Do you want to be a spectator or a participant in the growth of Africa?

This is the question posed in this powerful TEDx speech by a remarkable lady who took a very bold step 3 years ago by quitting a high-paying job as a corporate lawyer in Nigeria, to enter the food processing business in Zambia.

Monica Katebe Musonda used to work for Aliko Dangote — Africa’s richest man — as a senior executive in the Dangote Group. During her stay in the country, she couldn’t help but notice how most of the biggest companies in Nigeria were actually owned by Nigerians themselves.

In her native Zambia, the case was different. The dominant companies and brands were all owned by foreigners. According to her, Zambians were comfortable being the consumers and spectators in the economy. This was the spark that spurred Monica to quit her job with the Dangote Group and set up her own food processing company — Java Foods.

Her company’s flagship product is eeZee Noodles, which was a deliberate choice after Monica observed just how popular convenience foods like Indomie Noodles were in Nigeria.

In this TEDx Talk, Monica shares several powerful insights about her journey from the corporate life into entrepreneurship. Particularly shocking are the pushbacks, challenges and frustrations she’s faced in the 3 years since she started Java Foods.

Her company has now become more than just a business. It is a symbol of hope and possibility for her countrypeople, especially Zambian women. Her success in spite of the odds has sparked a revolution in Zambia for increased participation of Zambians in their own economy, and the support of locally-made brands.

Watch the short video below and be inspired.

Remember, Africans have the power to create the Africa of our dreams. Building our economies is not a spectator event. Africans need to step up, participate and take charge of their destiny.

Let’s go Africa!

Video credit: TEDx Talks