January 09, 2014   by

WHAT MAKES A PERSON RIGHT FOR YOUR CHAMA?You have set up your Chama with great investment ideas. As you write down what you want to achieve with your group, you should be thinking about the crucial next step: How to pick the right people for your Chama. Whilst it is easy to invite anyone who shows interest in your investment ideas, it pays to be a little bit more keen in choosing those to include in the Chama.

Like hiring, picking people for your Chama is an art, not a science. For a Chama to be effective, you need the right members. It is not how many people are on a team that makes it successful; you need people who work well together. They must share common goals, vision, agendas and timelines. If they don’t share these things, it’ll be extremely difficult for them to move forward and accomplish anything – no matter how many people are on the Chama. For example if your Chama is based on long term land investment stretching between 10-20 years, someone who wants quick returns in just a few years may not be a good fit no matter how enthusiastic they may be.

A person should never be added to a Chama simply because they want to be on the Chama. The needs of the Chama should be considered above the desires of the individual. Does this person have something to offer the Chama? Can they fit in and flow with the Chama dynamics? Will adding this person increase the effectiveness of the Chama? These things should be considered before making any changes. The best, most effective Chamas are able to accomplish a lot partly because they have established relationships, they know and understand each other, and they enjoy working together. If you add the wrong person to the Chama, the whole dynamic can be destroyed. For instance if your Chama is made up of young professional mothers and then you add a retired old lady into the group, chances are she will not fit in as she is likely to have totally different investment ideas and outlook.

The wise leader understands the importance of Chama dynamics and will not try to force someone on a Chama who does not fit. She will put the needs of the Chama before the needs of the individual, and will not allow the complaints and demands of one person to affect his decisions regarding the whole Chama. She will recognize that in order to have a successful Chama you have to choose the right people for that Chama.

Also here are five key points to consider.

Best fit for the Chama

You want people who are compatible with other Chama members and committed to your Chama. Avoid yes-people and look for people who voice a different perspective from you and other Chama members. A fresh point of view could be just what the Chama needs. Also, look for results-oriented difference-makers.


When your Chama needs people who will talk about issues, not clam up defensively. Good communication helps you head off problems early, just as they can unite a Chama to work toward a common goal positively and successfully.


It is easier to work with positive personalities than negative. People of integrity who take responsibility for their tasks are assets.

Finally, guard against the temptation to recruit clones of yourself. Particularly on a Chama, you want a diversity of skills and personalities. You know what they say about variety – the trick is finding the right kind for your Chama.





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