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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire

contents 3 - EDITORIAL 16 - COVER STORY - Vimbai Zimuto - Artistic Lioness BUSINESS 4 - Rutendo Mudzamiri - Dr Ru: The Original #BossBabe 22 - Fitzgerald Mujuru - Self-leadership Leads To Effectiveness 24 - Rachael Sabondo - Creative Entrepreneur 30 - Magdalene Lafontant - Founder Nakai Skincare and Cosmetics FEATURE 8 - Hendrinah Muzanenhamo - Master Chef @ Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned 12 - Tendai Maphosa - Pushing Creative Boundaries THE COVID-19 DIARIES 35 - Community Champion: Liah Kamupita 37 - Much Ado About PPE WRITERS CORNER 28 - Vonayi Nyamazana - Being God’s Daughter cover designed by rr chawota picture by zorodzai chibuwe

Editor In Chief - Rhoda Molife; Creative Design Director - Rodney Rumbidzai Chawota; Marketing Director - Godwin Chireka; Public Relations Director - Simba Harawa; Social Media Marketing Expert - Rumbidzai Chakanza Mamvura HOUSE OF MUTAPA PVT LTD is a Registered Trademark. South Africa. Copyright 2020.

Contact - info@houseofmutapa.com 2


HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire

editorial

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elcome to the April 2020 issue of HoM.

important. We always talk about writing our own history – here is the chance to. For those who are reflecting on self-development, Fitzgerald Mujuru is back with some great advice on self-leadership; for the entrepreneurs, read how Magdalene Lafontant (Nakai Skincare and Cosmetics) Hendrinah Muzanenhamo (Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned and ZimTuckshop) and Rachael Sabondo (INGA Creative) are keeping business going during lockdown.

Here we are, a month since the last edition, with virtually the whole world on COVID-19 lockdown. Who would have thought…nevertheless everyone is trying their best to ensure that ‘the show goes on,’ but let’s do spare a moment and an act of kindness for the many for whom that’s not possible. At HoM, we’re pressing on for you guys and have put together an issue that we hope energises and as always inspires you. On the cover and with a fantastic mid-page spread, we have the artistic lioness that’s Vimbai Zimuto. She and another of our features, emerging documentary and filmmaker Tendai Maphosa, are all about pushing boundaries for the greater good. The creative arts do that well.

Finally, for some words of inspiration and courage – and we all need them at this time – find out about one of the most energetic women I know and admire much, Vonayi Nyamazana. She’s curated words of wisdom from 50 women around the globe into one power-packed book of divine life lessons that will serve us well during this time. Enjoy and stay safe.

We’ve also put together The COVID-19 Diaries to share some of the issues and stories of the unprecedented times we live in. This is a once-in-a-generation happening and documenting how humanity dealt with this with diverse narratives is so very

Rhoda Editor-in-Chief & Strategy Executive

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business

DR RU MUDZAMIRI #BossBabe

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire utendo ‘Dr Ru’ Mudzamiri is a leadership coach and consultant, and founder of Sparklead Consulting. She launched the #BossBabe Summit in Harare on 11 March 2020. A project of the non-profit organisation Girlotherapy, the summit celebrated the achievements of Zimbabwean women in a range of disciplines.

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including High Teas, Speaker Series Sessions and in 2007 I hosted a gathering for 88 young women in leadership from 23 African countries. I realized then that these platforms work and propel people to the next level because of what’s shared and discussed. I continued with low key work in Zimbabwe and more of self development work between 2009 and 2019.

Rodney Rumbidzai Chawota

With #BossBabe I appreciated the world was changing so I knew to succeed in initiatives that celebrated women and built communities and nations we had to bring everyone to the table. I wanted to bring a different demographic of smart women who embraced their femininity yet cared about important issues. The name itself was chosen to make important issues fun because #BossBabe is a lifestyle of hard work, persistence, passion, learning and purpose. It’s my hope that we build a tribe of powerful women who care about their welfare and community.

rodney@houseofmutapa.com

How did the inaugural #BossBabe Summit go?

Tell us a little about you.

It was powerful. We had inspirational presentations by some of the country’s top #BossBabes and men thriving in arts, politics, the corporate world, entrepreneurship and community-building globally.

Through her work with SparkLead, Dr. Ru has delivered leadership classes as a summer school lecturer at Duke University, and provided coaching and consulting services to local nonprofits in the Raleigh, Durham area in North Carolina. She also provides individualized coaching and mentorship to emerging leaders globally. by

I’m the last of three children and was raised in Kambuzuma till I was 19. I studied Arts & Cultural Management in Germany briefly then moved to the US where I completed a Master of Community Arts at Maryland Institute College of Art. Last year, in 2019, I completed a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership from Regent University and now I live in the US where I do leadership coaching and consulting work under my company Sparklead Consulting. Every summer I teach leadership at Duke University to three groups of 24 students that I then coach beyond the classroom.

To spice things up, fashion bloggers and stylists Hollywood Lee & Minister of Whitelinen hosted the red carpet. The opening presentations were given by prominent He4She Ambassadors including the US Ambassador Brian Nichols, the Canadian Ambassador Rene Cremonese and the Ambassador of Rwanda, James Musoni as well as the Ambassadors of Malawi and Sweden and World Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe Mukami Kariuki. The summit was aimed at not only celebrating women thriving in very challenging times economically and politically but also to merge and ignite passions to find and execute more effective solutions for society’s ills. It really set the pace for what we want the next ten years to be.

I wasn’t always a top student and in fact I failed a few times in high school before I got it right. What I learnt was that tenacity is a prerequisite for success. Don’t ever stop at one negative experience. What motivated you when you experienced those failures?

Do you feel that the female voice is still not heard even in this century?

I remember being terrified that I’d always be a failure if I didn’t get my life together. There weren’t many options at the time so I thought of creating platforms for young women like me to encourage us. I honestly remember telling myself that I wasn’t going to be pregnant with no purpose at 17. Even at that young age, I wanted more out of my life. I remember literally painting a picture of my future and in that picture was a young woman in four graduation gowns and a doctorate - I remember that very well. I also visualised a school I’d built for people who needed second chances to win in life.

The efforts of millions of women globally have not been in vain. While women still have to push and fight harder for their space in politics and business, there is a significant improvement in terms of how we are perceived. We’ve seen more men working with women as their sisters and partners and even just supporting women-led causes. Whilst more work should be done to amplify women’s voices, it’s essential to celebrate the gains so far and we owe them to generations of women and some men who have gone before us.

And the phenomenal #BossBabe, how did it start?

What else can men do to show their support?

