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From chef to entrepreneur

LUCKY Muleya’s journey as an entrepreneur was long coming. The proprietor of MWECHO–Cha Lico, a restaurant in Mongu, Mr Muleya’s story is of determination and perseverance. As a trainee chef out to get a job, Mr Muleya was destined for Senanga Safaris Lodge in 2009 where he was to be employed. “But I didn’t go. Instead, I was made to stay for a while in Mongu by someone who had opened a take-away because it was towards the Kuomboka ceremony. That is where my entrepreneurial journey began,” he says. Mr Muleya established his business in 2013 and registered it with the Patents and Companies Registration Agency. “But before registration of the business, I used to sell some scones at Lewanika School of Nursing. “I also used to do some outside catering by cooking for kitchen parties and weddings, just to mention a few. Then I did some savings. That is how I started my business from my small savings,” he says. Having started his business from meagre savings, Mr Muleya says it has been hard to raise money for some equipment, other items as well as boost his start-up capital. “I applied for financial support from the World Bank-funded Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience. It was turned down. Then I tried the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission industrial yard at Kasima, but my application was rejected,” Mr Muleya recounts. As if that was not enough, Mr Muleya had just lost his job at West Zambia Field headquarters in Mongu where he was an office assistant. “When all these things were happening in my life, I never lost hope. COVID-19 came and brought business down, but I didn’t lose hope still,” he says. Mr Muleya says the opportunity for expanding his catering business is there as long as there is help from well-wishers, including the Government. Apart from running his business, Mr Muleya performs the role of master of ceremonies at corporate and public functions. He is planning to start a poultry project so that he can be supplying some poultry products to CLICK TO READ MORE