For 16 years, EfriKangala has been serving the people of Mpatsa and the surrounding areas in Phalombe through his shop.
Business has become part of his life that he no longer thinks of other alternatives of earning a living.
“I have been in this business for quite a long time and I cannot lie to you, I am contented with what I am getting from here. Even if you ask members of my family, they will tell you that,” he says.
Through his shop, which he is yet to name, Kangala says he provides for his family and he has since invested some of its proceeds into other ventures.
“I am sending my three children to good schools because of this business. After their primary education, I am planning to send them to good boarding schools so that they can concentrate on their education.
“I have also bought five cows, which not only assist me in farming, but also make me money as I hire them out during the planting season; and two cars which assist me a lot whenever I am going to Blantyre on business trips,” he says.
Once a week, Kangala drives over 90 kilometres to Blantyre where he gets supplies for his shop.
However, Kangala bemoans the poor road network connecting Mpatsa to Blantyre as a setback in his business.
He says his cars are prone to breaking down due to the poor state of the earth road that connects Mpatsa to the Mulanje road.
“As I have told you, the shop is my main source of income, so whenever a car breaks down, I have to withdraw money from the grocery for repairs. It may sound easy considering that I make some profits, but then car maintenance is not cheap,” he says.
Kangala says another challenge to doing business in the area is lack of security, which, he says, is scaring away some potential entrepreneurs.
“During one fateful night in 2006, robbers broke into my house and store K6.7 million. This really had a very negative impact on my business as it meant the end of it all. However, I am thankful to God for He has seen me through all this bad experience, and I am now back on my feet.
“The only thing I would ask from government is to tighten security here so that we can do our businesses and develop. With the current state of insecurity, we cannot develop because we cannot work hard knowing quite well that someday, someone will steal that away from us and our families,” he says.
On his secret to success, Kangala says “it is all about God.”