Salome Msango - Coping up Life at the University with Entrepreneurship
For the majority of Malawians earning less than a dollar a day, educating their young ones could mean formulae for passing time or a breakthrough to success, whatever the case the process is quite daring.
It all begins with 8 years of primary level, which is followed by 4 years of secondary education. For the lucky ones, a classified O-level grade means unlocking the doors to University, a hallway to an intellectual mindset. Although this final level is quite crucial, it is highly demanding and independence is inevitable.
In a country where fees hike emerges at a rather alarming rate with the pockets of the majority still stagnant, where no amount of long-term strikes or negotiations can save us, you are certain that we need a heavy dose of redemption. We are a country slow in development just as we are slow in personal progress.
A nation that can barely contain graduates in their most qualified capacitation. However, it is in places like the University that victims of slow development have defied the odds equally being victims of diminishing personal progress. The Polytechnic, a constituent college under the University of Malawi is one among the few colleges in the country highlighting such scenarios.
While you might find the art of hair braiding and band making a cliché, it is a fashion of entrepreneurship for the few young inspiring students who have used this as a means of supporting themselves while at school.
25-year old Salome Msango is a third year Physical Planning student, who braids hair, where she is able to support herself financially as the support from her guardian is limited.
Msango who has been practicing her learnt talent since 2014 says the support she gets from home is not enough to anchor all her needs when she is at school, however her skills have helped compliment her pockets, she is able to get by with what she gets from her business, covering her stationery, accommodation and other basic needs.
“I will not claim to fully enjoy what I do, but I am a self-sponsored student and the profit I make from braiding hair helps me meet my immediate needs like stationery which minimizes the challenges I meet,” Msango elaborated with a smile of enthusiasm drawn on her face.
The Mzimba based enthusiast further explains how the current fees hike has affected her business and school. “I am at times forced to concentrate on my business at the expense of my studies and I had to raise my prices just to adjust to the demands that have risen due to the hiked fees.” She said.
Apart from braiding hair, Msango has trained herself to do a whole lot of other things concerning beauty; she does manicures and pedicures from her own products and trims eyebrows. Driven by the need to provide her services to the best of her abilities, the 25-year-old is equally driven by similar forces where her ultimate goal remains to fulfill her dream of becoming an outstanding entrepreneur and physical planner in the near future through education.