Monica Musonda, Zambian founder and CEO of Java Foods, became a food processing entrepreneur in 2012 after a long, high-profile career as a lawyer.
Today, Java’s first product—eeZee Instant Noodles—is one of the leading brands in Zambia.
Before entering the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship, she held what she called “a comfortable job” with Nigerian manufacturing conglomerate Dangote. In a speech in TEDx Talks in 2016, she revealed her “aha moment” was when her Nigerian boss pointed to the lack of economic activities in Zambia by Zambians.
“I was living in Nigeria and seeing that Nigeria runs its economy, but in Zambia, we are just spectators in our economy, and we’re happy to do that,” the 43-year-old said.
Over the past years critics have especially voiced concern over Chinese dominance in the Zambian economy amidst Zambia’s growing debt to China.
So I began to think about it: why were we spectators? Why weren’t we active participants in our economy?
According to Java Foods, Monica Musonda also serves as non-executive director on the boards of several companies in Zambia.