Nobody would like to get sick or have an illness, but not all illnesses can eventually lead to misery and sometimes fatality. In fact, with creative thinking, an innovative mind and determination, some people have changed tragic into fortune.
Ben Ajofu, a Ghanaian who is now an entrepreneur, businessman and employer, was diagnosed with hypertension at the age of 35. Instead of crying in isolation, he used his tragedy to develop a lucrative business from the very medication intended for his cure.
Immediately after his diagnosis, health professionals in Ghana informed Ajofu that he was destined to take medication throughout his life. With determination and strong belief, Ajofu proved that the doctors were wrong all along soon after he began taking moringa, a plant grown in Africa.
Few months of taking moringa, he observed that his blood pressure had decreased drastically.
“I didn’t really want to take medication at 35 for the rest of my life,” says Ajofu during one of his interviews with reporters
The progress in Ajofu’s healthiness led him to becoming one of the most passionate campaigners of the moringa plant in Ghana. He is the initiator and owner of Moringa King, a producer of powder and juice that contains parts of the plant.
Like many traditional African herbs, the moringa leaf is assumed to have various health values. The plant contains excessive volume of magnesium, potassium, zinc and vitamin E, which are vital nutrients to battle hypertension, a condition that leads to high blood pressure.
“The plan is to expand and get a farm whereby we can control access to raw materials for our production. We are also speaking to local growers and getting women involved in agriculture so we can buy from them and thus have an impact in local communities,” Ajofu says.
After acquiring certification from the Food and Drugs Authority in Ghana, Ajofu encountered a common challenge that most African innovators and small business owners face: Investment capital or initial funding to kick his innovation off the ground into an industrial capacity.
Today, with continuous faith, determination and an innovative spirit, Ajofu’s company employs more than a dozen Ghanaians and has added high profile clients to its list, including two of the world’s largest hotel brands, Movenpick and Kempinski.
The company’s products are also currently sold in most major retail and fitness outlets in Ghana.
Like Ajofu, there are many innovators and potential small business thinkers throughout Africa. If these people can bridge a connection with western capital and mutual funds managers to support their innovation and small businesses, it will greatly help to ease unemployment in Africa as well as promote free and equal trade between Africa and western nations.
Globe Afrique’s take on this is that access to capital for African innovators and small business owners should be the new focus for international development and aid. Instead of developed nation wasting billions of dollars on African government through bilateral trade, a new paradigm must focus on private sector investment to help ease Africa’s unemployment and dependency problems.