From riches-to-dirt-to-riches: The story of US based Malawian ‘Chacha’ flying private jet on her birthday anniversary

Wealth tends to create more wealth, but a rich background is not the only way to the top. Chawezi Sibongile Banda, daughter of Malawi’s former Finance Minister, the late Aleke Kadonamphani Banda, may have born with a silver spoon in her mouth but she started out her own journey from being ‘dirt poor’ to a ‘wealthy person’.

Chacha pose on a private jet

Chacha in private jet on her 42nd birthday

Cha Cha with her family members and best friend after jet ride

Cha cha

Chawezi, who is well known on social media by her alias ‘Chacha’ is based in United States of America (USA) and owns ‘Chacha Care Home’ in Richmond, in the State of Virginia.

Chawezi Sibongile Banda is renowned for her opulence and flashy lifestyle, as depicted in her photographs that she fondly and regularly shares on social media.

Recently, the socialite’s 42nd birthday celebration drew attention amongst Malawians when she shared photographs of her,  a friend and family members aboard a private jet celebrating her birthday anniversary.

She shared pictures of her and guests airborne, in a private jet flying from Richmond to Atlantic City and back.

In the flight, she was accompanied by her daughter and only child Fleuper, sisters Jessie and Hanna Banda, Ellen Zimba as well as her bestie from Scotland, Zione Teresa Campbell.

Although the rich do get richer, Chacha prefers to say her story is that of rags-to-riches.

“I feel proud of my achievements. The painful struggle is that I had a child at the tender age of 16 and raised that child; it was God’s blessing. I have ever since been preoccupied by focusing on my daughter; before, during and after her birth right up to now,” Chacha says.

She explains that she left Malawi in 2001 when her father was still an influential cabinet minister in the Bakili Muluzi administration as well as owning a newspaper giant, Nation Publications Limited.

Chacha says she did not leave Malawi as an economic migrant to US but wanted to experience new challenges in life.

“It was painful to leave my child behind but I knew there would be some light at the end of the tunnel and I just had to go,” she recalls.

At the time of leaving for US, she was a single mum and held the sole responsibility of raising her daughter.

“When I arrived in the States, I stayed with Ellen Chiku Kankhwende who took me in like her own sister and treated me so well but I had to find a way of becoming independent .

“I humbled myself and worked as a nurse for a short time. I later landed  as a housemaid for a Nigerian family in Washington DC. It was the best of jobs one could cherish but I just hard to do it to fend for myself and the young one. When I prepared food for them, I had to wait until they eat before I also had my food. They could not allow me to eat with them at the same time.

“I just couldn’t believe I could go as low as being a housemaid, especially considering that when I left Malawi, my dear late dad rented a big house for me. I had a security guard and housemaid. But now here I was, working as a housemaid in the US,” recalls Chacha.

Chacha says she was scared to inform her father about the kind work she was doing in the US because she strove to be an independent young woman and that working as a housemaid was the foundation of that independence and better life in the future.

Later, Chacha left Washington DC for Richmond in Virginia where she stays until today. Chacha says when she moved to Richmond, she picked a job as a waitress in restaurant and lived on a minimum wage and ‘tips’ from customers.

“So I saved money I got from the tips and I used to send my daughter almost anything she required for her comfortable livelihood. I felt that great sense of happiness and satisfaction,” she says and adds she later moved on to work in a sandwich eatery.

“I eventually left that place to pursue a nursing course in order to get my nursing license. That’s when I seriously worked in this industry I am in now. I was running a care home for a lady for ten years . I was taught to be resilient and had working. My daughter joined me in US and we stayed there.

“When my daughter graduated from university, I opened my own business. The beginning was rough but if God had blessed you with something no one can take that away from you” says Chacha.

Chacha says her business has become extremely successful and she attributes that success to resilience and hard work.

She says sometimes she skips meals and sleep because she has to work hard at all cost in order to ensure that the business succeeds more.

Chacha’s story is a perfect example that through determination and a bit of luck, anyone can overcome their unfortunate circumstances and achieve extraordinary success.

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23 thoughts on “From riches-to-dirt-to-riches: The story of US based Malawian ‘Chacha’ flying private jet on her birthday anniversary”

  1. Kkkk says:

    At least the story adds up. Osati za a bushiri

  2. Mogul says:

    The story does not add up there us need to outline on how these investments came to flourish

  3. But are you all dressed in black? and the other girls in miniskirts and you so called chacha in long princess like attire? Is this trying to symbolise something?

  4. Amin Gondwe says:

    Chacha,very Much Inspiring Story.Determination,hard Working Nd Getting Foccused,pays.Behind A A Dark A Cloud Is A Silver Lining And Beyond That Silver Lining Is The Sun Shinning.Nkhani Iweme Iyi Chomene.

