I want to be remembered as the light in darkness — Jane Nakasamu

Quarantine was a highlight of 2020 but Jane Nakasamu a young Zambian caught our attention. Having invented a smart gas stove that is futuristic and uses iot (internet of things).

An author, academician and a social entrepreneur, Jane is currently pursuing MBA in oil and gas management and has a BA in International Relations. Although she is currently working in Lusaka her business Greenbelt Energy is based in Kitwe.

For the past years we have seen so many innovations, new technologies by day all over the world and also rising issues of sustainability, How we will not run out of all the resources we use to have such developments.

“There can be no sustainable development without sustainable energy development” ~ Margot Wallstrom

We had a chance to chat with Jane;

What works have you done so far?

I have published fiction novels, “My Dear Reflection” can be found on amazon. I am a radical social entrepreneur working in the biogas industry. My team has invented a smart gas stove that is futuristic and uses iot (internet of things).

What’s the favorite thing about what you do and when did you have the idea of starting it?

I love creating things especially if they have a positive social impact. The fact that lives can be improved by my work and that I can inspire someone is enough drive to keep me up at night.

What made you start the project and which people are you working with?

The project I am working on is Greenbelt Energy that is producing biogas to save trees and lives. I am working with a team of 7 including: Salim Mbarouk (the Co- Founder of Greenbelt Energy), Kalengo Phiri, Jethro Mwanza, Stephen Ngulube and community youth volunteers.

How and where do you get most supplies for this project?

We have been bootstrapping since our foundation. I am however very thankful for all the support we have received. Especially from the National Technology Business Centre, WEAC and BongoHive.

How do you plan to scale the business and how profitable do you think it will be?

We are currently seeking investment to scale the business to commercial biogas production and we have onboarded some partners who are interested in supporting us. To meet our target of 500MW we would need more investment.

How will this benefit People, let’s say an average Zambian?

The average Zambian can access affordable, reliable modern energy for cooking and electricity. This energy is 100% renewable and 100% locally made.

How long has this taken you and how long will it take?

We are approaching our 4th year and it has taken us so long, so many of our targets haven’t yet been met but I appreciate the process because we have innovated something unique.

Do you think you get enough support?

Yes i do

Considering that not so many young women are doing such work, what is that keeps you going?

That I can inspire someone and prove to the world that it can be done keeps me going. God is the source of my energy.

What is it that you think is different about you?

I am quite gifted at partnership development. That’s a vital skill for expansion.

Favorite place in Zambia?

Kitwe

3 Zambian people if any who have influenced you so much?

My late mother, my father and my grandmother Rudia Mohammed.

Biggest thing you’d change about Zambia?

Let there be light.

What’s a typical day for you?

I wake up very early and sleep very early. I am up by 4am to work, I run 3km at 5am, go to work. By 7pm (19 hrs) I am extremely tired so I sleep. Repeat.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What advice would you have given yourself?

Brace yourself for an epic journey.

How do you want people to remember you?

As a light in the darkness.

What are some causes you are passionate about?

Sustainable energy management. Egalitarianism. The Word of God Empowerment.

Any favorite books and why?

Jane Eyre. What an amazing classical book written by a woman who had endured so much. Half Yellow Sun, once again an amazing historical fiction that an african woman wrote to tell an untold story.

What would be your personal motto?

Happiness is not a measure of how much you have but a measure of how you appreciate even the tiniest bits of what you have.

Advice to your fellow youths especially the women?

Most people think we have it easy but each generation has its challenges. Let’s not make excuses, we have so many role models. Guys lets us fight for economic liberty by working hard and investing in our gifts.

How can people contact you?

jane@greenbelt-energy.com +260953679477

By Dalitso Kasonde

Edited by Kantumoya Derrick Mpaka

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