Sometimes this month, Fun-Lugha should be turning 1-or maybe we already have?! Am embarrassed to admit this but I can’t really remember when exactly our old website, fun-lugha.weebly.com, came to be but am certain it was in July. So Happy 1st Anniversary FL-whenever that is/was! Some people don’t know this but I started off as a tutor myself-back in England many moons ago. To be honest I just wanted to make a quick buck, being a poor student and all. I had absolutely no passion, experience or qualifications to teach, I just figured as long as I can speak a language-what’s so hard about teaching it?! Of course I hope none of my first students ever read this because I messed up so bad back then-sorry! (And this is a message to all those with similar thoughts, that as long as you can speak a language then you can definitely teach it (or translate/interpret etc). Not so! Go back and learn it, understand it, practise it, and only then can you give this language service provision thing a try). Anyways, years later, when I was older and wiser, I discovered I actually had a knack for languages and teaching. So I started this little blog called funlugha.wordpress.com (which later changed to funlughaswahili.com). What I did was to record Swahili lessons and put them up as podcasts. Before that though, I had to refresh my Swahili knowledge so I went back and studied things like ngeli and what have you, gathered enough materials and only then did I begin my podcasting. Soon enough I started getting student enquiries, and I don’t mean to brag but I used to make a pretty decent amount-all things considered. I also did a bit of light translating and interpreting on the side which also introduced me to that side of the industry. My point here is, as long as you put in the hard work, things are certain to happen for you. All this led me to come up with the idea of Fun-Lugha as a language service provider, a few months after returning to Tanzania. Apparently people call us language consultants-which I find very weird, but I suppose that’s what Fun-Lugha is all about. To be frank, the first 6 months nothing happened! Ok nothing pleasant happened except for a few awful experiences that I’ve made sure will not happen again and which are best left unsaid! Am grateful for such experiences though, and also for the fact that they happened early on so that now I know to avoid them before they actually happen. Not to say I still don’t make mistakes but at least I know how to deal with them now and avoid soiling our well built reputation. Anyways, around December I had to make a decision. I wasn’t getting any clients-not paying ones anyway, so I decided to do something very difficult. I decided that any new client I would get that wanted my services –as Elise not as FL, I would pass them on to FL providers. It wasn’t easy, I love money as much as the next guy and to hand over my well paying gig to someone else hurt so much but something had to give! Am glad I did that, because through that, we started receiving positive feedback from clients, some of whom would refer other clients to us and before you know it FL was properly up and running i.e. actually making money! And now another 6 months later and I am so grateful for all the achievements-tiny as them may appear to some. There’s still so much I want out of FL and am already working on new things/changes to achieve that but so far so good-we are getting there. Am grateful for all the small and big clients we’ve been blessed to serve so far, and am particularly grateful to the service providers that did the actual work for those clients because frankly all I do is make sure every project runs smoothly but the providers are the ones doing the hard job-so kudos to you, I appreciate you like you’d never believe! Thanks to also a few providers who always give me advice, because sometimes I admit I can be a little clueless, but they always step up and guide me or give me advice when I ask for it-without expecting anything in return. Thank you! Thank you also to the returning/repeat clients as well as clients that refer other clients to us, to me that’s a sign of trust and client satisfaction that am just so grateful for. Our aim at Fun-Lugha is to make sure we give our clients such excellent service that whenever they think languages, FL is all they think of. We aim to be the truly one stop language shop not only in Tanzania/East Africa, but all over Africa -and then of course we take over the world-why not?!