Turning art Into business

An American businessperson and author Robert Kiyosaki once said ‘Entrepreneurship is a process, not a job or profession. So be faithful to the process and remember that even when times are bad, the process will give you a glimpse of the future that lies ahead.”

This is exactly what renowned poet Robert Chiwamba has embraced and is using his art to encourage fellow youths to embrace entrepreneurship too.

As a poet, Chiwamba has taken a step further in encouraging young people to embrace entrepreneurship in his new poetry video titled Wachinyamata ndi Bomba which will be launched today at Chancellor College’s Little Theatre in Zomba.

Chiwamba: I want to spread the importance of youth entrepreneurship

According to Chiwamba, who is also Unesco goodwill ambassador, this will be a free performance which will be characterised by presentations focusing on entrepreneurship and a number of activities like drama and poems have been lined up to spice the launch.

“This is part of my obligation as European Union [EU] and Unesco skills and technical education programme ambassador. I want to spread the importance of youth entrepreneurship via poetry, I truly believe that my talent is a best weapon that I can use to influence my fellow youths to start small businesses,” he said.

Wachinyamata ndi Bomba is a piece that describes with clarity how youth entrepreneurship can end the alarming levels of unemployment hitting the country where many victims are young people.

Chiwamba said he expects the poem and its video to encourage young stars in boosting their business careers than spending days and nights seeking employment.

“My expectation is that the poem and its video will help to inspire the youth in the country, especially in technical colleges, to pursue entrepreneurship with positive attitude”, he added

In the poem, Chiwamba says young people have potential to come up with big businesses even if it means starting from the scratch and he is also encouraging the youth to be innovative by developing business ideas, saying that is the only weapon to fight against poverty.

Young entrepreneur Joseph Ronnex Phiri, who is heading his own company High-Art Media, said there are always challenges at the dawn of every business but with patience and determination things get better.

He also advised the youth not to despise their humble beginning but be focused.

“In business, we always start small. What is important is determination and respect to your particular venture, just as any entrepreneur I struggled when I was establishing my business but at least now I have started reaping fruits of my hard work.

“Since I let go of discouraging comments from friends, things are moving better, and my life has changed tremendously, though some challenges still exist,” said Phiri.

He has created employment and secure livelihood for himself and other Lilongwe youths who work for him. Currently, he has one worker on permanent basis while two others are learning on the job.

Youth Arise Network executive director Rejoice Namale says youth employability is critical to the success of the economy and overall well-being of society.

According to Namale, Youth Arise Network exists to stimulate young minds by promoting entrepreneurial spirit, volunteerism and innovation thereby leading to an expansion of the private sector through the creation of successful youth-led businesses.

“We are all aware of the challenges young people face in seeking gainful employment and we want to help highlight how entrepreneurship can harness the potential and talent evident in young Malawians,” she said.

Through the organisation, over 170 under-privileged youths have been trained in entrepreneurial skills in Blantyre and Zomba. The network is linking successful trainees to different institutions and companies for a more practical experience in a real world-setting.

Namale is a final year bachelor of arts in communication studies student at Chancellor College. She is a co-pioneer of Harvesting Wealth through Education and Entrepreneurship Project aimed at transforming the youth through education and entrepreneurial opportunities.

She has also encouraged people with different talents to use the same in advocating for entrepreneurship among the youth. n

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