Tuesday, April 23, 2013


“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will”, a quote by
Vince Lombardi.

The quote is very meaningful. You can see and agree with me that a ‘strong will’ is an important aspect towards the success achieved by the Owner of Arusha Journalism Training College (AJTC), Mr. Joseph Mayagila.

Mr. Joseph Mayagila (40) is one of the successful people in the country, who admits to the power of will towards success. He is an inhabitant of Arusha Municipal in Arusha region and an investor who got his investment license and registered his Private Share Company in 2006. 

Within six years since the company was registered, from 2006 to 2012, Mr. Mayagila, who is also the Director of Studies and Training at AJTC has scored a number of achievements because of his determination to engage in business with total confidence.

This is evidenced by the fact that the AJTC is not only gaining recognition by many stakeholders but also, venturing into the international market as it now receives foreign students from countries like Sierra Leone, Kenya and is expecting to receive students from Somalia. 

 “We have trained a number of radio stations’ workers and also, the workers from the institute which produces the ‘’Tazama Tz’’- a programme aired by TBC 1,” he said adding, “last July we were chosen to  host the training for teachers of the journalism colleges, the programme which is done once in a year”

In addition, the smart looking Mr. Mayagila runs the AJTC from his own building compared to other Journalism Training Centers that are still carrying out their training in rented office space. Mr. Mayagila has 10 buildings now including some, which are used for students’ accommodation.

AJTC has also now managed to publish various publications for sharing experiences to affect and inspire other people. And for supporting training programmes, the College produces the AJTC Weekly Newspaper.
Mr. Mayagala, an inspiring man, said he receives a number of consultation requests from various people who want to establish this kind of business including former classmates who have been inspired with how far he has gone. With his advice, he and some of his former classmates have now established a media studies center.

The College is adding value to the area of its establishment. The people around have been able to utilize the opportunity and engage themselves in small business activities such as shops and restaurants. “I have created employment opportunities not only for the staff of the college but also for the people around who are exploring the available market,” he said.

AJTC has, meanwhile, produced people who are now doing well in the labor market and have been employed in local as well as international media such as Aljazeera.  Some former students own production studios, and one is running a Journalism Centre. 

I was curious to know more about him from his employees at AJTC.  Ms Eliesh Shoohas been working as Mr. Mayagila’s administrative secretary since 2006.  She describes him as hardworking and a good team player. 

“Mr. Mayagila is a great contributor of the AJTC’s progress. He likes to help others and  has all the leadership qualities and skills,” says Ms Shoo of her boss.

Lucas Modaha is another employee who was once a student of Mr. Mayagila for about three years. Currently, he is working with Mr. Mayagila as a lecturer. He depicts him as a supportive and visionary person.

“I have worked cooperatively with Mr. Mayagila without any problem and I have never heard any complaint from my colleagues about him,” says Mr. Modaha. Insisting, “We have different students’ competitions and AJTC does its best to motivate the students. The Director has been giving his full support for his goal is to produce youth with capabilities to make their dreams come true.”

Another employee, who also admits to enjoy working with Mr. Mayagila, is Andrea Ashery Ngobole, a lecturer at AJTC. He said that he has been enjoying his support even on personal matters. “As employees we are free to share with him anything as far as his assistance and support is concerned. Mr. Mayagila has also been playing a part in his employees’ personal matters such as celebrations and funeral ceremonies,” he says.

Wondering whether he knew Mr. Mayagila before being employed at AJTC, Mr Ngobole confirms that he knew him since he was studying at East Africa Training Institute (EATI). “Mr. Mayagila taught me Journalism and Broadcasting in 2005. He was by then a lecturer of EATI,” he says.

Explaining how AJTC started, Mr Mayagila explained that the idea was to partner with his former classmates, whom he was working with.  It was hoped that start-up capital would come from their salaries. Nevertheless, he had to do it alone because the former classmates were not willing to take the risk.

He was not discouraged. He worked on the idea and came up with TSH 10 Million initial capital with which he started the business. The money was used to pay rent and buy some facilities such as computer and a camera. Mr Mayagila further says to start and run a business one needs to have will power and not necessarily brainpower. “With will power you will be able to succeed because you will be able to start with what you have then work to raise more capital and you will even dare to deal with financial institutions to expand the capital base,” he said.

However, Mr Mayagila mentions that most people fail to start a business in the first place because they think a business requires a huge amount of capital to start with, which is not the case.

He cited his own example where after starting with TSH10Million, he borrowed more than TSH 150Million from Revival Church Savings and Credits Cooperatives Society (SACCOs) to buy land to have his own campus. “Any investor must learn how to raise capital through various means” he insists. 

