Our Truth, Chapter 2: Making something out of nothing

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We’re sharing our true story to celebrate the 8th anniversary of Grass-fields! This is chapter 2, look out for the next one coming out on Monday 15th March. Be sure to share this post with your friends and family so they can be part of the journey too!

After our father passed away, we had to grow up fast. Michele and I felt completely separated from the lives we once knew. Our emotional distance from those memories became real as we made it to the University of Buea - 300km from our hometown! That didn’t matter to us though, we were excited to embark on this new chapter in our lives. We knew it was a key step towards a brighter future for our family. 

Living on £6 per month

What seemed like a step forward into the light, but the reality of our situation started to weigh more heavily. While university teased us with new possibilities, it also brought new expenses, more financial pressures, and an increasing burden on our shoulders. Our mother always tried her best, but with other kids to take care of, money just never seemed to stretch far enough. We had £6 between us for an entire month. Let that sink in for a second. We had to find new ways to earn money... 


A spark in the dark

Perhaps it was divine intervention or something from our DNA, but at this moment we experienced a spark of entrepreneurship. We decided to start selling clothes to our friends. We would go to a market town, buy the latest and most trendy party clothes and bring them back to university to sell. This endeavour afforded us a phone each, as well as the freedom to use resources in the library such as printing. Before, doing our work was incredibly hard, we had to work twice as hard as the other students because we had no access to help, but we didn’t let it get us down. In just a year, we had already transformed our lives more than we could ever imagine, we went from having £6 a month to comfortably being able to prioritise our studies.

Sowing the seeds of our future 

Next, it was all about networking, networking, and networking. We realised that ‘who you know’ is incredibly important because students who had connections always had a head-start in their careers. Eventually, I networked my way into an internship at a bank which gave us money to expand our little clothing business. I guess the seeds of our future were being sewn in those moments. Things were still rough though, back home our family was struggling and the light at the end of the tunnel remained a distant speck. Then, one day, I came across a piece of paper that would change our lives forever...


If you enjoyed this chapter of our true story, be sure to read the next part which comes out on Monday 15th March. 

2 comments

  • Posted on by Delores Gupton

    You ladies are amazing, keep working with intensity and no matter what stay open. I saw where you closed shop in Cameroon, I believe, excuse me if I’m incorrect, and that was heartfelt. Have you thought about partnering that production center with other small business owners? There are many young business owners on the continent that would love to partner with you. For instance you have the web site already professionally up and running, you could under the partner ship, allow then to sale their product like shoes men and women, hand bags men and women, on your site at a charge. this is a win win,. Just food for thought.

  • Posted on by Sabrina

    Dear Christelle and Michelle Nganhou

    I wanted to thank you to the both of you for sharing your story. I have read your chapter 2 and you have put an extra seed and faith into me today. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Happy International Women’s Day to the both of you .
    Que Dieu vous benisse encore plus.

    Thank you

    Sabrina

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