#BossBabe is about my passion for young women’s leadership and development. After failing the O’ Levels I didn’t want to be idle so I started volunteering for a few organisations as well as hosting small gatherings of usually about 20 young women to talk about life and encourage ourselves. That was in 2006 and it worked. I then hosted more and bigger events

Be partners! There is nothing as attractive as a man who knows the heart of the woman dear to him and supports what that heart wants to do. That goes such a long way in propelling women and girls forward. This is a culture that must start at home and spread to the marketplace, the community, the city and an entire nation.

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“Leaders are born”

Men and boys need to be taught and trained at a young age to love and respect women because it builds communities and stronger individuals. When this culture is ingrained in us we will see each other not just as the opposite sex but as partners, helpmates, equal changemakers and economy builders.

Voices and was a British Council’s Africa Leadership Program Fellow. All that changed my life and enhanced my appreciation for leadership development. I realized while all those were important, I needed more leadership studies so after my master’s I enrolled at Regent University for a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership.

Are leaders born or are they created?

Whilst at school and living in the US I was exposed to powerful platforms for global leaders and women such as the Forbes Women’s Summit. That ignited every passion I had - passion for leadership, development, women’s empowerment and a desire to bring solutions to situations.

This is my mantra: ‘Leaders are born, better leaders are developed, the greatest are called.’ It’s possible to come into this world with a natural capacity to lead; however, I’ve learnt that leaders are learners and one of the ways to enhance leadership capacity is through leadership development. There is so much to learn. So it’s vital for anyone who wants to be better at leadership to invest in leadership studies, webinars, programs and when you merge that with experience and natural talent you are almost unstoppable in your practice.

Your thoughts on Zimbabwe are... ...We had progressed as a nation, as a people, and it feels like all of a sudden, we are back to ...no, even worse than 2008. As much as it takes good leadership to make Zimbabwe function again, it takes all of us to play our part in fixing our country, from wherever we are. I sincerely hope we can all do this because clearly, we’re our only hope!

What makes a truly great leader? The heart! There are a lot of factors but I’ll speak to some important ones. The values you hold differentiate you from others. Ask yourself what values you uphold in your service as a leader and if you live by them. While values play a big part in leadership, knowing your leadership style and how it impacts those you lead and serve is essential. How your style impacts and inspires those you lead in turn reflects on your values. So it’s a circle that doesn’t end.

Your role model is.. I honestly don’t have just one. I have many and for me it’s people who go through so much to the point of being broken, but come out looking like nothing they went through. My mom remains one of those among many outstanding men and women who don’t quit.

How did you invest in you?

To unwind you...

I spent time between Zimbabwe and the US studying and working because I knew I didn’t want to give what I didn’t have. I invested in self-development. Still do. During that time I became a fellow of the prestigious Women Leaders for the World Program, International Leadership Program Fellow, Vital

Sleep. Take walks. Get into good conversations. Follow Rutendo Mudzamiri and Sparklead Consulting here: http://www.sparklead.org/

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Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned

Hendrinah muzanenhamo

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire endrinah Ruvimbo Muzanenhamo is a chef, businesswoman and with her husband, owner of the Milton-Keynes-based eatery Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned. She’s also the co-founder of ZimTuckshop.

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She trained as a chef at the School of Hospitality and Tourism in Bulawayo and for over 15 years has worked in award-winning pubs, hotels, catering companies, private houses and rosette-starred restaurants. In addition, she’s cooked for several high-profile clients including the Saudi Royal family, former England Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Senegalese singer Akon. In 2016 Hendrinah and her partners Chipo Dendere, Almaz Mahati and Getrude Maduke founded ZimTuckshop to supply Zimbabwean and South African groceries to those in the diaspora. In 2019, she and her husband opened the Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned Diner in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, UK. Hendrinah has one child and lives with her family in Buckinghamshire.

Wow! Do you miss the in-home chef service that you and your husband did?

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Not really; I love being at the restaurant more. Munya, my husband, loved it though and he misses it. I just miss the travelling! (laughs)

Rhoda Molife rhoda@houseofmutapa.com

One of your most memorable jobs is…

First of all, how do you juggle all that you juggle?!

Working for the Saudi Royal Family. We worked for them for 3 years and it was an experience out of this world. Fortunately, my mentor had taught me to work with royalty and I learnt even more on the job.

I just do it! I’ve programmed my mind that if there is a task, I see it through and get it done. When you were a child you wanted to be…

What dish do you really like to make?

…A music promoter and I’m still in pursuit. I haven’t given up! (laughs)

The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast. It’s one of our best-selling dishes at Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned. Even meat eaters love it.

Tell us about a favourite childhood memory from Zimbabwe.

What’s your favourite food?

I have a lot! I loved playing games like pada and nhodo and I was good at them. Then I remember how much I loved picking wild fruits fresh from our orchard kumusha kwaSeke like hute, nhunguru and mazhanje. Memories like this motivated us to bring these products through ZimTuckshop.

I love BBQ. I could eat it every day. Which chefs do you admire? David Lupenga, who’s one of the best chefs in Zimbabwe. I worked with David at a function I hosted there. Then there’s Kudakwashe Alan Makoni who’s a very talented chef. I love his plating; he really knows how to make food look beautiful. I haven’t met him but I follow him on Instagram.

So that was the inspiration to start ZimTuck Shop? Being in the diaspora makes you miss a lot of things from back home and you end up with all these crazy cravings and all. One day I was chatting with my friends and told them how much I missed masawu. We decided to do a trial shipment and that was it. I don’t miss any goodies from home anymore. I have them!

A highlight of your entrepreneurial journey is… Well, it’s been a rocky road being in a foreign country. There were a lot of sleepless nights, no days off, a lot of tears shed and a lot of sacrifices. But I’m so glad Munya is always there by my side; he takes in all the grief. We gave up a lot and gave it our all. We haven’t reached our destination yet, but we’re getting there.

And for the restaurant? We’d worked as relief chefs for an agency for over five years. Sometimes we’d turn up at a job and literally run the whole show. That’s when we realised we could definitely make it on our own and be our own bosses.

What have been your two greatest challenges as an entrepreneur? Getting funding. With our first restaurant in Wolverton, we used up all our savings and then had

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire to shut when the building we were renting was sold. It was a tough situation for us but it’s true when they say that ‘when one door shuts another opens.’ We got a better place just two months later. We didn’t even have money but the owners said just come and make this place busy and we did. Secondly, juggling everything I do. Being a mum, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a friend and a businesswoman – I’m so many people! Then often people don’t understand when you miss their birthdays because you have a business to run. And of course, it hurts to miss all these family gatherings as well as not spending enough time together as a couple outside of work. We’ve lost friendships…it’s crazy! Still don’t know how I do it, but I do! How did you handle them? We worked harder and got loans from our families and friends. It worked out somehow, thankfully. Then for managing relationships, we try to invite our families over for a private dinner once in a while so at least we can see everyone. We’re still missing birthdays, weddings and other family events unfortunately...

