Features

Chipope making it big in construction

SUNDAY PROFILE with DOREEN NAWA
Lusaka
FOR many, the construction industry is a preserve of the ‘big’ but Emmanuel Mutale Chipope, 30, had the courage to venture into it at the age of 26.
His quest to be his own boss brought about this.
During his childhood, whenever he was asked what he wanted to be, Mr Chipope would go for director.
While his siblings and cousins would aim for doctor, engineer or such professions, he would confound even his father whenever he said he wanted to be a director.
Later an opportunity presented itself before him when his friend asked him to partner and have 50 percent shares in a construction company.
In 2014, Mr Chipope met a friend who had registered a company but the company was dormant for over a year until the partnership was sealed, giving birth to a construction company.
But because of his passion and desire for construction, Mr Chipope asked his friend to avail 50 percent shares to his company and that was the start of a second construction company in 2014 which he co owns with his wife.
In all his contracts, he has worked with 32 people, all youths.
Mr Chipope says as a youth, being in the construction industry that is deemed for people with big investment profiles, it is not easy.
“As a youth in this industry, you have no choice but to bid with bigger companies and it is only courage and faith that has made us reach this far,” Mr Chipope says.
So far so good for Mr Chipope because his company now can compete and win tenders.
His company can boast of projects like the construction of the drainages along Great East road from Chelstone junction to the Airport roundabout on both sides as subcontractors under Steffanuti Stocks Zambia.
Other works include the installation of culverts on the Bottom road in Sinazongwe as subcontractors under Asphalt Roads Zambia and the construction of Oscar Flats in Kitwe’s Nkana East.
Other works are the construction of concrete bases for culverts at the new headquarters for National Milling in Lilayi in Lusaka and the paving works on roads in Lusaka, Copperbelt, Mpika and Chipata.
Before venturing into his own construction company, at 19 years old, Mr Chipope also had an opportunity to work for various institutions, among them the Winners Chapel International where he was an assistant accountant from 2007-2008.
He also worked as finance manager of the Northern health education program from 2008 – 2009 and Kasama Municipal Council in accounts revenue department from 2009 – 2010.
Other companies are Austafrica , Chumene Investment and Kaona construction company.
He has been inspired by his late father, Mr Sebastian Chipope, whom he said was a fighter for his family.
Another inspirer is Pastor Choolwe Mudenda Choolwe of the Gospel Envoys Church who has offered him spiritual guidance and advice on business matters.
Others include Brian Bwalya Stoute of One Investments, Pastor Chris, Bishop Oyedepo, Dr Strive Masiwa of Zimbabwe, Mr Kaona Martin, Huddy Mwamba his partner and his wife, Melissa Malama Chipope
Being a youth, Mr Chipope believes that youths in Zambia can succeed in their business or dreams despite the harsh conditions they may encounter.
He believes in pursuing his dreams and being focused
“My personal statement has always been, ‘Believe in your dreams and work towards it. Remember with God all things are possible,” he says.
Born in Kasama 30 years ago, Mr Chipope is the first, in a family of eight.
He did his secondary education at Kasama Boys from grade eight to10 and, later moved to Leif Private Secondary School where he completed in 2004 amid financial difficulties.
“It was rough. My father could not afford to pay school fees. I remember only learning half a term of grade 11 and my dad had to sell his house to find money for my school,” Mr Chipope says.
This affected his grade 12 results but he had to proceed to college level, thanks to his father’s friend who offered to pay for him.
Mr Chipope did Accounting Technician Diploma at Zambia Centre For Accountancy Studies (ZCAS)2005 – 2007
Currently, Mr Chipope is pursuing a Diploma in Construction Management at the Zambia College of the Built-in Environment.
Despite these challenges, Mr Chipope became chief executive officer of a company at 25 years became and now at 30 he has specialised in three companies all focusing on construction.
“There is no elevator to success. We use stairs. Many youths avoid stairs hence the laziness. Whatever has been happening to me, it is by God’s grace and without God the builder builds in vain,” Mr Chipope says.

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