First of all, why have I decided to share my story?: HERE IS WHY: Coming from a background that was not much wealthy and luxurious, I have gone through many struggles in life, and through tapping into the inspiration of global leaders like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Strive Masiyiwa, Jack Ma, Sandile Shezi, Warren Buffet, Godfrey Esoh, Dangote, David Oyedepo, TD Jakes, Joice Meyer, Nelson Mandela, Donald Trump, etc, through their videos and writings, I have come to know that where you are going is more important and glorious than where you come from and that we can all dream big together, no matter our current situation. It is for this reason that through social media and Tv, I’m inspiring fellow youths to get into digital technology because it is a world of good. Going through my story can help you situate where you are now and give you the courage to believe in yourself and continue to pursue your life goals.
This is 2019 and 24 years ago, I was born in M’muock, South West region of Cameroon, raised by my parents and supported by my elder siblings. My entrepreneurial journey goes thus:
I started out as an entrepreneur in primary 4 while in GS Mbelenka, where I sold chewing-gums and sweets to fellow school mates. Profit margins from these sales ranged from 50frs to 300frs per packet sold. As time went on, my brother Betrand launched a small business when I was in primary 5. When everyone had gone to bed, we would start the production process of local sweets called “Nto Peh Lah” (produced with sugar that was boiled in a pot to melt and then put in rapped sheets of paper to solidify). My brother didn’t take part in much selling because, during the long break, he would join his peers to play football. I acted as the salesman of “Nto Peh Lah” and received a commission of five sticks of the sweets per each day of sales (5×5frs=25frs). Sales of “Ntoh Peh Lah” didn’t stop me from selling other kinds of stuff including sweets and chewing-gums. I also purchased and sold various fruits at school including guava, tomatoes, among others. All these helped me raise money for occasions like “Youth Day” and other celebrations, and also buy a few of my school needs. After school on market days, I would help my mother in the market to sell pepper, okra, garden eggs, and several other items. It was all fun and exciting.
In my early years of secondary school. I decided to open a store in my quarter (Lepouh Chiefdom). After raising a small capital of 2000frs, I decided to build the store using sticks and roofed it with big rappen papers. My brother Claude gave me more goods on credit and as I sold, I paid the loan. This my store was fondly called “Wilson’s stick store”- this name was given by my brother Jevis and his friends. I also sold gateaux (Musegeur) in secondary school and many of my school mates used to fondly call me Fotso Victor.
My mother saw the entrepreneur’s spirit in me and started an irish potato buyam-sellam business, where I was the main man running the affairs of the business. I did really well in following up and purchasing irish potato in buckets which was then sold in bags.
My Stick Store in the quarter soon expanded and my brother, Lucas, adviced that we build a real house with bricks. We started with the project in Agust and despite the challenges, we succeed to build a 1.5m×1.5m house and used old pieces of zinc to roof it provided by my dad, from one of his farm building that was broken down. It became even more interesting and at this point, the store was renamed: “Ets Wilson’s Shopping Center”. The business grew and I soon began to offer cafeteria (tea and fried eggs) services, and many other provisions. Through negotiation, my brother Claude (Now CEO of A-Z Electronics, Buea) increased the quantity of products given me on credit to more than 100 000Frs. The store was broken down and rebuilt several times, and by 2010 when I was in my later years of secondary school, and a good 1 room house was built on the spot costing over 700 000frs, sponsored by my mum and myself. This building still stands to date.
Throughout my ventures, I got a mobile phone that could browse the internet, got so interested and became so passionate in them, and as days went by, I discovered many new things about digital technology and was able to configure digital gadgets and help people solve problems with their digital tools. As the world became more android, more sophisticated devices permitted me to do extensive research on graphic design and web design/development. In 2016, I launched my tech company, Faithworks Tech, through which we have impacted many businesses, organizations and institutions and today we provide web design services to businesses and organizations in Cameroon, USA, and Canada, and our impact keeps extending to more areas. Currently, our team is made up of three: Alain, Elizabeth, and myself.
I leave you with these words from Martin Luther King Jr: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
I will talk more on my digital story and my experience as a teacher subsequently, and until next time, stay blessed!
Part one and Part two of my story are on our website blog