What’s the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown teaching you? Mmmm…patience and being there for each other. Oh….and staying at home, because I’m never at home! (laughs)

And your two biggest wins? Having a supportive husband. I wouldn’t have done all of this without him. He’s my superhero. Second is winning the hearts of the Vegan Society. We managed to get our niche right there and we’re super proud of it.

It’s a difficult time for everyone in business and has definitely taught us to think of the unthinkable and beyond.

How did you celebrate your wins?

On a day off what would you do?

I smile! In fact, every day is a blessing and I’m just thankful.

Normally, I sleep throughout because I hardly get enough sleep. Maybe three to four hours maximum when things are normal.

The best thing about working for yourself is…

After this interview you’re going to…

…getting to do whatever I want. I can be late, and no one will be on my neck! (laughs) The freedom is so good, but you work three times harder when it’s yours.

…Finish off a catering tender I’m working on and then enjoy a BBQ Munya was sorting out for dinner! Follow Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned here:

And the not so great thing?

IG: sweetnseasoned

That will be not having time off. You have to be at the restaurant every day without fail. But hey, we chose this path and we love it.

Facebook: Sweet ‘N’ Seasoned

A critical piece of advice you’d give a budding entrepreneur is…

Email: sweetnseasoned@gmail.com

https://sweet-n-seasoned.business.site/ Follow ZimTuckshop here:

Be humble and don’t stop dreaming. It’s not easy but it’s definitely possible and if I can do it, so can anyone.

IG: zimtuckshop Facebook: ZimTuckshop

Who are three people, from any period or walk of life, whose brain you’d like to pick?

www.zimtuckshop.co.uk and

Takwana Tyaranini (founder of money transfer company Senditoo). He’s an amazing entrepreneur. Then there’s Alwyn Thomas my mentor who taught me a lot and Claudio Costea who is a very talented, creative chef…and really very humble too.

www.zimtuckshop.com (USA) Email: zimtuckshopuk@gmail.com zimtuckshop@gmail.com (USA)

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FEATURE

Tendai Maphosa 12


HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire endai Maphosa is a Zimbabwean-born and raised finance and data protection professional currently working with a Luxembourg-based fund manager.

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He’s always had a keen interest in documentary filmmaking and uses his media production house Soundproofilm to create diverse content. His documentaries are known to push social and cultural boundaries; some of his videos have earned over 550k views. Tendai’s latest project, The Feeling Station, is a candid and no-holds barred podcast that shares anonymous tales of relationship break ups. by Rhoda Molife rhoda@houseofmutapa.com Finance, film production and music – how do you fit it all in? It’s become somewhat of an art-form over the years. The key to making it work is leaving each of those where it belongs after a cut off time. This is much easier to do with the work stuff because 5pm is 5pm right? The work laptop stays in the office after 5pm and the camera and music equipment are put down at 6pm on a Sunday.

to music and grooving along today. Now I can’t tell which one I love more between the piano and bass guitar. How did you birth Soundproofilm? When I was in university, I had a small music production facility with a good friend of mine, Kayombo Kamawu, that was called Soundproof Audio. With the growing interest in film, I just decided to make the name more relatable to the visual side of things and Soundproofilm was born.

I must admit, it’s harder putting down the creative stuff because I often get lost in the moment. I have to stick to that routine otherwise everything falls apart. What inspired your fascination with film?

Your latest project is The Feeling Station – what’s it about?

My journey into filming has a bit of an unusual start. My mother had a brain aneurysm that suddenly went pop in 2012. Whilst she was in hospital, I decided to create a video journal of her road to recovery. She didn’t make it, but the emotion on people’s faces when they saw everything they’d done in anticipation of her return was priceless. When it ended, the spark to get into filming was already lit.

It’s a podcast that gives the listening audience a front row view of relationships and why they didn’t work. It creates a therapeutic and safe environment for people to share their break up stories anonymously, without feeling judged. Although some experiences are more dramatic than others, they all present a valuable lesson that listeners benefit from. It airs every Saturday.

And with music?

How did you conceive the whole idea?

I come from a musical family. My dad (endearingly known as Papa) and my sisters have amazing voices. At Queensdale Primary School I was the drummer for the percussion band. Papa noticed my love for instruments, so he bought me a small Yamaha keyboard when I was ten. I taught myself to play and the love for music has continued to grow since then.

The podcast was inspired by a very good friend of mine who shared her break-up story via Facebook Live. She had been in a mentally abusive relationship for three years and didn’t know it. The way she told her story and the lessons she shared afterwards just got me thinking about the countless people who would like to let it out but didn’t want to be known. I gave it a little thought and the podcast was born – that was three months ago. It’s been an amazing journey that has reinforced the value of talking openly.

You play the piano right? What other instruments do you play? Yes, I do play the piano. I also play the bass guitar which I taught myself when I was in university. My cousin Tinashe Faku (may his soul rest in peace) was a great bass guitarist and watching him play inspired me. So, I saved a few dollars and purchased my first one. It was a blue Legend guitar. It wasn’t the greatest, but it’s the reason I spend hours listening

I sense you like to push the boundaries…for the greater good of course…! Boundaries are great because they create form. But at the same time, those same boundaries create limits that I feel should be broken. You always get

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“Creativity is a driving force”

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire pretty tough. How did you handle those challenges? Coming from a family of five awesome kids, being the only one out here is pretty tough because family is everything. I’m grateful for WhatsApp because I can keep in touch via phone and video. In addition to this, I fly home every year to connect with my family and that makes all the difference. The second challenge is not as big an issue anymore. Corporate networking happens a lot at many of the data protection conferences I attend. Building meaningful professional relationships has become a lot easier and most of it has to do with growing up, I guess. How do you balance work and family life? The key to making this happen is leaving office work in the office. I stopped taking work home a few years ago and it has made all the difference.

greater results when you push boundaries. Think about cricket. You get higher scores every time your ball goes over the boundary. It’s the same with everything around you. Push intellectual, social, financial or whatever boundaries surrounding you and you can almost be guaranteed you will have greater returns.

The best thing about what you do is… There are no rules! Do you know how awesome it is to do stuff where creativity is the driving force and rules? The first thing you do when you wake up is…

As a child you wanted to be…

…You don’t wanna know!

Honestly, I can’t remember, but I think I wanted to be a computer scientist. That dream came crashing when I didn’t do as well as I wanted to for my O’ Level computer practical exam. I couldn’t deal with the grade I got, which wasn’t bad, but it was enough for me to call it quits.

And the last thing at night? I research on employment market trends so that I have a clear view of the things I need to start doing now to remain relevant in 10 years’ time. What’s the dream?

What are two favourite childhood memories of growing up in Zimbabwe?

To kiss finance/banking/data protection goodbye and run a fully-fledged media production house.

