Being a female student at a university is challenging as one tends to have many material needs, of which some cannot be entirely met by guardians. BEING a female student at a university is challenging as one tends to have many material needs, of which some cannot be entirely met by guardians.
This calls for one to be financially disciplined and find responsible ways of earning income as one pursues their studies.
In order to supplement their daily needs and partly take off a load of financial burden from their parents’ shoulders, two University of Zambia students have ventured into a hair plaiting business.
Chizawaka Kumwenda and Precious Munzele plait their customers when they take a few hours off their books.
The two who have been plating hair for a year now say they only started plaiting for fun, but after a while decided to start charging people so that they could generate extra income for their needs.
Chizawaka, a third year Environmental Education student, says students should not always wait for their parents or guardians to give them money even when they have skills or talents that they can use to generate money.
“As a student, you have to be innovative and minimize putting your parents under the pressure of always looking for money for you,” states the 23 year old.
Chizawaka advises her fellow students to develop their talents and make extra money off them.
And Precious, a second year Adult Education Major says contrary to the popular view that business is time consuming, hair plaiting never disturbs the duo’s school work.
Precious, 21, explains that one needs to organize their time accordingly adding that they only plait their customers when they have less work load.
“It is all about strategizing. I have never failed a test or an examination because of plaiting hair or any other reason. I balance between my business and school work,” she proudly says.
“When we need something like lotion, soap or sugar, we don’t just sit and wait for money from home or go around begging. We plait a head or two and make money from that,” she explains.
Precious explains that they plait braids, mukule and picking, at K 80 and K 100 respectively. They plait together and share the money equally.
Chizawaka notes that some female students engage in bad behavioral acts to make money, a practice she describes as disappointing especially coming from intellectuals who are being trained in various skills.
“Some girls sleep around with old men in exchange for money. That is a very wrong practice. Why not develop a skill like we have and generate money from it?” she asks rhetorically.
One of their customers, Tionge Mbulo, says the two are good at what they do.
“They are good at plaiting hair and the fact that they plait together makes the whole process quicker. In addition, they are within school. It’s not like I have to get on a bus to get where they are or something,” she says.
Tionge adds that Precious and Chizawaka are relatively affordable since the style they charge K 100 is K 200 elsewhere.
She adds that more students should come up with initiatives of offering services to students and in turn make money.