Young people are not just sitting around waiting for jobs to be provided. Many have become job creators in their own right. Young entrepreneurs and innovators are creating new opportunities and striving to make Namibia a better place.
Gabriel Malakia (23) is one such young entrepreneur, who has decided to do something for himself and not to wait for manna from heaven.
Gabriel’s inclination towards entrepreneurship started at primary school, where he started selling sweets to help out his parents, as well as be able to at least buy a loaf of bread home every day.
“All this sweets selling thing was totally voluntary, not something my parents suggested to me, and that is why every time I look back I can’t help but smile and feel proud, because it made me.”
Besides the sweets business, during his tertiary studies, there came a point when he found himself loaded with a lot of ambitious business ideas that caused him to want to quit his studies, but his mother advised him on the importance of education.
“I believe I’m a born entrepreneur, because I’m the kind of gentleman that looks at a vehicle and asks: ‘Exactly why can’t this thing fly again’? I spot opportunities wherever I go. I started off with a mini-gym behind my house (M-Active Gym), which is on hold now, but still in the pipeline. Ideas never die, it just takes time to place one brick per time.”
Gabriel then started a printing shop in the house that was run from the sitting room, but closed down due to financial problems. Sometime in 2014 it was back on course and now operates from a big office in Windhoek West. At the same office, Gabriel runs all the other Malakia Investments Group (MIG) divisions, namely Mig Thatching & Construction, Mig-Printing, Marketing & Advertisements, Mig-Smee Ltd and Mig-Technologies and Installations, employing 13 people.
“Venturing into business is not easy, because not everyone can successfully handle pressure. Not everyone can handle failure and not everyone is mentally capable of making things happen in a successful manner.”
His advice to emerging entrepreneurs is to simply figure out what they want to do and to go for it. “Without any second thoughts, go for it head-on, whether big or small. The ability to go for your dreams is what makes you. Every time you fall, every time you think of quitting, think of why you started in the first place.
“Do self-study on business ethics, ask or else you will never know. Do not get into business with the mentality of competing, but with that of building something and working with the people in the same market or trade,” says the founder of MIG.