That’s an easy one. First memory is munching every mint crisp chocolate bar there was available. The second is drinking every bottle of Cascade juice I could get my hands on. As you can see, the best memories about Zimbabwe are all about food :-)

Follow Tendai here: IG: @tintolinto, @feelingstn, @soundproofilm, @ destafrican Facebook: Tinto Linto

Living in the diaspora is… …In a word…interesting. The diaspora is what you make it. A lot of my experience has been down to choices that I have made, both good and bad. In countries like the UK, information is everything. The more you know and are exposed to, the more you can do. Your 2 biggest challenges have been… Finding my own feet with no family around and building meaningful friendships and relationships. It’s easy to build connections and solid networks in Zimbabwe because culturally, communities are a big thing back home. So, everyone knows someone that knows someone. Whereas here, it’s quite different. Culturally, people are individualistic meaning they stick to themselves a lot. Cracking that barrier to start connecting and growing that network was

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COVER STORY

VIMBAI ZIMUTO Artistic Lioness

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire

Photo Credit - Tora Photography

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ew musical artists have an aura and persona as powerful as that of Vimbai Zimuto.

My grandmother was one of the few people who were teachers in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s but because of marriage she had to leave her teaching job and just be a parent. Those are some of the things we need to change.

In a career spanning over 15 years, the 36-yearold singer, actress, dancer and choreographer has persistently pushed barriers with her art. Her unique fusion of various artistic expressions with traditional music and sounds has set her apart from her peers and garnered much criticism. Now with two albums to her name, she’s shared the stage with such legends as the late Oliver Mtukudzi and performed in front of the Queen of Belgium.

You studied ethnomusicology. How has it helped you in shaping your craft and your image? Ethnomusicology is studying music from a social and cultural aspect. It’s very important to learn your own music and understand your musical culture. What’s music in the Shona, the Ndebele, the Karanga and all of Zimbabwe? It’s the ethnic part of it.

Vimbai lives with her two children in The Netherlands where she performs and teaches dance.

For me it’s been central to my career. I learnt to appreciate my own culture. I started to understand ‘Zimbabwean-ism’ and through that I learnt patriotism. That made it easier for me to grow from just being a singer, to being a musician and an artist. The talent comes naturally right but when you take it further with education I think it helps you to grow. If I hadn’t done ethnomusicology I wouldn’t have met the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi, Fred Zindi and Clayton Ndlovu. I even met Fortune Muparutsa. I’m one of the few people who actually had the experience of working with big artists like Bothwell Nyamhondera and Isaac Chirwa when I was in form 4 because I was studying music at Zengeza High School.

by Rodney Rumbidzai Chawota rodney@houseopfmutapa.com Tell us a little about your early childhood and upbringing in Zimbabwe. I grew up and went to school in Chitungwiza, Zengeza. Music - playing percussion, singing and dancing - and sports were a big part of my life in primary school.

You are extremely bold and confident. You’ve often been criticised for your nude artwork. Where did you get these qualities from? What don’t people get?

My parents died when I was ten so I was raised by my grandmother. Though she trained as a teacher, she worked as a maid for a white man for 16 years. I was raised by a community because my grandmother was always working. I really respect the people in my neighbourhood as a result.

You don’t just wake up bold. It’s a process. You’re raised by a society, you grow up, you take in the soci-

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“You don’t just wake up bold, it’s a process” 18

Photo Credit - Zorodzai Chibuwe


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“Nudity can be for protest”

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Photo Credit - Benjamin Voet

HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire

etal norms, you figure out where you sit with those norms, you take them in and then you see how you can bring about change where change is needed. And so for me, as I went through that process, I realised that there were a lot of things in our backyards that I didn’t like. I didn’t want to live by those norms but still wanted to be a part of that society. I had to get out of my shell to articulate that and strike a balance. Though I am a go-getter, and am fearless when it comes to things that I want, I’m not as bold as I look! I do move with caution when necessary because I realise that I can’t just give people a narrative that they aren’t used to; it sometimes has to be done gradually. It’s a matter of finding your voice and then speaking clearly. When people talk about being bold I think they mean strength and I think that’s cool. Nude art is one of the most powerful art forms in the whole world. After World War I, a painting of a naked woman lying on the ground holding her head mourning was released. If she was dressed I don’t know if it would have made such an impact. So I think nudity is powerful; if you want to say something and people don’t hear you, you can lay yourself bare and then people will if not listen, at least stop. There are different types of nudity and people in Zimbabwe haven’t fully grasped that. We do it even in funerals and ukaona amai vachinzi varwadziwa zvekurwadziwa zviya vanokatanura hembe. She takes off her clothes to bare her emotions.When you lose somebody that’s so important to do. Likewise, when you have been violated so much and you have nothing left, the best way to show that is through your nudity. Nudity can be for protest, nudity can be about culture. In some cultures it’s still the norm. In others it’s used as a form of punishment where walking naked after committing adultery or something else is a shameful thing. So nudity speaks volumes. I don’t know if my society will ever understand all this. We’ve abandoned that part of our culture and grabbed other people’s interpretation that we don’t even understand. Having said that, since late last year, people are beginning to understand what I’m talking about. I’ve been hearing things like, ‘Oh my God I see the story you are trying to portray’ or ‘I see

the story behind the story’. People are asking more questions, so I’ve managed to capture the attention of those that actually understand. Not everyone will and that’s fine, but they should leave those that want to! What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a businesswoman and how do you handle them? Rejection is the biggest one and probably is for most women. Sometimes you’re not even given a chance to show up. But there is no work without challenges. For me, I just made a decision that nothing or no one will stop me from getting what I want. I’m going to go, and go, and go, and go deeper and deeper until people hear me. We have pythons and alligators in the industry that don’t want to see you succeed because you’re a woman. But I’ve got news for them - we’re going to change that. It’s the 21st century. We’re a different breed and we want to conquer and rule the world of course! You received a lot of praise for the way you congratulated Tamy Moyo when she won at the NAMAs earlier this year. What made you give her that shoutout? Do you think that Zimbabwean women in the music industry are supportive of each other? Tamy really worked hard in 2019, doing a lot of things that people didn’t think she would and I think everyone could see that. She was on platforms that many Zimbabweans have probably never been on and she was on top of her game, so I think she deserved the award. As for women in the music industry supporting each other it can be tough. We support each other but there is a fair share of pretence. Some just want to act as if they do because it looks right but it’s not genuine. None in Zimbabwe shares the work of other female artists. That’s how bad it is. There is so much scrutiny between us. I blame the way our society is structured but that’s another story. I wish we could support each other more, I really do. How did you settle into life in The Netherlands?

