Former Miss Malawi beauty pageant first princess Nthanda Lizzie Manduwi, 24, is wearing new tentacles as founder of ByNtha Media Company.Nthanda, the Creative Director has an entrepreneurial spirit with proven results.
She holds a degree in Social Sciences (double majoring in economics and demography) from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. She also holds certificates in Population Project Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (obtained from the University of Malawi) and Business Management. Nyasa Times engaged her in an exclusive interview.
Nyasa Times: What makes you an entrepreneur?
Nthanda: Entreprenuership is about identifying gaps, and filling them with lucrative solutions.
I started my business,ByNtha media inear 5 years ago, after I saw an opportunity I wanted to pursue. I’m 24 now, the company has been rapidly growing, and I enjoy the entire process.
Nyasa Times: How did you build up an entrepreneurial spirit, do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
Nthanda: I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I’ve always liked doing things differently from the norm – identifying gaps, creating solutions, and pushing boundaries. In school, not only did I join existing organizations, I also created my own. I have never quite liked the idea of following the set way of doing things, and preferred working in an “open” space. Starting my own projects and being entrepreneurial allowed me to do that.
Nyasa Times: Which books motivates you to be an entrepreneur?
Nthanda: None that I can think of at the moment.Personally, the best motivation comes from knowing yourself, setting your personal goals, and defining your success. Books tend to guide you to think a particular set way, and not that I have anything against that. I am an advocate for free-thinking. I believe entrepreneurs need to think without any boundaries.l published a self-help handbook/memoir titled “By the End of your Teens”. Iam currently working on several books, novels, films and documentaries that l hope will inspire more free-thinking, and inform policy in Malawi and beyond.
Nyasa Times: How did you come up with an idea for the ByNtha media?
Nthanda:As a creative, I consider myself just a channel for creative ideas. I do not think that I come up with them. They want to be, and just choose me as a passage.
l noted that most creatives from Malawi know were not using their passion to champion development causes, and l started thinking of ways l could document their works. This is how By Ntha media and NyenyeziyakuM’mawa collective came to be.
NyasaTimes:Can you explain more on that one?
Nthanda: By Nthais a creative production and publications Media/ Marketing and Communications company which bridges academic researches and young creatives (15-30) through the NyenyeziyakuM’mawaCollective, tocreate engaging media content which champions social /development / progression through the creation of engaging and informative media. By Ntha also runs a quarterly fellowship under the collective, recruiting not less than 10 creative enrolled in Universities, to work with us in the creation of the Morning Star, a weekly Digital Newsletter with a subscription of 7,000 people, and a reach of 150,000.
Nyasa Times: I understand you are also a blogger?
Nthanda: By Ntha Media started as a blog: www.byntha.com. I am the biggest resident professional travel and lifestyle influencer/ blogger in Malawi, with a social media following of no less than 40,000 collectively. I host the My Malawi (Travel culture and Tourism show) on Zodiak television. I also document the Sunbird Hotels and Resorts.
Nyasa Times: You might have also faced some problems we all face when starting, like things are not moving well e.t.c.? How do you keep moving on in spite of all these.
Nthanda: Struggle makes people understand value of creativity. The World is changing and we are progressing. In Malawi, people are still getting a grasp of what entrepreneurship. We are getting there.
Nyasa Times: Do you think ones mindset has anything to do with their success?
Nthanda: Perhaps. It’s about creativity, and learning how to monetize it. From experience, it is not easy.There are lots of companies, all with excess capacity that are all hungry for more customers. It’s very, very competitive. One important thing I have in mind is that, in order to succeed, you need to be a lot better than everyone else in everything you do.
Nyasa Times:Well, this question might sound funny, do you think it is easy to be an entrepreneur?
Nthanda: It depends on how you define “easy.” It’s definitely more complex and intense, but at the same time very rewarding and fulfilling.
Nyasa Times: Are you the only one managing the business or you have staffs?
Nthanda: I manage By Ntha Media, with assistance from my partner,SekuluNyekha from India. We have a team of no less than 10 creatives, 10 mentors, and 10 marketing partners.
Nyasa Times: What advice would you like to give to those just starting or coming up?
Nthanda: You need to enjoy what you do. If you view your venture as something solely for the purpose of amassing wealth, it’ll be more difficult to truly enjoy.
Nyasa Times: What do you think it takes to succeed in business?
Nthanda: A good idea, good execution, great people skills, and a lot of discipline.
Nyasa Times: What is the last one word advice you will when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
Nthanda: Tenacity. Believe in yourself and be ready to work ten times as much, to get half the amount.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :