seeds and inputs to farmers, training them and connecting them to potential markets. This initiative grew in personnel as well as reach and was later named Anameal Trade and Research.

“A friend of mine and I won a contract to supply 2000 tonnes of groundnuts to Artiele Investments in Kanengo. And though we didn’t manage it all, it gave us a business idea. We now have farmer cooperatives that we support and provide them with inputs and expertise. We find the markets and share the proceeds”

Towards the end of 2016, Anameal, then a six-member team, was hired by Malawi Dairy Industries (MDI) to manage its livestock sector. After the contract with MDI was completed, Tiyese’s Anameal progressed to enroll students for project management courses; focusing on monitoring and evaluation, data analysis and reporting. This generated an overwhelming response from the public and Anameal never looked back!

“We started small and our project has been self-funded. Our first Anameal class had 27 people, which was great for a first try. By then we didn’t have authorization to give out certificates, so we asked another institution to offer certificates on our behalf.”

Since then Anameal has worked with Livingstonia Synod and Northern Region Police just to mention a few. They have trained about 700 individuals in project management, monitoring and evaluation. During the same period, our entrepreneur started a dairy enterprise.

“We noticed from our time with MDI that the dairy cattle venture was very profitable so we decided to start our own. I bought one dairy cow from a farmer and paid in installments, and kept buying more; now we have a number of them.”     

Furthermore, Mr Malikebu also owns two passenger transport vehicles, which he has recently purchased. In his endeavors with Anameal Trade & Research, he outlined that poor standards by other training institutions in the industry undermine the services and abilities of other firms including his.

“The market has been flooded with low quality training institutions and it’s watering down the service quality and fuels loss of trust and faith from potential clients, as such we’ve asked TEVET to intervene.”

From his experience, Tiyese further stated that there is low support for Small and Medium Enterprises in Malawi.

“There are a lot of government requirements and costs that small businesses face. There are more factors that hinder business growth, than those that assist.”

After all they have accomplished, Anameal Trade & Research is still setting higher goals. They plan to advance their product in both quantity and quality of service.

“In the next five years, we will be among the largest milk and livestock producers in Malawi. Our project management, monitoring and evaluation section will be among the leading institutions in management trainings as we will keep offering certificates and external board diplomas”

To aspiring entrepreneurs:

“The key thing is to start, and when you do, be prepared to not give up, because there are a lot of challenges in business especially here in Malawi. I believe that if you set a goal, and you’re headed in the right direction, you will eventually get there regardless of your pace.”

Contact Anameal on facebook , phone: +265 991 75 20 75 and email anamealtradeandresearch@gmail.com


If all those innovative ideas you and I have were implemented, we would be living in a different world. Here is one young man who has brought his idea to life and registered his own company, Ian Khonje Food Processors. This company specializes in making seasonal foods and fruits available throughout the year, through food processing and preservation.

Ian Khonje, born 26 November 1999 has been raised in Lilongwe and attended preschool at Bluebird in Area 18. He then proceeded to Lilongwe Pentecostal Church Christian School where he did his primary school; then went to Marist in Dedza where he completed his secondary school education. Currently, twenty year old Ian is a student at Chancellor College majoring in Economics. Before enrolling into the University of Malawi, Ian studied graphic designing at Techno Brain, videography and photography at Sanwecka Tech Companions, as well as a six-month Business Management course at MCA.

Presently, Malambe Jam is the trademark product for Ian Khonje Food Processors. The thought of processing the baobab fruits came in 2017, when Ian was in first year

“What inspired the formation of the company was my discovery of the nutritional benefits that come with Malambe. I found an article written about ten years ago outlining the benefits of Malambe. For example, Malambe can supply up to ten times the calcium given by other fruits of the same quantity.”  

In his research, Ian found that despite the nutritional supremacy Malambe had over other fruits, it was not receiving the recognition and focus it deserved. He also noticed that when Malambe was processed, it was mostly associated with foods designed to treat certain conditions. The search for a more consumer friendly product yielded ‘jam’ as the answer, and thus Malambe Jam was born.

