By DERRICK SILIMINA
Arnold Kamocha, 42, got interested in starting his own business in 2006 after moulding blocks for a local businessman based in Kazomba compound, Solwezi, North-Western Province.
Against all odds, Kamocha decided to start his own brick-making business in the same area; but due to lack of sufficient capital, he had no option but to do the job by himself with the help of a young man whom he gave his only bicycle as payment for labour.
“I raised K4000 from my initial startup business and invested it in the secondhand clothing business popularly known as salaula at Kyawama market as an additional line of business,” he explains.
After some months in the salaula business, he found that it was not performing well. He reverted to brick-making business and relocated to Kimakolwe and Kawama B areas of Solwezi’s central business district.
In 2009, misfortune hit Kamocha’s enterprise when a heavy downpour washed down his blocks.
“After I became bankrupt, I had no choice but to look for a job. In 2011 I found one with a company contracted by Kansanshi Mine. I worked up to 2015 while maintaining my then ailing brick-making business,” Kamocha narrates.
However, after the disaster of the fateful rainy season, he salvaged what he could from the heap of unburnt bricks, made a kiln and burned them.
In the process, Kamocha became a reverend at Awake Mission House International School of Ministry in 2015, but instead of depending entirely on the church for his finances, he continued brick-making intermittently.
A year ago, Kamocha attended the Kansanshi Mining Plc sponsored business development training workshops, and has now built a thriving business in an industry dominated by foreign investors.
“When a mentorship team from Fortune World Investments Limited personnel comprising messrs Andrew Sondashi Kafuta and Patrick Matanda visited me on November 9, 2021, I told them that the knowledge I had acquired such as in business planning, managing money, business diversification, market research and marketing had enabled me to do business more systematically and effectively,” he affirms.
Kamocha discloses that this year alone, he has made K15, 000 profit from the brick-making business, in addition to acquiring 20 hectares of land in Sandang’ombe area where he plans to grow vegetables, onions and other cash crops.
By the time the Fortune world mentors paid him a visit, Rev Kamocha had prepared one hectare for growing maize, one lima for vegetables and a half lima for onions.
The visiting mentorship team encouraged Rev Kamocha to continue striving for excellence, and advised him to consider formalizing his business as soon as possible in order for him not only to comply with legal requirements, but also to be able to do business with the corporate world, including Government departments and ministries.
“I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity Kansanshi Mining Plc, accorded me to acquire valuable knowledge that gave me so much confidence to do well. I am now a happy employer of two young men as well as several other people who work for me as and when need arises.”