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire I moved here in 2011 and it took me many years to find myself, because of the environment, because I had to learn the language, because it was a new culture and because I had to learn how to relate with people on a different level. You know it wasn’t like moving to the UK where life is almost the same because the British are like us. The Dutch have a completely different approach to life. I had to learn that and I struggled for a couple years but I’ve got it now. The Dutch feel it’s important for everyone who moves here to be part of and contribute to society. A lot happens of course, but I think it’s really beautiful and now I love it. I love being here.

“Remain hopeful”

As a mother the most important life lesson you want your children to hold dear is... To be yourself. Don’t try to be anybody else. Don’t live by other people’s expectations. Be considerate but don’t lose yourself in being considerate. There’s no better you than you. I think Oliver Mtukudzi used to say that. If you wanna be a lawyer, be that. If you wanna be a dancer, be that. If you wanna be an architect, be that. Try to just stick to your grind. Stick to your own thing. What’s your perspective on relationships? I think relationships are kunzungu nekunyimo. There are those where people are cool to just stick to one partner for the rest of their lives and then there’s another side which says ‘small house forever’. Those are two ends of the spectrum but there is a lot in between. You can be straight up with your partner, be in love and all is well though we know things aren’t always going to be well, but you have a relationship that you respect. You can be married but unhappy because you got into it for the wrong reasons and now you’ve got two or three ma small house. So I think we could do better. Even though for me, it’s more cool to stick to one partner, I’m also a person that is not against polygamy because I’m an African. Polygamy is part of us which is why ma small house ariko. Maybe we should legalise it then there is less worry, because at least you know where he’s at. Relationships are 50/50...it’s always tough.

Photo Credit - Zorodzai Chibuwe

about 40-year-old Zimbabwe. I just pray that life will really start at 40 and in style. I just hope we can get out of this misery, this poverty, this suffering and start a new page where we can grow economically and mentally. I’m just...I’m just a sad person when I think about us at 40 and going nowhere. But we all know that it’s never too late to start afresh. If Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65 and still made it then it’s never too late. What’s next for you? When 2020 started I knew exactly what I was going to do. I had my whole plan and even 2021 sorted. You know I have a five year plan that’s solid but right now as you can imagine with corona it’s very tough to tell where I’m going to be. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed and of course I’m still pursuing all the things I wanted to do. I’m still keeping at it.

2020...where do you start with this year? 2020 has been disrupted by Coronavirus and we don’t know where it’s going to go. It started well - in the music industry that is - with all the award ceremonies, you know, breaking the red carpet...we did everything. It was really beautiful and then ‘corona’ came and destroyed the whole world. Now we are at a standstill. But I think we just need to be optimistic but we must know the world will never be the same again.

A lot of things that had been booked even in July have already been cancelled. Things in August have been cancelled. No one wants to sell tickets for a show you know is probably not gonna happen. 2020 is at a standstill and it’s difficult to tell you what my 2021 or 2022 will look like. We just have to remain hopeful that all will go well.

What are your thoughts on Zimbabwe as it turns 40 this year?

Follow Vimbai here:

Well, 40-year-old Zimbabwe is a sad situation. It’s like that man who didn’t evolve, that didn’t do much with his life and you know...yah. I’m really unhappy

Facebook: VimZee Zimuto Website: vimbaizimuto.com

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BUSINESS

Self-Leardership LEADS to

EFFECTIVENESS

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2. Accept Yourself

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Fitzgerald Mujuru Self-leadership is the ability to lead yourself towards productivity and achieving set goals. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a business or consider yourself a leader. It can apply to any area of your life, be it relationships or marriage. Self-leadership is about becoming the best version of yourself. It’s the best form of leadership and is foundational in becoming the ‘change that I want to see’. It’s my belief that anyone is capable of being a leader and the principles I am going to share can be passed on to your team at work or family members. In this discussion however, I intend to focus on self-leadership as it relates to career and business.

Accepting yourself has to do with an honest appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses, what you do very well and what you cannot do. It’s about acknowledging where you really are on the road to progress without becoming despondent. The good thing about this is that you will know where you need help. Perfection is over-rated. Henry Ford acknowledged that he needed help in moving his vision of manufacturing the automobile forward, so he surrounded himself with the people that could help him with what he could not do for himself. 3. Manage Yourself With the demands of life in general and the need to achieve your goals, self-management is very critical. You cannot be effective without deploying your efforts, resources and time to your top priorities. Most executives are burnt-out because they are taking care of everything else except themselves. When you manage yourself well you will do well. Self-management is one of the most challenging requirements of self-leadership because it takes balance and discipline. There will always be one more thing to do. Take time to replenish and recharge your energy. Rest and recovery is just as important as the work that needs to be done.

Self-leadership says, ‘I am going to change and stay ahead of, or with the trend, in order to gain and maintain a comparative advantage’. Past success or failure can have the same effect on your future if you rest on your laurels. Will your qualification or business model be relevant in the next ten years? Embrace change or be left behind like Kodak and Nokia were. You have to reinvent yourself! As an author I’ve had to innovate. The traditional brick and mortar bookshop may not be around for too long. Therefore, I’ve ensured that I release my books on a range of online platforms like amazon.com, lulu.com and smashwords.com. There are many tools that we can exploit, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

4. Develop Yourself The greatest asset you have is you. What skills are you going to attain to remain relevant? Personal development does not happen by itself. Physical growth is an inevitability; personal growth takes decisive action. If you are not growing, then you cannot achieve greatness. What is your strategy? It’s now easy to become self-taught, thanks to free online courses of which there are a lot on offer. Ivy League universities such as Harvard have resources on their websites which you can easily access. With YouTube, you can learn virtually anything, anytime, anywhere by spending as little as 30 minutes per day on tutorials. You can read at least one book in a month. It’s time to grow!

Maybe you run your own business or provide a service, e.g., manufacturing. Do you have online presence? Due to the ongoing lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have nearly completely moved online - even going to church and schooling. Who would have thought that post offices would not be so essential and in some countries, banking would be done without going to the bank? It’s rapidly become the new normal. Make it work for you! Remember the demise of the video club which was replaced by Showmax* and Netflix? The truth is many jobs have been lost to technology and they’re not coming back. Many doors are closing and new opportunities are arising. What are you going to do to exploit emergent opportunities? It will take self-leadership to be correctly positioned and here’s how you can do it.

Self-leadership is about developing you. It all starts with being unhappy with the way things are. If you’re content, then you may not need to make any changes. If you don’t like what’s happening or the results you’re getting you can always change; it starts with a decision to be someone you have never been before. Start where you are right now. Change is necessary because as Albert Einstein said, ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’. Do not wait for next year or some other right time. The time to make the change is now.

1. Discover Yourself Self-discovery starts with an honest self-evaluation and audit. It’s about knowing who you really are, what you believe in and what makes you tick. It’s not about who you pretend to be but who you are at your core. I discovered that I have a desire to inspire others through writing and speaking when I did this exercise for myself. I also discovered that whilst my background was marketing, I was passionate about developing and inspiring others to reach their potential. Maybe you’re limiting who you are to what you do. You are not what you do, you can be more and do more.

