AfricaPress-Tanzania: A DETERMINED entrepreneur succeeds but it requires effort and time to build and become better every day. Since, anyone with a desire to success must invest in his dream but requires actions towards his vision to make it real.

But a dream without intent or efforts becomes a nightmare that ends with nothing achieved.

Shafii Abdala, 40, a resident of Bukoba is a living example of a dreamer who worked hard to fulfill his dream. For 20 years he worked as a fisherman in the fishing community, dreaming to own a fishing factory one day.   Today his dream has come to reality, and he owns a fishing factory that process and export fish abroad.

His achievement has not only made his dream real, but it has created jobs to many Tanzanians living across lake Victoria.  Shafii began working on his dream in 2006 where he worked as a fish vendor while handling export permits and inspecting various markets.

He noted that the journey was difficult as he experienced a number of obstacles and rejections, as some told him that he will not be able to reach the markets easily nor transport fish products to any place without depending on the Indians.

Until 2011, Shafii spent his time to study and apply for jobs in the Indian industries to learn more about running a fish processing factory, though he says the journey was still difficult.

In 2012 he was able to travel to Uganda and explored the fishing factories. Whereas he was glad that he found indigenous people running fish processing industries so as the Indians had industries too.

It was real impressive as he saw the light towards his dream. He got hope, that he could do something good to revolutionise the industrial economy in Kagera as a local investor and bring good competition. In the same year, he returned to Kagera and continued with his prior role of fish vending in Lake Victoria, although this time he was more determined but he had a challenge, that was the capital.

“It was a headache and I couldn’t even go back to the Indians because they discouraged me, I wondered where I would get the money to supplement my savings to achieve my dream of being a Tanzanian who owns the factory,” said Shafii.

Finally, in 2015 it was a great turnout for Shafi as the fifth phase government’s head of state President John Magufuli gave strength in prioritising industrial sector and provided an opportunity to mere citizens to invest in the sector. He went to various banks and shared his idea of establishing fish industry in paperwork but he was discouraged that he cannot have success by establishing a fish processing industry.

In 2016 he traveled to Mwanza where he saw hope after TADB Bank accepted his proposal but with conditions that he had to complete within the 6 months.

In 2017 he was inspected by credit and trade officials from the TADB bank and he was offered 300m/-loan to fulfill his dream.

After a long spin fight in 2019 he completed the process of installing his factory together with all inspections and he was approved to begin exportation of fish to markets that he could reach.

“TABD fulfilled all my dreams, something I did not expect. It was an institution that brought hope.” Shafii is among the young successful men who have revolutionize the fish industry sector; creating about 28 jobs (employees), more than 70 indirect jobs, process 2 tonnes a day and buying fish 5,500 per kilogram.

He has acknowledged the government’s effort in ensuring a favorable environment for his business by providing better infrastructure to save his demands.

The government effort has allowed him to extend his market out of the Tanzanian boarders.

Calling all fisheries to maintain unite and should not be afraid of anything, but maintain their faith in all struggles they put to bring a positive change.

His dream is to sell quality fish in all markets in East Africa and Europe, because the challenges helped him to learn and become brave. He asks the agricultural bank to maintain helping fishermen in fulfilling their ideas.

TADB Agricultural Bank CEO, Japhet Justine, assert that there is no need for any Tanzanian to worry how to achieve his dream as the bank is there for them.

The Bank help the people in agriculture, fishing, livestock, crop processing, value adding, irrigation schemes and assist businessmen in all aspects of value chain projects.

Indeed, everyone who is determined to succeed, it is important to build the confidence and vision of development with intention to succeed.  Shafii is the best witness of a successful warrior who was not silenced by the words of people or Indians.


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