He started with eight students in Journalism and Broadcasting and only four students were paying the fees.  Currently there are about 600 students and the number of courses has increased to include Computer Maintenance, Video Production and Film Making, and Entrepreneurship. Other courses are International Relations and Diplomacy, and Nursery School Teachers one year Advanced Level and two years Ordinary Level courses.

Mr. Mayagila commenced his business with only six workers including himself.  Four of them were teachers, one security guard who doubled as a driver and one accountant who was also a secretary. Today, AJTC has about 30 members of staff including trainers, supporting staff and part time workers. 

I was then interested to know from his family members whether Mr. Mayagila shared the idea of establishing a college. Adson Kagiye is Mr. Mayagila’s young brother. He verifies that Mr. Mayagila mentioned to the family that if he could get 10 computers he would start a college and he requested for ideas and suggestions on how to get the computers. 

Mr. Kagiye said that it was very difficult for the family to understand and believe that the idea could work out. Nevertheless, the family contributed somehow to have him started. “Our elder sister gave him about 6 computers and our elder brother provided him with some amount of money as capital,” he says.

Describing Mr. Mayagila, the young brother said that he is a hardworking and outgoing person. “Mr. Mayagila is intelligent, was very bright in school and very serious with his class work. On the other hand he also helped out with chores at home,” he says. 

My question to Mr. Kagiye was: “What have you learned from your brother’s achievements?’’ And he had this to say “Anything comes from one’s thoughts. Sometimes, it is very difficult for other people to understand what you really want to do. Nonetheless, you must be courageous, believing in yourself and daring to take risks to achieve it. This is how my brother’s achievement came to be.”

There is a quote by Henry W. Longfellow, which states that the talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well.

To Mr. Mayagila it is not only about talent of success but also about the motive towards doing one kind of business rather than any other. He calls it having a comparative advantage saying that having the background in the courses offered in the centre is an advantage for it gives him the capability to excel. 

“Journalism, International Relations and Economics/Entrepreneurship are among the courses that I have learnt and so, engaging in offering knowledge in these areas is an advantage because this is what I can do well,” he emphasizes adding, “We do what we like. So this is what I like.” 

Where there is success, challenges are inevitable. Mr. Mayagila faced challenges particularly on how to administer the business because he had no idea of business management and business laws and so he had to spend most of his time reading and learning about business management issues.

“I had to travel in and outside the county for business training to be equipped with the aim of ensuring that I do well in the business industry,” he says adding, “I had also to travel to build a network which is very important in business.”

The other challenge is that land is very expensive particularly in town areas and so he used a lot of money to buy land. The cheapest land, according to Mr. Mayagila, is the land in interior areas with no facilities such as electricity, water and other necessary services. He said although cheap it was difficult to secure such land.
Yet, Mr. Mayagila is expecting to have a radio station soon, starting a project of exporting cashew nuts in the coming years as well as inspiring more people to engage in business activities. 

What’s more Mr. Mayagila is the type of entrepreneur who is engaging in different activities to maximize his profits. He has a public transport mini bus; he is also a writer with three titles to his name. The books are in Swahili titled ‘’Kubuni na kuendesha biashara kitaalamu’’, ‘’Kufanikiwa kibiashara’’ and ‘’Jinsi ya kuwa tajiri’’.

He is a Chief Editor of the ‘Mount Meru University Elimisha Magazine’, the magazine for researchers and ‘’The Market Newspaper’’ produced at Moshi. He is also a consulting editor for ‘’Tujenge Magazine’’ produced by Kikwetu Media. Moreover, he is a Credit Officer at SACCOs. 

Given this wide range of activities, I could not even speculate if Mr. Mayagila had any hobbies. But, according to this low-voiced gentleman, playing volleyball with his children, swimming and Korean martial arts (Taekwondo) are his hobbies. “I am a Taekwondo referee,” he adds.

Mary Mayagila is the wife who is proud of her husband’s success. She mentions God’s blessings and personal efforts to be the main reasons for Mr. Mayagila’s achievements.  

To her, my concern was: What kind of a husband is Mr.Mayagila with such a busy schedule? She articulated this calmly by saying “He performs all his duties as a father, as a husband as well as the head of the family despite the busy schedule. I have noticed nothing missing so far.”
A Call
Looking ahead, Mr Mayagila has a call to the Tanzanians on the importance of business in improving their standard of living insisting that people must have the will to know and seek information relating to business as well as creating social capital/networks at all cost.

However, he criticized what he described as the poor mindset of some of the elites in the country who shun joining small financial institutions such as SACCOs, which they regard as institutions meant for marginalized people, widows or HIV victims. 

“I am a member of SACCOS and it is very useful, anyone can be a member and succeed,” he says advising, “People regardless of their educational background should join SACCOS to get credit with affordable conditions to engage in business activities.” 

He further suggests that determination shall make a difference in our lives.


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