*online video subscription service in South Africa Fitzgerald Mujuru is a professional speaker, facilitator and a marketing and business consultant. He is also the author of Winning Ways - Precept Upon Precept and other book titles and has published more than 200 articles online.

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business

Rachael Sabondo INGA Creative

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achael Sabondo is a dynamic Harare-based entrepreneur and the founder of INGA Creative. INGA Creative is a market platform for women and young people who want to sell their products without the rigors of having to pay huge amounts of money for shop space. Whilst working to find their own space, INGA Creative exhibits at Spar Queensdale and Braeside in Harare. by Rodney Rumbidzai Chawota rodney@houseofmutapa.com Tell us a little about your family. I’m one of five children and my parents were both teachers. Back then because they were teachers, we had two homes - one at the school where they taught and our rural home in Honde Valley where we would go every holiday and some weekends. My father passed away in January 1988 when l was going into form one and my mother continued teaching and farming.

After high school I did temp teaching in Manicaland but when I couldn’t get a place for teacher training I moved to Harare and trained as a secretary. I worked at the Posts and Telecommunication Corporation (PTC) which became known as Telone. Whilst working there, I got a Bachelor of Management and Human Resources with Zimbabwe Open University; at the same time, I remember my mother had taught me that your salary will never be enough so I was always looking to earn in other ways.

What are some of your fondest childhood memories? We really enjoyed the abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, water, privacy and peace. Most of the produce on the farm we had was for consumption but some would be sold or given as payment for labour in our fields. Honde Valley is hot so our parents would encourage us to work in the fields in the morning and then study in the afternoon.

In 2004, I got the opportunity to attend the International Labour Organisation Training of Trainers. The course was life changing in that I discovered my passion for training which I then did on a part-time basis. I then worked in Human Resources and got an MBA from the Women’s University in Africa. When I was studying for the MBA, the entrepreneur in me was born and I really started to build my dream. Personal development has always been important to me and when opportunities arose I took courses that were relevant to my career and passion.

My mother is a reader and I remember we had lots of books. On the other hand my father would bring newspapers whenever he came back from town and would ask each and every one of us to read it and talk about what we understood. He asked us to do the same after listening to the 8pm news. What did you do to get to where you are now?

Can we talk a little about INGA Creative? Of course. INGA Creative is creating a space where women and young people can connect, learn together, showcase their skills and spark collaborations. The participants have a range of skills and talent in visual arts, photography, horticulture, textiles, ceramics, calligraphy and recycling. It’s really a market space for members to sell their wares, for exhibitions and networking. As I have qualifications in life coaching, I also do one-on-one or group coaching sessions in what I call niche creative coaching. What I want to do is to help these people cope with the uncertainties of the social, cultural and economic environment in Zimbabwe. I can really see some of the changes in the skills and quality of work by those who use the space. What do you want to achieve in the long term? The long term goal is to have our own space that we

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“I connect with people who think big and are doers”

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire can use as a training school, co-working space, shop as well as the ‘ground’ for our market days. This means we can be consistent and our customers can still find us in between events. The shop will sell our members’ work as well as the raw materials they need. Right now we have partnered with Spar Queensdale and Braeside which is where we hold our exhibitions. How has COVID-19 affected your business? Well, because INGA Creative is about public exhibitions, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our business. We had scheduled two exhibitions on 28 March, where we were going to celebrate our first anniversary, and another on 11 April, but these had to be cancelled. That meant lost revenue even though we did use social media platforms instead. Still, income was limited especially when you think of the state of our economy. For example, to rely on social media sales means you need data which is out of reach for many. Banks aren’t operating fully so accessing money from the diaspora is not easy. Then there is the informality of the Zimbabwean economy where people have to go to work daily in order to put something on the table. It’s also been difficult to get new clients, but we appreciate the need to promote social distancing through the lockdown in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

en’s Microfinance Bank that has helped many. Zimbabwe is also making strides in using digital media, with mobile penetration even in rural communities. Of course more still needs to be done to open opportunities and create a stable economy. What I would say though is that there is massive potential for Zimbabwe. How do you keep a balanced family life? It’s not easy and requires investment emotionally, financially, spiritually and physically. My mentor always says a woman must pray for extra strength. You need strength as a businesswoman, wife, mother, daughter-in-law, sister, aunt...

To keep our members engaged the idea of Inga Creative Centre for Learning came into being and this started online on 1 April 2020. Thanks to COVID-19 we realised we didn’t need to wait for a building. It has gathered momentum and for now we are giving the lessons for free and will charge when things recover.

Top on the list is good time management and good planning. You need to be a good listener and be emotionally intelligent too. Having a strong support system will make the job less tiresome so it’s important to uphold family relations because you will need their support.

Your thoughts on Zimbabwe as it turns 40 this year are...

To keep motivated, you...

We thank God for the grace to be alive to see Zimbabwe turn 40. We appreciate the efforts being taken to close the gender gap. More opportunities are opening up for women and girls. Women in arts and crafts, and farming have been receiving recognition in these sectors where men used to dominate. There is access to land and resources and there is the Wom-

...Read a lot of motivational books and articles. I read the Bible as well. I dream big. When I hear of other success stories, that motivates me too. I also connect and network with people who think big and are doers. What can we look forward to from INGA Creative? The INGA Consultancy will continue with the exhibitions and training and we hope to extend the brand to INGA Foods and House of INGA for bags, accessories and a t-shirt label. There is great work to be done and the organisation must be known beyond the borders. And what’s the ultimate aim for you? I plan to leave a transgenerational legacy for my children. I want to make sure the future is a bright one. Follow INGA Creative here: IG: ingacreativecentre Facebook: Inga Creative

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WRITERS CORNER

VONAYI NYAMAZANA

Available on Amazon

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire onayi Nyamazana, also known as the Dreams Midwife, is the founder of Inspired Khaya, a platform dedicated to transforming lives for influence. Multi-talented, determined and passionate about dreaming and attaining Kingdom success, Vonayi’s mission is to inspire and empower other women to stretch themselves, to break down barriers and identify their God-given talents. Zimbabwean born, she is married and a mother to two young men. She has a background in the legal and social care sectors.

The most rewarding thing about the book was…

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The coming together of 56 women from different cultures for one purpose. Working with women who were able to get out of their comfort zones for the sake of uplifting others was an experience that I will cherish forever. The testimonies that we’re receiving worldwide from those that are reading the devotional are so refreshing and encouraging. What inspired you to write? Having too much to say and not knowing how to say it all verbally. I love writing and have always found myself lost and yet fulfilled in this beautiful literal world where everything becomes alive. I get so many ideas from looking around me and watching people that I pen it all down so that I don’t lose any of it. I have more notebooks than anyone I know. I have five books at different stages of writing because of the inspiration I get all the time. The first thing I wrote was poetry about women.

by Rhoda Molife rhoda@houseofmutapa.com First of all, a little about the journey as an author. Inspired Khaya was birthed initially in 2010 and went public in 2012. It has now morphed into Vonayi’s Lounge, a platform where dreams are birthed. I’m also the author of two published books. The first is Crazy Not To Dream which has an accompanying workbook and the second is Unapologetically You!

