Africa: How DR Congo's Yannick Kimanuka Feels After Winning 2019 Anzisha Prize

The 2019 Anzisha Prize awards took place in Johannesburg on October 22 where the grand prize winner was announced.
24 October 2019
interview

Johannesburg — allAfrica's Nontobeko Mlambo caught up with Yannick Kimanuka, who was named the 2019 Anzisha prize winner at the Anzisha Prize Forum awards in South Africa. The 21-year-old from the Democratic Republic of Congo walked away with U.S.$25 000 of funding for her business.

How do you feel after winning the grand prize of U.S.$25 000?

I cannot believe I won. I am so happy and overwhelmed with joy.

How did the idea for your business come about?

I was living in a village in Northern Kivu eastern province in the Democratic Republic of Congo where I wasn't able to get access to education because of the violence and wars for the past two decades so I decided I will start KIM's School Complex in 2018 that provides quality education and prepares children from my community to be globally competitive.

What is unique about your business?

My business is unique in that, unlike other schools, ours is trying to implement modern education to children in villages where there isn't even a basic educational system and with very limited resources.

The KIM'S School Complex pursues four priority objectives:

1.To provide all students with equal opportunities for social emancipation
2.Promote the self-confidence and development of each student
3.Bring all students to appropriate knowledge and acquire skills that make them useful to society
4.Prepare all students to be responsible citizens
The KIM's School Complex has been endorsed by the DRC's Ministry of Education. (Source: Anzisha Prize)

How do you advertise your company?

We have been lucky to have already had an opportunity to speak on radio but since it is a small community In the villages we talk to people in churches and then we ask that they tell others about the business so that the business can grow and more people can bring their children to get access to quality education.

How many people does the business employ?

KIM's School Complex employs 30 people at the moment.

How will the grand prize change your business?

We had a lot of problems and challenges that we have encountered but now with these funds we will start investing in the infrastructure that we need to advance and grow our business.

What is your advice to a young person who is thinking of starting a business?

I know starting a business is not easy. One must always persist when they have a business idea and never give up. If you do not have any resources or any funds to start the business you must still always be persistent and it requires you to be brave.

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