From N$15000 To Million Private Wealth Client In 6 Years

• BY Vitalio Angula

Having begun his entrepreneurial journey less than a decade ago, Sauyemwa native, Jerry Chikambi who is also known as Mister Oxygen in media circles, sat down with the Confidente to share with us his story of persistence, hard work and knowledge acquisition that transformed his 15 000 NAD bank account into a N$ 20 million Private Wealth Client.

As Managing Director of a private company based in Windhoek’s Central Business District, Chikambi has never been shy to follow his dreams, toiling tirelessly irrespective of obstacles.

Hailing from Rundu, the 32 years old Chikambi describes his journey as one of humble beginnings that instilled in him the discipline to go for what he wants and not let anything stand in his way.

“I was born at Rundu, in Northern Namibia, at the banks of the Okavango River, where crocodiles compete with human beings for food and water. So naturally, like the crocodiles, I have a thick skin, which is a much-needed attribute for any young aspiring business person”, Chikambi narrates as he shares his path to commercial stability.

The second last born from a family of five siblings, Chikambi is known for his slick dress code and his appetite for deal making, in and around the board rooms of the city.

“I finished my accounting and finance studies in the year 2012 at the then Polytechnic of Namibia. Before I graduated I got a job as a client consultant at Letshego, a lending institution that was subsequently transformed into a bank”, Chikambi shares.

“Here I gained a vast amount of knowledge into the systems and processes of micro-lending and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I would own my own bank”, he exclaimed.

“In 2014, I completed my Articles at Price Water Coopers and was subsequently appointed to the BIC bank when it first gained market access into Namibia”, Chikambi explained.

“The same year I was also hired as a lecturer at my alma Malta, which had by then been transformed into the Namibian University of Science and Technology, to teach accounting.”

“Through my short lived and diversified postings, I felt I was now ready to branch out on my own and sail for the proverbial waters by entering the world of business and entrepreneurship”.

“With 15 000 dollars in my bank account and a dream in my heart, I set up establishing my cash loan company which I called TMU. Due to my vast network I somewhat became a confidant to many of my clients who would ask me for services such as book-keeping, company registrations, tax return filing and Social Security Commission registration. This then became my core bore business and with an extensive list of clients, I could grow to my business which now boasts six employees, Jasmine Kwakwafila being one of them”, Chikambi.

Kakwafila, who heads TMU’s admin and finance department describes Chikambi as an easy-going boss from whom she has learnt a lot.

“Since joining the company three years ago I have learnt a lot from Jerry’s tenacity and his willingness to take risks.

Chikambi recently ventured into the domain of Purchase-Order Financing.

According to Kakwafila, Purchase-Order Financing is a Financing model based on lending a client credit (money) in exchange for a valuable asset that the client will receive back once they pay back the money (credit) with interest.

Asked whether this is not illegal she quickly points out that it is not.

Purchase-order financing is advanced by TMU because they recognised there was a need in the market for quick cash to finance purchase orders such as those given by the government.

“Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), especially the new ones who compete for government tenders and procurement need money to fulfil their orders. The commercial banks are not always forth-coming in terms of lending and in most cases, they have stringent requirements. That is where we step in”, Kakwafila explains.

Joseph Makombe, one of Chikambi’s clients told Confidente that Chikambi’s services are faster and less stringent than the commercial banks.

“I have had a revolving credit facility with TMU to the tune of 200 000 over the last two years and as a result I have managed to keep my business afloat during times I needed a quick cash injection to order supplies”, the owner of the Professional Development Supplies said.

“Fear is a killer of dreams,” Chikambi implores!

When asked whom he counts as his inspiration he mentions his uncle, Mr. Justus Hausiku, a prominent Namibian business leader.

He also said he gains his inspiration from books such as “The Richest Man in Babylon”, Glayton Mckenzie’s, Hustlers Bible and 50 cents 50 Laws of Power.

Chikambi left Confidente with some parting shots which could serve as inspiration to aspiring youth in business.

He encouraged young people not to buy too much into the bling-bling culture, and not to focus too much on fitting in as opposed to creating their own identity and living it.

“Stick to what you know and what you love and pursue it with all you got and all you have”, Chikambi said.