There is always something to be grateful for…If you don’t have a bed, be grateful for a blanket.

I’m Kumwe “CJ” Dumeni and I proudly define my Crystal Stair with one word: gratitude.

Gratitude.  When I think of the word as I walk in the sunbathed halls of my family’s home in Namibia, I look back on what could have been, and reflect on what I may take for granted – what my health, finances, family, mental and emotional state could have been in relation to what it is today.  It transcends materialism and has molded my mentality towards success and inspired the devotion I have towards community impact.

Gratitude has also put into perspective my own mortality…When I was 18 my father passed away and it taught me two things:

  • The lessons and principles he instilled in me over 18 years would help me provide for my family.
  • Accountability for my own mistakes.  There was no longer anyone to fall back on or blame.

His death took me out of the mindset that someone else was going to do it …if I wanted something to change, I was going to have to do it myself.  It was a tough lesson at such a young age, but a necessary one if I was going to bring both my and my fathers’ dreams to fruition.

Which brings me towards my views on success.  How do I define it and what will it look like when I finally get there?

I think success is a mixture and a balance of three things:

  1. Helping people
  2. Doing what you love
  3. Being good at doing what you love.

I haven’t reached success yet, but I believe I’m well on my way…It’s a journey, but it also starts with me.  So I’ve taken matters into my own hands.

I’m one of 4 co-founders of the Chommie App in my current hometown of South Africa.  The app serves as a platform that operates as a service marketplace.  There is an incredibly high unemployment rate and student debt ratio in the city of Cape Town that created the perfect niche for this app to thrive.  Users are able to choose from four types of services: Runner, Fixers, Sitters, and Movers, and be matched with servicemen and women who are then able to pay an agreed upon price.

The community is at the center of everything we do at Chommie.  Yes, it is a business but it is also a tool of empowerment.  Citizens who would otherwise not have anything, now have an opportunity to earn much needed income. The recognition is nice, as we’ve been lauded by magazines and online newspapers around Africa and the UK, but our main focus is continuing to revolutionize South Africa and inspire our people.

And we’ve only just begun.