He never gave up on success
Despite what everyone around might say, there is always hope of achieving life goals if one tries hard enough and works towards the same.
Benedict Johnson, 28, is one among those who dared to try.
Born in Nyanshini village, Magu district in Mwanza region, Ben is a role model for many youth.
He repeated Standard Seven for three consecutive years (2009/2010/2011) but never managed to get the required points to join Form One. Johnson was eager to proceed with studies, but his performance in class proved a hard battle to overcome.
“Since I attended various primary schools within Mwanza region, I could not get a good grade, all were below average,” he revealed.
He says, during his entire time in primary school, he was forced to find other means of making it in class; this included asking one of his bright friends to help him get the required marks. He did this for several years.
His father made efforts towards his education in a bid to boost his performance, but nothing worked.
“In 2012, I did my Certificate of Primary Education (CPE), I was the last person among 43 candidates at Alliance Primary School in Mwanza city. My parents encouraged me to re-sit for the fourth time but this time I declined,” he says adding that he told them to save that money to educate the rest of his siblings.
It was then that he decided Benedict his future will not be judged based on education but on other fields which were yet to be discovered.
He says he had nothing to hide from his parents as they knew his potential and as well, pitied him for trying and failing multiple times.
He confirmed to Success that his mother never took it lightly lwhen he decided to drop out of school as he had a key role in the entire family – being the firstborn.
“My mother never agreed to my decision at once, I just pleaded with her to accept my request. It was not my wish but I just had to try something different,” he said.
In the middle of 2013 when he was just nineteen, his father called him to ask him about the plans he had for the future if given another chance. He said all he wanted was Sh100, 000 to start his own business. He never told his parents what he exactly wanted to do.
“My dad handed the money to me, he was quite sure that his money had gone to waste and therefore there was no reason to bother himself asking me in the evening when we met over my progress or what I had done with the money,” Benedict says.
How he spent the money
Benedict says during his young age in the village, he learnt some activities which, according to him, were the best projects to start with and would easily make him money.
“I began buying chicken from the village and took them to town and made little profit, some months later, I managed to have reliable orders from big restaurants in Magu town and therefore increased the number of chicken which I delivered,” he explains.
Two years later, Benedict is succeeding in life irrespective of his poor academic background.
Apart from performing poorly on most subjects, Benedict is able to balance his business records to counter-check for profit made on a daily basis.
Benedict reveals that towards the end of 2013, when he was almost turning 20, he decided to join Nyakato Vocational Training Institute, Mwanza, the following year where he trained as a driver.
Still with his parents in the rural village of Nyanshini, Magu district, Benedict’s business expanded gradually. After establishing a business that was doing fairly well, on March 2014, Benedict got married at the age of twenty. After three months, the couple had to move from home and rent a elsewhere and try living independently.
However his shift from the village to urban affected his chicken business thereby losing his customers.
Bearing in mind that Mwanza is a growing city with daily construction activities; in December 2015, Benedict used his savings from chicken supply to buy a brick-making machine. “I hired some four to five men who did this job.
I could see the profit from the business. After doing calculations on the expenditure involved, such as buying cement, sand, water and paying the workers, I was still left with some profit,” he says adding that he collects Sh700,000 depending on the flow of custumers.
Benedict, now a father of two used savings from the brick making business to buy two second hand cars which he uses as taxis. He is the owner of Ben Taxi 1 and 2, in Mwanza city besisedes owning his personal car. He makes Sh100, 00 per week from the taxis and says that after realizing that he wasn’t going to make in the traditional academic system, he had go look for a niche where he could thrive. “I knew I couldn’t pass the ionic equations in chemistry, reproduction in biology and other complicated subjects in secondary schools,” he confesses.
Ben says for now he has his own home at Buhongwa, Mwanza city suburb together with his two Carina taxi cars. He says back in the village he has managed to buy some piece of land which he intends to plant cypress trees and he knows one day he will sell them and make good money.
“In the morning, I hand over the keys to my two drivers who operate my cars in the city. They present their daily ‘earning’ in the evening plus the keys. All vehicles spend the night in my compound. The brick-making machine is located in Kirumba in Ilemela district and I make money on a weekly basis,” he says.
His plan is to relocate his parents from the village life move them closer to town. He also intends to start an affordable education academy. “All children facing challenges in life and at school will be taught free of charge,” he reveals.
Benedict does not advice anybody to follow his path in life, he advises the youth to concentrate on studies, but also says that if someone is keen on starting a business, then they should have a clear strategy on how to execute their plan.