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Meet Sylvester Nkhoma, Entrepreneur

Sylvester's house in Malawi, 2011

Sylvester Nhkoma’s house in 2011, when I first visited his farm in Manyamula, Malawi. It has a tin roof but no plaster between the bricks.

“I am a member of Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative,” Sylvester proudly tells us. Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative is a savings and loans group and a SIA grantee-partner. (Read more about COMSIP here.)

SIA’s first grant to help start the cooperative was for a collective poultry project, which Sylvester helped to coordinate. He also shared space on his property for the poultry house. Co-op members come to learn from Sylvester about raising poultry for meat and eggs. Teaching others about successful poultry farming is part of the way Sylvester practices Sharing the Gift. Now twenty people in the co-op are doing poultry. The white poultry sell for 3000 kwacha (USD$4). They mature quicker. The darker chickens for 4000 kwacha (USD$5.50), but they take a year to mature.

When we visited his farm in May, 2017, Sylvester told us, “All along the way I’ve seen my family change. Because of my dairy cow, I now have three children in good secondary schools [high school]. My children do well in school because of the nutrience they get from milk. I also use the cow manure to fertilize my crops.”

One of Sylvester’s daughters next to the pigeon house. She is attending a good local school, now that her parents can easily pay for her education.

Sylvester’s family home in 2017! What a difference! “We brought electricity to the house. Now we are fully successful. Thankful to SIA for helping to transform lives in Malawi.”

Just before we visited, Sylvester was featured in the Malawian national newspaper! He was quoted saying, “I used to be a beggar, but now I am an accomplished entrepreneur. I have goats, chickens, pigs, pigeons, and above all else, I own a shop. This only happened after some people introduced me to COMSIP and I abandoned begging to be an entrepreneur.” (Click on the photo and then zoom in to read the story.)

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