Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|August 29, 2022|6 Minutes|In Risk and Glory

Risk and Glory

Go hard or go home- orphans dont have a home!

Just under 10 years ago, Andie Malakutu bedded down in on a mattress on a hard floor in a grubby rented room  these days, its soft sheets and the sweet smell of success as the first African entrepreneur to win the Billionaire Tomorrow Risk and Glory League.

Andie Malakutu was 15-year-old schoolboy  when his brother-in-law bought him his first mobile phone. The first quote he read on it was : “Don’t stop until you have your own Wikipedia page.”

“I didn’t know what Wikipedia was but   I knew what do not stop meant. I knew it had everything to do with me. I had curiosity.”

Malakutu had plenty of uncomfortable nights in which to dream while he was studying in Ndola in Zambia’s copper belt. In 2013, Malakutu was renting a bare room for 300 Kwacha-a-month (about $25),and he even struggled to find the money, when he  studied for a diploma in business management.

“It was just a mattress. I bought it myself and it was clean . The room was made out of asbestos roofing tiles; in winter it was really cold and really hot in summer. “

“I didn’t know I would be in Lusaka. I defiantly knew I would move on. The dreams? Then, I wanted to build an ISP an idea I am still working on. I have gone for a raise a couple of times – to get funds for it. I started working on it this year,” he says.

Malakutu says internet in Zambia is slow, expensive and scarce and believes a new ISP in Lusaka would be as welcome as a drink to a man lost in the desert. He is also involved in a fintech company.

It has been a long and painful journey to becoming an e-commerce entrepreneur. He was born in Ndola the son of a credit controller for the national electricity company ZESCO. He died when Malakutu was seven. His mother , who worked for the union once run by former President Frederick Chiluba, passed away on his 13th birthday.

“There are moments like this when I wish they were around. I think it gave me a drive because ,they say, it is go hard, or go home, but orphans don’t have a home!”

Malakutu left Zambia to sell guns and knives to campers and hunters in South Africa, before returning home ,in 2019, to put down the roots of the e-commerce platform that sells clothes to the fashionable of Lusaka.

It took a couple of years to kickstart – the pandemic didn’t help.

“Very humbling. I think went about six months without making a sale. It’s among the top three in Zambia when it comes Apparel brands from the US and South Africa. We do shirts tracksuits and hoodies,” he says.

The platform began earning revenue this year. Malakutu projects it will garner $20,000 by July 2023. Even Amazon had to start somewhere. is still navigating choppy waters. Malakutu has to do deliveries himself from the warehouse to customers in Lusaka .

“I once delivered something to someone, a charger for a Mac computer, who gave me a tip – they didn’t know I was the owner! It was 100 Kwacha, enough to buy lunch!” he says.

“I know what I want out of this life as long as it is getting me somewhere, I really don’t mind. There are times when the money is not coming through.

Mostly in the summer the business is a little bit slow. A good week can be  about three or four – the products are quite pricy; it is an exclusive store . Cheapest you get is about 280 Kwacha and the most expensive is  the 1600 ($99 US) for a varsity jacket.”

Malakutu is also a big fan of Billionaire Tomorrow and the Risk and Glory League.


“I think what you are doing is great because ever since I have been an entrepreneur . I felt like I want to do  something for Africa. I want to have offices in many other countries as well . Cross borders to make that trade easy . What we need is more information about what is going on the ground is a good thing and that is what Billionaire Tomorrow is giving us.”

On the eve of the announcement of his victory a parting thought on the Risk and Glory League and a Wikipedia page.

“If I win this competition I request someone to do it for me.”

Keep checking Wikipedia this week.