“I saw the need of processing Malambe into a form that people can interact with on a daily basis, not only when one is sick. It’s just about changing the narrative”

It took about a year from Ian’s discovery of Malambe’s nutritious benefits to actual establishment of the company, on 27th July 2018. After a year of product development, Malambe Jam was finally on the market and the response was overwhelming. However, the disaggregated supply of Malambe poses a challenge to the company as far as production is concerned.

“In some areas we have managed to outdo our expectations but still need to work on the other areas too. The feedback we got from the market after starting this was motivating, and it also helped me to work harder”

This initiative has been totally self-funded and Ian used his personal money, revenues from a painting job that he did to begin operations. The Company believes that any potential partners or investors in a business should share a real interest in the daily operations, goals and interests of the company

“I feel there is not enough collaboration among business people in Malawi.  There are a lot of problems in Malawi and Africa that need us Africans to solve. We are the ones who have been through it, and can tailor the right solutions”

To aspiring entrepreneurs:

“Let your definition of entrepreneurship be, how do I solve problems given what is around me? Entrepreneurship is not about making money, it’s about solving problems. The difference between the resources you have, and the solutions you make is the value that you create. The more value you create the more money you make”

Contact Ian Khonje Food Processors on: facebook instagram (@Malambe_Jam) and twitter


Are you a foodie? Here’s one. The master Chef and owner of Mimi’s Kitchen, a catering service provider that started in 2016, and has since expanded both in clientele and service quality. I would like to share the story of the brains behind the amazing brand that is revolutionizing the catering industry in Malawi.

Miriam Mkandawire, a young woman with a passion for cooking and food, was born on October the 20th 1990 to Leslie & Mary Mkandawire. She attended primary school at Chigoneka in Lilongwe and secondary school at Maranatha in Dowa and later at Riverton Academy in Zimbabwe, as her family had moved there in 2005. Miriam graduated in 2015 from UCSI University in Malaysia where she studied Hospitality Management. A fruitless job hunt for over a year drove her to pursue a business undertaking of her childhood passion, food and cookery.

“I was done with school, and I was just staying at home and I got fed up; so I made a simple menu and moved around in different offices, advertising. Finally I got some orders and didn’t have any capital, so I asked my Dad and he gave me MK30 000, and that’s how I started”.

In just over two years, Miriam has moved from catering for her own birthday to servicing church functions, weddings, corporate meetings and other events around Lilongwe. Along the way she has also learnt a great deal, in finance, time management and people skills. Is it okay to start small?

“You know what? When you start small and then go through the growth process, you learn a lot in how things really work; and you also learn to appreciate what you have and have accomplished. The important thing is to have passion for whatever you’re doing”

Currently, apart from running a restaurant, the Mimi’s Kitchen master chef also works a full time job at Infonex Corp as an ME & L Finance and Administrative Assistant.

“It’s hard, sometimes I cook in the morning then go to work, come home during lunch prepare and deliver on orders, then go back to work!”

Even after everything she has achieved, Miriam still has higher ambitions and targets; drawing inspiration from Abiola Akanji of Lagos, popularly known as Chef Stone who has served as a judge in cooking competitions, taught cooking lessons and opened a culinary school. In the near future, Miriam is planning to open another restaurant as well as her own culinary school where she can share her art with others.

“I thank God for everything, and I also thank my parents and my family who have been very supportive and helped me take the risks.”

To aspiring entrepreneurs;

“If you want to start a business it’s important to do some research and get to know your customer and see if your business is doable. And also pray for your thing”

“You need to have passion. To me, I have the best job in the world, I cook for people. I feel this is what I was born to do, to serve people and serve them the best food

Contact: Mimi’s Kitchen on Facebook, or mmkandawire45@gmail.com

Success Story Media to World: Hello!

Mark Zuckerberg once said that “By giving people the power to share, we make the world more open and connected”. My aim here at Success Story Media is to bring to light those stories of average citizens who are making it big in our communities, schools, workplaces and those places you like to hang out.

This is the place for our friendly neighborhood entrepreneur with humble beginnings but making admirable progress. By sharing their experiences and lessons you and I can learn and get inspired to do more.

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