How do you deal with writer’s block? I have to loosen up and stop worrying about what I need to write. I may have to do something different, something relaxing. I love gardening and the physical aspect of that combined with the fresh air works wonders for me. Working with nature always inspires me and reboots my mind. Music also does it for me and sometimes some crazy dancing!

What’s Being God’s Daughter about? Being God’s Daughter is about living your day-to-day life as a daughter of God. It’s a 365-day devotional that inspires and encourages women in every aspect of their lives. On each of the days, real-life topics by real women who have lived real experiences are shared. It discusses the challenges and triumphs that we go through and how we find our strength to keep going in God. There are some amazing testimonies, insights, revelations, prayers and practical advice for every woman. It’s a real pick-me-up for every day of the year.

Your three top tips on getting and staying in the writing zone are… Practice makes perfect so write and keep writing. Be disciplined and set a time of day for writing and stick to it. Write about stuff that inspires you, stuff that you’re passionate about, stuff that you know. What are you reading now?

What inspired the book?

Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado.

The book was birthed out of testimonies that were shared in a WhatsApp group comprising of like-minded women who were unified by their love for God. The group is called Daddy’s Girls and its main objective is to build members up through the sharing of skills, expertise, experiences and testimonies. The shared information stimulates and encourages others to personal, spiritual and professional growth. After a year, we realised that the content shared was of such high value and we could not afford to let it disappear into thin air…enter the devotional!

Two books that had an impact on you are... The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel and As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. Books are the lifeblood of every writer. Read. Follow Vonayi here: IG: @vonayidreammidwife Facebook: Vonayi’s Lounge #TheMidwife and Vonayi Nyamazana

How long did it take to put it all together?

Follow the devotional here:

It took months, close to a year in fact, to collate all the posts that were shared over a year in the group and then select the ones we would use. Permissions had to be sought from each author to publish their stories. We had to go back into all the content shared and then arrange it in order over 52 weeks and seven days a week. We ended up with content from 56 women that needed proofreading and editing.

IG: bgddevotional Facebook: BGDDevotional For a copy of Being God’s Daughter: Email: inspired2010@hotmail.co.uk Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B085T6K3JY

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BUSINESS

Magdalene lafontant Nakai Skincare and Cosmetics 30


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her dream. When she told her father that she wanted to be a beauty therapist, he asked her to write a convincing essay to explain why she felt it was a viable career to justify him paying her tuition. Her mother helped her research the topic, and soon, she was studying at Cindy’s Beauty Therapy School in Harare.

Rodney Rumbidzai Chawota rodney@houseofmutapa.com Meet Magdalene Lafontant, a Chitungwiza-bornand-bred aesthetician now based in Toronto Canada, and the founder of a new skincare and cosmetics line, Nakai Skincare and Cosmetics. Nakai means ‘be beautiful’ in the Shona language. The first products, a range of luscious lipsticks, pay homage to Zimbabwe and its culture with names such as ‘H Town’ - a nickname for Harare - and ‘Sahwira’ which means ‘close friend’.

She then moved to further her studies in the UK in 2000 before working on cruise ships for several years. After meeting her husband on one of these ships and having lived her dream of seeing the world, she moved to Canada in 2006. There, she had the opportunity to work in some of the best spas, not just in the city of Toronto where they had settled, but in all of Canada. At one of the spas she managed, she had a conversation with one of her clients (who she now calls a ‘guardian angel’) who encouraged her to start her own business. That conversation planted a

Magdalena’s journey to creating Nakai started over 20 years ago. When she finished high school, she decided to travel around the world. After reading an article in a magazine about working on cruise ships, she figured that she’d found a way to achieve

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“This is the time to create new ideas that will re-ignite your business”

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seed and in 2013, she opened her own spa, Tranquil Room.

completely but continues to maintain a presence online by sending skincare tips and recommendations to her clients.

Opening her own beauty rooms opened even more doors. She started teaching medical esthetics at a private college part-time in 2016 as well as mentoring. All this led her to rediscover her passion for skincare.

“What I can say is keep building. This is the time to create new ideas that will reignite your business and your clientele once all this is over. Stay in touch with your clients.”

“...Everyone that knows me, knows that I always strive for beautiful healthy skin and I’m always wearing a ‘bomb’ lipstick so hey! Why not create my own?”

Her plan is to stay afloat rather than have to start from scratch once life goes back to normal, albeit a new normal. With that in mind, she’s forging ahead with the next phase of Nakai - formulating the skincare range. Down the line, she plans masterclasses in Zimbabwe and South Africa and to develop a platform with like-minded women, shake up the esthetics industry and take it to another level!

And with that, Nakai Skincare and Cosmetics was born. She was also inspired by her mother who has healthy skin and her grandmother who always wore lipstick because once on, she felt like she could tackle anything. Magdalene had actually started building the brand when COVID-19 was just surfacing. When it became a pandemic she initially thought everything would have to stop, but her mother encouraged her to forge ahead as this was, ‘just a roadblock’. However, she’s had to shut down the Tranquil Room

For more on Nakai Skincare go to: IG: nakaiskincarecosmetics Website: https://www.nakaiskincarecosmetics.com/

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THE

COVID-19 DIARIES

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LIAH KAMUPITA Community Champion

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Rhoda Molife rhoda@houseofmutapa.com Liah is a 47-year-old mother of one. She trained as a secretary in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa where she worked at IBM and Multichoice before joining FEDHASA and later Air Chefs. Now in the UK, she works in the care sector. She was recently featured on an online BBC News clip of national community volunteers who are giving their time to sewing scrubs and other protective essentials for healthcare workers in the NHS looking after patients with COVID-19. Here’s how Liah got involved. Liah, how did you get involved in this? I sew so I’m always looking for ideas online. Whilst on Facebook, I came across a page, For the Love of Scrubs. I was curious so I joined. It was started by a woman called Ashleigh who’d heard that other nurses were struggling to get a hold of scrubs. She’s a nurse herself. So, she started looking for people around the country who could help by sewing scrubs and scrub bags. A lot of my friends are nurses and so I really felt the urge to get involved. And what do you make? So far mostly laundry bags and in a week from now I’ll be making scrubs. I’m also making scrub bags and head bands that help with the masks specifically for the nurses in my Zimbabwean community. How does it work? Volunteers cut the patterns for the scrubs. Material is donated to make supplies for a specific trust, and it can only be used for that trust. I’ve managed to get access for Zimbabwean healthcare workers that are agency staff and who have not been able to get scrubs from the local trusts, so we get donations that we can to make scrubs for them. Who have you supplied so far? Members of For the Love of Scrubs make supplies for trusts in their area; I’m in Gloucester so the bags I make are delivered locally. How do you get the items to where they need to go?

