The Memoir of the Magoye Village Chicken Restaurant
They say where you stand in your youth determines where you sit as your age advances. And indeed, what you do in your youth has the power to spell out your entire pedigree. This has been exemplified by one Mr Frank Mulambo, the proprietor of the now infamous Mutoondo Restaurant – Magoye Village Chicken. For the perpetual travelers who frequent the Lusaka – Southern Province route, telling where this place is located is a waste of time because it has become an outstanding feat on that road that is nearly impossible to bypass. For the unfamiliar however, Magoye is located at about 71.7 miles or 116 km as you drive southwards from Lusaka, which translates into about two hours of driving time at average speed.
Overtime, it has become nearly impossible to drive past Magoye without stopping by the infamous village chicken restaurant. But what really is so special about this place that makes almost every traveler momentarily suspend their journey just to stop by? Well, besides the sumptuousness in the delicacies served, it is the affability and warm hospitable tendencies ushered to the patrons by the owner and his workers. Going by the multitudes that storm this place, it is safe to deduce that there’s immensely overwhelming customer retention that can only stem from a homely feeling and satisfaction that supersedes any doubt that the customers could possibly have had when they were still distant.
Considering how other business owners struggle to create and sustain a good customer base, we can only take lessons from Mr Mulambo on how he has created such a legacy and kept at it for such a long time.
As though there’s a trigger that is pulled, there’s just this thing that flirts with your taste buds once you reach Magoye. Like a philly beard on a truck driver’s chin, this feeling holds on to you so tight that you cannot get rid of it until you satisfy it. On Wednesday 28th April 2021, a Melo Media news crew staffer was enroute to Livingstone and as if his taste buds have a memory chip embedded in them, they reconnected with the memories of what they tasted the last time they were in this area code and before he knew it, he was during in cravings for what at this point was obvious. The poor young man could not surmount the urge to satisfy. Like a person under a spell, he found himself driving Mutoondo Village Chicken Restaurant wards because he knows exactly what heavenly niceness awaits him. While he went about the munching escapade, he did not forget to approach Mr Mulambo, who humbly sat under a tree as he prepared his chickens, to personally thank him for setting up such a haven. Despite how nice the food was, our staffer did not forget to ask the Mutoondo gaffer to share with him how he started the business, how it has been and how he has managed to run it overtime. The old man was more than eager to share his story.
This therefore ladies and gentlemen, is an account of the Mutoondo Restaurant – Magoye Village Chicken chronicles, brought to you exclusively by Melo Media Zambia, enjoy the read.
Over three (3) decades ago, a young vibrant Tonga man, full of vibrancy and energy, driven by the agog to achieve and do so exceedingly, set himself on a journey that even he was not so sure would one day become a household success. With only a handful of resources, customers that he could count with one hand in one breathe and a whole army of doubters, he stood tall and went against the odds. Foregoing possible failure, he collected his courage and there he commenced his phenomenal march success-ways. Though small in stature, he had the courage of a giant because like a puffer fish, he was blotted with motivation to turn his life around.
When his business first started, it was moving at a torte’s pase but even that was not enough cause to relent because he was just learning the ropes and gaining a customer base. When he spoke to Melo media, he said when his business just started he would only slaughter one chicken that he would struggle to sell. “So, when I started this business, I used to slaughter one chicken a day which sometimes would finish and other days remain over. These days I slaughter a total number of about 100 chickens a day which we manage to finish to sell.”
While his business was still in its preliminaries, he suffered some setbacks but he took them as lessons which he used to further build his business. In no time it became a success and he kept on applying his attained knowledge and skills. Being a family man, more than anything, at the core of his planning has always been posterity. This can be seen in the fact that he has brought his children on board by inculcating in them the same knowledge he plucked through all the years of building and sustaining the business. He however hasn’t bound his 5 children strictly to this business as he has allowed and supported them to get educated. “So I have been able to take my children to school and educate them. They are about five and some of them are even working and looking after themselves through this same business.” He said as he narrated to Melo Media.
He expressed gratitude to God for giving him this ability because it has enabled him to diversify and get into other businesses like farming. He said the other good thing about this business and what he has seen is that he has been able to even take up farming and also it has helped him buy cattle to further sustain him and his family.
When asked what his plans are for the business going forward he said; “My thinking about this business these days is to pass on the entire business ideas to my children and teach them about the village chicken business. So some of my children already work with me here and they know how to run the business as I have passed on the knowledge to them and even if, God forbid I died today, they know what to do and how to run the business.
They cannot suffer as they know how to prepare the chickens and they are able to sell to my customers and attend very well to my customers even if am not around. As at now when you see me here, am practically retired but I have to be around to keep busy and I help around to make sure am not just sitting idle at home. Also, at the moment I help clean the chickens and also collect money while my children attend to my many customers.”
Without a script, ladies and gentlemen this is how you build a legacy. It takes time and consistency and tenacity and immense love for your customers. For a business that’s customer centric, you want a credible decorum to be part of your daily acumen. There’s just a myriad lessons we can learn from Mr Mulambo’s success story. On top of everything he attributes his success to, he puts his customers on a pedestal as can be heard from his response when he was asked what his message to his customers who will get to read about this story is. He said, “My message to my customers is that it makes me happy to see so many people who pass by to support my business and I have customers who have been coming here for many years and have seen us grow. If you look around our structures have improved from the first days we started.
Am very happy and grateful that the number of my customers keep growing and at times we get overwhelmed as our customers queue up to get a share of the famous magoye village chicken.
I am always happy to chat and talk to people and it’s always a please to share my story.”
“I want to thank Melo Media for stopping by to support me and also spare some time to talk to me about my business. The people of Magoye and the entire Southern Province looks forward to reading about this story.
Thank you very much.”
Sometimes when we see successful people, we assume they have been successful their whole life. What we do not know is that what anchors that success is years of struggle and patience and tenacity. What we do not realize is that it takes a lot of resources, discipline, support, and self-belief among other a venture to finally become a success. We can learn so many lessons from the Magoye Village Chicken Restaurant legacy.
May Your Small Business one day grow into a household name.
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