When Halton Yuda dropped out of school in Balaka in the 1990s, little did he know that he would become the owner of a company at 32.
Yuda, who comes from T/A Nsamala in Balaka, dropped out of school when he was in Standard Seven due to financial problems.
He was forced to learn bricklaying at the Roman Catholic institution known as Andiamo situated at Balaka Town, as one way of making ends meet.
Yuda used part of his salary to look after his brothers and sisters when he got a job at the same institution after training.
In an interview recently at his shop in Mchesi in Lilongwe, Yuda said despite working at Andiamo for four years as bricklayer, his passion was in welding because people build houses every day.
“I saw that there is a lot of money in welding because there is huge demand for door and window frames as well a gate. When I moved to Lilongwe in 2005, I continued my job as a bricklayer, but my life changed when my friend taught me the secrets of welding,” he said.
With the hope of raising more money, he trekked to South Africa where he worked for a year and raised enough capital to buy grinders and other machines for welding.
Yuda returned home in 2009 and opened his shop known as Yuda Welding near the Mchesi Primary School along the Mchesi Highway.
“I bought the machines at about K300 000, but within six months, I had started making huge profits such that now I intend to build a proper shade and when everything goes according to plan, I intend to build my own house as well,” he said.
Since then, Yuda has employed seven people and hopes to employ more if business picks up.
He said he is happy now because he is his own boss unlike when he was a bricklayer and working under supervisors.
“I make over K80 000 in a good month, but the problem that I normally face is that some customers are not trustworthy. They come in posh cars, collect the goods and take several months before they settle payments,” complained Yuda.
He said his products are competitively priced, a thing a lot of people commend him for.
“I prefer to sell my items at very affordable prices so that many people can buy in large amounts,” said Yuda, a father of four.
His advice to young people is that they must never despair even when things are tough because through hard work, one can become a boss in life.
“I have a number of employees who look up to me and this gives me great satisfaction,” said Yuda.