Tinashe Jani: entreprenuer

This is the first profile in a series on young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs venturing into new industries.

Entrepreneurship is a buzzword in Zimbabwe. Calls for young people to get involved in business and start their own ventures have come from politicians, newspapers and parents. Being your own boss sounds appealing, and some of the country’s biggest business success stories have come from individuals who have decided to step out of the conventional and start their own enterprise. Strive Masiyiwa. Simbarashe Mhuriro. Divine Ndhlukula. And despite what you may think of him, yes even Philip Chiyangwa.

Meet Tinashe

“It’s a certain lifestyle that I’ve always wanted.”

Tinashe Jani is one of the people driven to start his own business. It’s a world that’s familiar to him. After all, his parents were entrepreneurs. “They (his parents) run their own businesses. Sometimes they switch from selling wax to selling ice. I’ve seen businesses start, businesses that paid my school fees.”

Even though his parents provided for him, they also made sure that he worked for some of the extra luxuries he wanted. And in 2008, still a high school student, his journey into entrepreneurship began.

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Driving in Harare

Harare, the so-called Sunshine City, is a place with many faces. Zimbabwe’s capital and largest city, Harare is a city full of poverty and ostentation, of inequality and privilege, of creativity and old thinking, new and broken industries, and the ever restless energy. Continue reading →

Griffin the poet

Stephen Musengi has always been a knack for creativity. Starting from his primary school days, he’s explored his creative self through writing and through music. At first these two remained separate vehicles for Stephen, until he decided, at the age of 15, to try his hand at writing rap. His experiment proved to be a hit with his classmates, and since that first mini performance 8 years ago, Stephen’s grown to be an artist in his own right, using different media to channel his thoughts and hone his skills.

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Tinashe and his Road to Sparta

Tinashe Marufu is a busy man. Trying to schedule an interview took days of negotiation and rescheduling, but when you’re starting your own sportswear brand, life gets very busy. He was in the middle of organising a braai for Road to Sparta, his fitness brand. Tinashe apologised profusely for having to reschedule the interview again, assuring me that once the event was over, he’d be free to sit for an interview. He ends the message with a personal invitation to the braai, promising that it will be a “lituation.”

We only manage to sit down for our interview two weeks later.

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Nigel: Young. Zimbabwean. Gay.

Nigel James has been living in South Africa since 2014, living on his own and working in Johannesburg. An independent and hardworking soul, Nigel relishes in the fast-paced life there, but he still follows events going on in Zimbabwe, with a particular investment in the resurgence of citizen movements. Despite this desire to contribute, Nigel hasn’t been back to Zimbabwe in three years. And there’s two very good reasons why. Continue reading →

Tanya’s Nefertari

Nefertari means “beautiful companion”. An Egyptian queen and wife of Ramses the Great, Nefertari is celebrated for her beauty and style. She’s a fitting inspiration for Tanyaradzwa Mushayi, who has always had a fascination with Kemet and ancient history. “I thought why not mix my Shona name with my obsession with Kemet.” So she married the two names together, and the Tanya Nefertari brand came into being.

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Tapiwa and a side of poetry

His story begins in his childhood. Thanks to a father who instilled an appetite for books, Tapiwa Mugabe read voraciously from a young age.  “(It was) mostly silly stories that barely made sense, and fantasy stories with heroes and animals,” says Tapiwa, laughing at the literature of his childhood. As much as tales that were once so fascinating seem trivial now, this early introduction fostered the wordsmith within Tapiwa, culminating in the publication of an anthology of poems in 2014. Continue reading →