Young Zambian leaders: Lusaka Global Shaper, Mazuba Kapambwe

Sara Drawwater
24 January 2014
In August 2013 ten young people from Lusaka were specially selected to act as the voice of Lusaka to the international community. Global Shapers is an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

In August 2013 ten young people from Lusaka were specially selected to act as the voice of Lusaka to the international community. Global Shapers is an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

This is a the second in a series we’ve christened ’10 questions with…’ We want to get inside the minds of these ten young Zambian leaders, and share their story.

  1. Bejoy Nettikadan
  2. Chaka Nyathando
  3. Chisenga Muyoya
  4. Erasmus Mweene
  5. Kampamba Shula
  6. Kelvin Aongola
  7. Mazuba Kapambwe
  8. Mutoba Ngoma
  9. Nkatya Kabwe
  10. Tazilinda Mulenga

Meet Mazuba Kapambwe in less than 300 words

Mazuba was born in USA and spent her early life in Germany. She went to high school in Ethiopia, and lived and studied in USA for several years. Careerwise, Mazuba has been a Contributing Writer for Africa Style Daily in New York, and social media intern at Heritage 1960. She currently co-hosts the Fest Gurus, an in-development travel style reality show around Africa and has her own blog

10 questions with Mazuba

1. What five words describe you best?Ambitious, Multi-Tasker, Third Culture Kid, Passionate, Creative

2. What entrepreneurial experience do you have so far? Have you founded your own company, organization or delivered a major project? If so, tell us more.I co-founded Zambia’s first Social Media Management company called C1rca 1964 when I moved back in October 2012 (I am no longer part of C1rca 1964) and we hosted major events like Lusaka Social Media Day.

I am now one of the hosts of The Fest Gurus which is an in-development television show that spotlights African festivals on the continent. I do Social Media Management for the show and Public Relations, as well as reaching out to potential sponsors and brand management.

I also worked first as an intern, then was promoted to Community Manager for a start-up online African inspired retail store in New York, so I got a first hand view of what goes into running a business. I was the only employee at the time so I got to do a lot of different things like editorial, helping with fashion shows and more.

3. What is it that drives you to aspire for more and achieve more?People ask me this question a lot, and I think that growing up with a father who has accomplished so much has naturally made me aspire to achieve more. I really want to help make the #zedcreative movement flourish by hosting events and by encouraging us to support each other.

I think that people who say they look up to me drive me as well as when you know people count on you, it motivates you to do keep pushing.

4. Are there any business personalities you admire? If so, why?I really admire Bonang Matheba who started out as a radio presenter in South Africa, then started her own reality show. She’s quickly transitioned to the ‘it’ girl with various endorsements and hosts ‘Top Billing’ amongst other shows. I love how she’s used social media to create a whole niche for herself and become a business leader.

5. As a young entrepreneur, where do you see yourself in 10 years time?Wow, 10 years is a long time. I envision myself as a serial entrepreneur, so by then, I hope to be an owner of a dining establishment with my sisters and have multiple different ventures. In 10 years, I want to be seen as one of the people who helped pioneer the #zedcreatives movement. I hope to have my own museum of fashion, textiles and music.

6. If you were given US$1,000,000 dollars right now, what would you do with it? How would you invest it, or how would you spend it?I would donate some of it to a foundation I’ve worked with in the past called ‘Empower Zambia’ which offers business training to small scale entrepreneurs in Chamba Valley. I’d save some and use the rest to pay for my masters. I’d like to study Public Heritage and Culture at University of Capetown in the near future.

7. If you could change one thing about Lusaka, what would it be?The ‘Zambian time’ mentality that seems to be deeply entrenched in our society. I think it’s used as an excuse to not be as pro-active as we can. Moving from New York, which is such a ‘time is money’ environment, I found it crazy that I would show up for a meeting ten minutes early and most of the other people would stroll in leisurely 30 minutes later with no apologies. We need to realize that being tardy is not something to be proud about.

8. What is the hardest thing about being a Young Entrepreneur in Zambia? How do you overcome it?I think one of the hardest things about being a young entrepreneur is the lack of collaboration amongst entrepreneurs. There is still the belief that by working with someone else, they will ‘steal’ your idea. When I came to Lusaka, I made it a point to meet with people I believed had similar interests to the company and was able to collaborate with institutions like Bongo Hive, bloggers Ma Fashio, Asikana Network and more. I also think being taken seriously in Zambia as a young person doing something ‘unconventional’ is hard. People are easy to dismiss you if you’re a young 20 something year old and also if you’re a female.

9. What has been your biggest failure and how did I learn from it?I don’t think I’ve had my biggest failure yet, but I’ve obviously made mistakes that I’d like to think I’ve learnt from to be a better entreprenuer.

10. What advice would you give for a young person who wants to become an entrepreneur and start their own project?To do their research and find a support system which can be achieved through networking and attending events like Matt’s happy hours or the Insaka’s at Bongo Hive. I’d advise them to have a strong work ethic and be ready to wear lots of different hats in the beginning. I’m a huge advocate of Doing It Yourself, so that means not waiting for things like the youth empowerment to start a business.

Catch up with the Lusaka Global Shapers series so far

  1. Global Shapers Lusaka (from the World Economic Forum)
  2. Meet the Lusaka Global Shapers — young Zambian leaders
  3. 10 questions with Lusaka Global Shaper, Chaka Nyathando, aka Pompi
  4. This blog: 10 questions with Lusaka Global Shaper, Mazuba Kapambwe