Dumisani Lingamangali Ncube, Founder and Group Chairman of DLN Group, Zambia
Dumisani Lingamangali Ncube was born in 1989 in the remote parts of Lusaka the capital city of Zambia, in a village setup under a thatched roof. He is the second born in a family of five and his parents were both farmers.
Dumisani’s first business was a pamphlet production business which he started in 2001 when he was in his 8th grade at Matero Boys secondary school. At the start of his business, He didn’t have any capital so he asked the pupils to pay up in advance for their pamphlets and the money paid was used to produce the pamphlets.
After the pamphlet production business he set up a small kiosk(Katemba) using savings from the Pamphlet production business. Here at the Kiosk, he sold measured sachets of cooking oil, rice, sardines(Kapenta) and other basic commodities for a farm workers community.
In 2005 aged 15, he started a business through the kiosk business savings. This business involved him purchasing an Eagle Bicycle from Lusaka and ride it down to his farm, which is about 40kms in Lusaka West down Makeni road. The following morning he would wake up around 4am and ride the same bike from his farm further west past Nampundwe mine to Shibuyunji District which is another 35kms to exchange the bike with an average of five goats per bike. By 10am the exchange would have been concluded leaving him with no bike but goats tied one to the other. Due to limited resources, he had to walk back with the goats to his farm and this would take him about 14hrs walk as when he started off from Shibuyunji at 10am he would reach home past midnight.
Through bicycle-Goat trade business he saved up enough money to begin a Merchandise business. The Merchandise business required him to travel to Botswana and South Africa to buy clothes and electronic appliances which he resold in Zambia.
In 2006, he completed his secondary School education from Matero Boys Secondary School.
In 2009, he enrolled at ZIPSIP college in Kitwe to pursue ZICA Level 1 & 2. He graduated from ZIPSIP College in 2012.
In 2010 whilst on a business trip to South Africa, he was robbed in Johannesburg and lost over $2000. It was a business set back from which he learnt how to remain determined despite what happens to his business.
In 2010 at the age of 20, him and two other colleagues (one was a software engineer and the other was a university student) started Gladtidings software Ltd. It is a software company that provides school management system software. When it fully hit the market within 10 months, the software was the most used school management system in all the provinces of Zambia and had a turnover in excess of $200,000 and to date it is still the most used package in Zambia, helping schools run efficiently and effectively.
In 2013 (aged 23), he launched DLN Zambia Motors Ltd with one Mercedes Benz Atego Truck which he purchased using the profits from Gladtidings software company. DLN Zambia Motors Ltd was a transportation company that transported various goods across Zambia. After a year of trading on 24th August 2014, the newly added Volvo FH12 30tones truck was involved in a tragic accident in which the total loss in goods, compensation, and the assets was over $50,000.
3 months after the incident that caused him to shut down DLN Zambia Motors Ltd, with an idea as capital, DLN Technologies Ltd was born and almost at the same time, him and two other colleagues started a construction company called ADUQ Investments.
ADUQ Investments is a construction company that has done various construction project for different companies both in the private and public sector.
In 2013, He went to ZCAS to complete the ZICA professional qualification. And late enrolled for his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at The University of Lusaka (UNILUS).
In 2015, DLN Technologies started operations with one PVC Card printer which was used to produce Identity cards for Schools and organisations. The company expanded to deal in PVC card printers, Smart card printers, Integration software, security technologies etc. Within a few months of operation, the company was generating over $13,000 in profits per month.
In 2016, He received the Evolis performance award from France in recognition of his business performance. He is the first Zambian to receive it and the youngest African CEO to be awarded.
In the next 5 years:
He sees his companies grow in capacity.
He sees himself ,venture into the food processing industry
He sees himself, contribute to the reduction of high rates of unemployment by enjoying over 3,000 youths
He also sees himself, mentor over 20,000 people to think innovatively through hosting seminars and conferences and sharing insights on his page Dumisani Lingamangali Ncube
Key Lessons For Entrepreneurs
- Follow your dreams and odd ideas, but note that when you start out, you do not have the right to be supported but earn the right by proving yourself worthy of support.
- Build your traits of hard work over time, start working hard from wherever you are now.
- That life you dream of is dependant on you. That life you dream of, everyone dreams of it but it will only be enjoyed by those who are willing to OUT WORK, OUT IMPROVE AND OUTPERFORM. So if you want that life; don’t just dream it, work hard for it.
- Having moved from herding goats and cattle in the village to the CEO that he is enough testimony that life can change, his story is encouraging African youths in unfortunate situations that it is possible.”