  5. NGWAZI says:

    Dear brothers and sisters
    Please start landing AT MZUZU AIRPORT



  6. truth says:

    dont say from riches-rags-riches. say riches to riches. both visa & airticket a expensive only few can manage. my advice: only admire the spirit to be independent in good faith. dont do it the prodigal sons way who regrated later. in all luck makes u a hero

  7. Vuzu says:

    Nice story

  8. Chiomba Nadi says:

    I just hope there is no mix of hard work and uhule. Look at the half naked dressing of the family members and friends. It is a clear signal of uhule in the name of western dressing. Atonga awa saumilatu kuvula bola kash.

  9. ungwelu says:

    Great story. But except for Chacha, the rest seem to be in half naked attire. Is this how women in USA dress?

  10. Mneneli says:

    Which of the beautiful ladies up there is her daughter? She must be as beautiful as the story, I guess. Good and inspiring story. Kudos to Nyasa times!!! These are the sort of stories we, the young people, would like to read. Not politicking all the time.

  11. kargiso says:

    Great to learn you are so successful cozy. May God keep on blessing you and your business. Nthawi zongodikira adadi zinatha kalekale and you are a living example

  12. gogochalo says:

    very good to see that some fellow Malawians are doing well.

  13. Mapwiya says:

    I lyk your conclusion “Chacha’s story is a perfect example that through determination and a bit of luck”

    1. Mapwiya says:

      I like ur conclusion “Chacha’s story is a perfect example that through determination and a bit of luck, anyone can overcome their unfortunate circumstances and achieve extraordinary success. “

  14. Advice from Veteran Entrepreneur says:

    Congratulations on making it in foreign land. It is not easy. Many in diaspora are still stuck in urban poverty and they are working to step out without success. The lesson from your story is clear. The lesson from your story is ‘please go into entrepreneurship’ it works when determination is triggered.

    However I want to caution you dear Chacha. You could be feeling rich too soon. I know you have moved many steps above your start in the US, and I know you have a right to celebrate success but you could be over celebrating your current success in a manner that constrains you from realizing your fullest potential. Whats your net worth if I may ask? There is a risk that the Malawian thing could be playing out here, where people begin to live beyond their means for the world to notice, at a point when riches have just shown tentacles and they have not arrived yet. Anyone who does that is effectively walking in a path that is short of sustainability. I believe you can use profits from the care home to improve services at the care home or expand the business than draining your cash on flashy and extravagant life style of jets or other stuff.

    I wish you more and more success, the sky does not exist to limit you. You will make the spirit of Kadonamphani smile and smile with more and more hard work that will bring real success that Malawi has not seen from one of its own. I am not one of the empty haters but one that wishes you well.

  15. Make Mphwiyo says:

    I am inspired

  16. Ivy says:

    Well done Chacha hard work pays and keep it up.

  17. Tuiweni says:

    Great story! Post more articles like this and not salacious nonsense about people having sex. Congratulations to Chacha. You’ve come from far and from this article inspired many Malawians. You could even come for motivational talks and entrepreneurial mentorship. Why marvel at foreigners when we have our own doing great things?

    But Mr chiumia thanks for the thorough story describing her humble start in the USA so we can appreciate her success. Keep it up! Could you provide a link to her social media pages?

  18. Yahya Jammeh says:

    Vuto lodalira chuma cha makolo osapita ku sukulu zotsatira zake ndi zimenezi kugwira ntchito ya unan ndi kumaperekera za kudya kwa ma Nigeria ngati kapolo. Umasowa chani osapita ku sukulu pomwe bambo wako anali ndi zonse? Mchimwene wakonso ananama kuti ali ndi degree pomwe alibe, lero mwa ziona. Your story is not inspiring at all and the whole of it is faked. Flying an aircraft is just as good as being a truck drive which anybody can do when they undergo training – sizolira sukulu izi. I will rule Gambia for a billion years.

  19. Ekzie says:

    Big up young lady, we need such kind of ladies in our society who can stand up on their own.

    What u went through at Nigerian family was a big lesson
    Which to me, l think taught u to change your attitude
    That is to say your life style.
    I can suggest here that your story tells me that you were not a listening child by having a child at a tender age of 16 and
    coming from a well to do family like Mr Kadona Phani Aleke Banda.

  20. Ishmael Maulana says:

    Mwana wa Former minister uyo ndindani sakudziwa

  21. Chimwaza says:

    Wow this story is amazing and inspiring!!
    However the story leaves alot of questions than answers;leaving a ministerial Home in Malawi and work as a maid for a Nigerian family? Really?
    Tell us that she was into some ‘sort’ of business with that Nigerian man but not as a maid, no no no……

  22. Nyau Thing says:

    Oh! Bolatu pamenepa.

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