Miyanda Maimbo Katiwa was determined to launch Zambia’s first HR business. At home in Zimbabwe, she boldly quit her job, climbed into her car, and made the journey to Zambia. All she had was a fierce determination to help the many Zambians who badly needed jobs, but lacked the connections to get them. From the outset, her story was one of service. She believed in the value of her idea.
When she arrived in Zambia, she had so little money that she spent her first weeks sleeping on a bare floor, with no hot running water, and eating only bread. In the meantime, she typed her proposals at an internet café. “I pounded the streets every day,” she said when explaining on Beyond Limits with Faith Musonda how she’d grown her business. She would open the phone directory and get the numbers of the companies she wanted to approach, then she’d make the calls.
She spoke to people who said her idea wouldn’t work. This wasn’t the beginning she’d hoped for.
“What was going through my mind had nothing to do with excitement,” Katiwa told Faith Musonda. She was afraid, but like a true hero, she didn’t back down. She wanted equal opportunities for all Zambians and believed her break would come. “I don’t believe in impossibilities,” she said.
Her challenges didn’t end with that bare floor, however, which she had to endure for a while. She had to promote herself and her business, and it quickly became clear that calling herself a consultant wouldn’t fly. “One of the things I tell people,” she explained, “is when you open your mouth, how credible are you?” She learned to present herself authentically.
Her company ProSoft eventually grew successful. But before it really took off, Katiwa’s narrative was to take another shocking turn.