He is 50 but looks 37 and listening to him speak, you would be tempted to think he is a foreign national.
But one Andrew ‘Cobra’ Msanyama is a Malawian enterprising entrepreneur dealing in welding and fabrication.
Born in Zimbabwe to Malawian parents, Andrew is the first among his six siblings.
“I grew up in Zimbabwe and after coming of age, I ventured into professional boxing and became that country’s lightweight champion,” says Msanyama.
East or west home is best so they say, and about two years ago he came back home, not to roost but to declare a new dawn in his entrepreneurial journey.
Explains Msanyama: “With the little money I brought from Zimbabwe; less than K100 000, I set up a welding shop called Msanyama Holdings and Steel Furniture at Mchesi. We make a lot of steel items, including hospital chairs, push trolleys, beds, recreation items, window frames and many more. Business is progressing quite well and so far I have employed six welders, an office assistant to help with balancing account ledgers. I make decent money and I can afford to live a luxury life.”
The entrepreneur, who comes from Kapida Village in Dowa, said he also owns a professional gym in Lilongwe City.
“I look young because I train a lot in the gym. I also train both local professional and amateur boxers,” he says.
Last year, Msanyama secured a place along Lilongwe River, close to the Mchesi Bridge, which he plans to turn into an up-town recreation park.
“As a Mchesi resident, I am always struck by what people do at this place. People have turned it into a dumping site and it is becoming an eyesore. Just two weeks ago, a two day old baby was dumped here and many are thrown here with reckless abandon. Propelled by the desire to offer people of Mchesi, Kawale, Biwi, Area 2 and surrounding locations and of course the First Lady’s dream of beautifying Malawi, I am investing millions in this place so that it is transformed into a standard recreation park where people will be coming to be entertained, hold parties, conduct weddings and do all sorts of things free of charge,” says Msanyama.
He also discloses plans to launch a boat which will be floating around and across the bridge to spice up the entertainment at the place.
“I have already designed the boat and currently I am clearing the bushes and laying foundations of the park. I want people to appreciate the natural beauty of the river and forget the danger the place used to pose to residents passing across the river due to the hardcore criminals who turned the bridge into a dwelling place.
“In the long term, I wish to have several boats floating along the length of the river so that transportation problems are eased a bit. In places like London and Berlin, rivers that cut through cities are termed and they are turned into beautiful recreation park as well as transport conduits to relieve our roads of congestion,” he says.