The global beauty industry is projected to be worth $635.7 billion this year, with international brands such as Maybelline, L’Oreal and Revlon dominating the industry. In Africa, brands such as Nigeria’s Zaron and Kenya’s Joanna K Cosmetics are joining the lucrative market, and in Zimbabwe, the last seven years has seen the establishment and growth of a small cosmetics industry run by a new crop of female beauty entrepreneurs.
The Zimbabwe Economic Youth Foundation (ZEYF) was founded in July 2018. Mwana Wevhu talks to one of its cofounders, Chido Dzinotyiwei, about the organisation’s vision and why youth involvement in Zimbabwe’s economy is so important.
18 April 1980 looked like one big party. In fact, from the video footage that’s played on repeat as Independence Day draws closer, 1980 in general looked like one big party. It’s understandable: after almost a century of colonial rule and war, majority rule was reality. Even Bob Marley came to celebrate with us! Which other country can say that the reggae legend penned and performed a whole song for them?
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.
“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.
I have relatives living and working outside Zimbabwe. Some have moved fairly recently after securing work permits. Others have been away from home for over a decade. They visit when they can, sending gifts and money when they can’t.
My family is by no means the exception. Exact figures are hard to come by, but estimates suggest that there are approximately four million Zimbabweans living and working outside the country. They live, work and study mainly in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Botswana and Australia. The departure of so many Zimbabweans – an exodus accelerated by economic deterioration – affected all aspects of society. Grandparents have watched their grandchildren grow up through Whatsapp massages and phone calls. Spouses have lived countries apart, grieving children and parents unable to repatriate the bodies of their loved ones. People in the diaspora have supported families, built homes, helped start businesses and provided much needed financial relief for the people they left at home.
In a few short hours, bond notes are going to be on the streets. After months of citizens campaigning against their introduction. After pleas for the Reserve Bank and the government to try anything, ANYTHING, other than both notes. After the people of Zimbabwe have gone blue in the face saying that under no circumstances do we want bond notes. Yes, despite all this, our calls went unheeded. Bond notes shall reign supreme at our expense.
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 →