Stella Mutale Sata
Teen prodigy of Zambian leader shows her business nous by starting her own event management company.
“It was really an eye-opening experience,” says Stella Mutale Sata from Zambia who recently completed her Accounting and Finance degree in Nilai University. She was referring to the first event her newly formed event management company held at Mont Kiara, which was a live concert by two of her country’s most popular artistes – Mampi and B’Flow live in Malaysia. “Some of the things I learned in class were really helpful like the Management Accounting module. Of course, the group work sessions certainly helped me learn how to get things done when working in a group which was how it was for everything in this event.”
Stella’s mother who is an accountant by professionand who runs a transport company in Lusaka, Zambia was fully encouraging of her daughter’s decision to start her own business at such an early age. “My mother said young people are looking to party. This is an opportunity for those who can throw a good party,” explains Stella matter-of-factly. “I set up the event management company because I realised that there is a desire for people to share cultures and there is a demand for the importation of great African talent to be showcased here.”
Her father, Zambian President – Michael Chilufya Sata - was less encouraging as he wanted Stella to complete her studies first before venturing into business on her own. Stella says she has to give her father a detailed report of her first venture, which she says she managed to break even. She is however keen to emphasise that she has not traded on her father’s position of power as she is keen to remain down-to-earth and preserve her anonymity as a student abroad. “Apart from security concerns, I just want friends and people to appreciate me for who I am, not because I am the president’s daughter,” says the unassuming 18-year old.
The ambitious young lass had already shown her potential at a young age when she skipped through three levels of primary education, making her Nilai University’s youngest student when she joined the Diploma in Business Administration programme at the tender age of 14. She then joined the Degree in Accounting and Finance partly because her mother’s encouragement and also because she really enjoyed the finance modules in her diploma programme. Stella fully recommends students opt for the diploma to degree route. “Students are taught all the relevant subjects in greater depth making the transition to degree much easier. They can also opt to work after their diploma and pursue a degree at a later period,” she surmises.
As she prepares to leave for Glamorgan University, UK to pursue a MSc in Management and Development of International Financial Systems, Stella says she leaves Nilai University with plenty of fond memories. Personal highlights of her time here include meeting the Tunku Besar Seri Menanti of Negeri Sembilan, YAM Tunku Ali Redhauddin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, at the Future Leaders Camp 2009 (which was organised and hosted by Nilai University).”It’s not every day you get to meet a prince. I am still so smitten by him,” blushes Stella. She is also proud of her editorial efforts as part of the student newsletter - Buzz. “The experience improved my writing skills tremendously.” Stella was also instrumental in setting up the Model United Nations movement at Nilai University.
Stella does admit to not liking Nilai University in her first few weeks of arrival since it is in the countryside. But she says she soon began to appreciate the greenery and the peace and quiet of the campus. “This is a great place for students who want to study. Because it is away from the big city, there are fewer distractions. I limited my excursions to the city to the weekends. I would definitely recommend Nilai University to students who are serious about their studies,” smiles the teen prodigy.
Nilai University was established in 1997 and is located in the picturesque suburb of Putra Nilai, just 45-minutes south of Kuala Lumpur City Centre and a mere 15 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. For more information, please go to www.nilai.edu.my or call 06-8502308.