“Mandela’s International Bags” is always a stopping point to a fairly large number of Maseno University students and other passersby. It is a well-stocked bags shop selling all types of bags ranging from handbags, school bags, designer bags and travelling bags. It is the one place where one will always be directed if he/she wants to buy a bag in Maseno.
However, what everyone doesn’t know is the long journey Mr. Nelson Mandela, a fourth year Statistics student in Maseno University has trod to bring the business to its current state. During an exclusive interview, Mr. Mandela told this writer that he begun dreaming of becoming a prosperous business person way back when he was still in primary school.
“I began by selling groundnuts in my village, the little I earned helped me buy stationery to support my primary school education”, he said. He said that he continued doing other small businesses during his High school like selling mandazi until he joined campus.
During his first year in the University, Mr. Mandela says that besides the groundnut business he sold home-made brooms. “The business gave me Sh. 750 which I then invested as capital into the bags business”.
While at Mr. Mandela’s shop, Hivisasa met Steve Omondi, a graphic designer who had come to shop for a bag. “I get a wide variety of well-designed bags to choose from at this place” he said.
“As a student, balancing my time in class and business is not a walk in the park”, he said. To ensure that he does not miss anything in class, he makes sure that he makes good follow-up of every lesson. He also goes for additional private lectures in case he misses any class.
He asked all varsity students to look for morally upright means that they can use to raise cash so that they stop being full time parasites to their parents.
Mr. Mandela said that for anyone to become a successful business person, one must work extra hard to ensure that he satisfies the needs of all of his/her customers. He also said that besides being honest in business, one must accept competition in whatever way it manifests itself.