Volunteers pick up the finished items from us and deliver them to the hospitals. We follow the physical distancing rules, so once we are done with a delivery, we make contact in the group, leave the items outside our homes and the volunteers pick them up. I know many of us have time on our hands with the lockdown but how do you fit it in? You’re still working, right? As soon as I’m back from work, I sew, sleep for a few hours then head to work again. It’s become a cycle of work, sew, sleep, work, sew, sleep. But I do get out for walks too to keep things balanced. Did you sew before this? I’ve always sewn, and I’m actually addicted to it. I have five sewing machines including a black vintage Singer, the one I learnt on at school. Now I have an over-locker as I’m going professional this year. I was planning on launching my own line of homeware – Madheke Sews. What are your thoughts on the way life has changed for us in such a short space of time? It’s a very scary time to live in. So unexpected and we don’t know when this is going to end. I’m very concerned about nurses, key workers and care workers that live by themselves. They’re on the frontline and see people die then go to an empty home every day. So, we as a community have to find a way of supporting them, even if it’s making someone you know a meal. I’ve felt despair too, thinking of my family, so I can imagine what they are going through. My other big worry is how our country Zimbabwe will cope… And one thing you will do once the lockdown is over is… Perhaps be kinder. Find For the Love of Scrubs here: IG: scrubsfortheloveof Facebook: https://www.facebook. comgroups/1500699350098765/

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Much Ado About PPE B

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nature.

Rodney Rumbidzai Chawota rodney@houseofmutapa.com

Organisational Responsibilities and Limitations As much as the NHS is duty-bound to provide staff with adequate PPE at this (and other) time, is there not more that could have been done to prevent the current shortage? In the months preceding the outbreak, was there no indication that the demand for PPE was likely to spike? According to this report, Pandemic would lead to shortages in NHS protection a DECADE ago as far back as 2007, government ministers were made aware that a pandemic could lead to a shortage of protective equipment for healthcare workers. However, there is no evidence to suggest that steps were taken to increase preparedness for such a situation. The report also suggests that in January 2020 when it was clear that the spread of COVID-19 was a serious threat, no government action was taken. By the time a pandemic was declared in early March, it was already too late. Even if orders had been made, the UK was now competing with the rest of the world for what now appears to be a precious commodity.

‘Employers should provide adequate *IPC and *PPE supplies (masks, gloves, goggles, gowns, hand sanitizer, soap and water and cleaning supplies) in sufficient quantity to those caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients, such that workers do not incur expenses for occupational safety and health requirements.’ ~World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance, 19 March 2020 *IPC - infection prevention control *PPE - personal protective equipment

Despite this, until recently here in the UK, little was done by the National Health Service (NHS) to ensure that healthcare professionals were working with appropriate and sufficient PPE. Countless have contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus, like Becky Usher. She’s a nurse in Yorkshire who is currently in intensive care after contracting COVID-19 from a patient she had been caring for Nurse fighting for her life ‘after treating sick patient without PPE’ Her family say she had not been provided with PPE.

As of 13 April, even as the government declares that there is enough of this ‘precious resource’ to go around, this report Coronavirus: Has the NHS got enough PPE? suggests that supplies remain dangerously low in some parts of the country. The WHO guidelines state all PPE should be available in sufficient quantity. Bear in mind too, that the focus is largely on hospitals and not community facilities such as care homes where PPE is also needed. There have also been inconsistencies in the approach to and implementation of the PPE policy at national and local levels, and the NHS-recommended level of protection initially differed from that recommended by WHO. A nurse from the Midlands who wishes to remain anonymous said that staff in her hospital were instructed to wear masks only for patients with confirmed COVID-19, whereas the WHO guidelines clearly state that masks should be worn even when in contact with suspected cases. To add insult to

Duty of Care The fundamental guiding principles of healthcare professionals are underpinned by a duty of care. This has broadly been seen by nurses in particular as an unyielding duty and obligation to put patients first and go above and beyond to care for them despite any risks to themselves. It can be argued that they have a responsibility to protect themselves but in acute emergency settings, it’s not always possible to do so. In addition, when caring for human life, there is always the worry that one may not have done enough, and to ensure that enough is done, it’s not uncommon for doctors and nurses to put themselves in precarious positions. The overwhelming sense of responsibility for the patients in their care is part and parcel of the job, and many times, part of their

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HOUSE OF MUTAPA Striving To Inspire injury as more and more frontline NHS staff die as a result of COVID-19, Health Minister Matt Hancock suggested that many were essentially wasting PPE NHS workers angered at Hancock’s warning not to overuse PPE Rising and Justified Anxiety As of 13 April 2020, it’s been reported that 39 frontline staff have succumbed to COVID-19. Insufficient PPE has been attributed as a precipitating factor in some of these cases. It’s therefore understandable given how highly infectious the disease is that staff will feel anxious about attending to their patients with inadequate PPE. There have been reports of health care workers refusing to work because they feel exposed and unprotected, and the Royal College of Nursing supports that if nurses do not feel adequately protected, as a last resort, they are within their rights not to work, as reported here: Refuse to treat patients ‘as last resort’ if not given adequate PPE, says RCN The Chair of the British Medical Association has also spoken of the impossible situation that front-line NHS staff are being put in as a result of the governments slow and inadequate response to the need: Doctors forced into impossible situations as NHS staff report dangerously low levels of PPE Many nurses and doctors have in the last few weeks taken to social media to report their fears and anxieties about the ongoing challenges that they face too - a clear indication of the desperation and anxiety and pressure they are all under. Longstanding Shortcomings The current situation has re-opened the discussion of longstanding shortcomings in the way nurses are compensated. There is no doubt that the weekly show of national appreciation (every Thursday @8pm) for NHS workers where the whole country claps and cheers for them is more than well-deserved. Boris Johnson who himself contracted COVID-19 and spent time in intensive care lauded the commitment, dedication and care he received from the nursing and medical staff at St Thomas’ Hospital in London Boris Johnson thanks NHS nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma for saving his life - The Most of the major UK supermarkets have also made provision for NHS staff to get priority shopping slots and many food outlets have been providing free or heavily discounted food for nurses and doctors. However, especially now that nurses are literally risking their lives, it’s necessary to revisit the issue of how poorly they are paid. The public have even responded to the PPE crisis with countless individuals and groups using their sewing and creative skills to make surgical scrubs, aprons masks, visors and other garments for NHS staff in need (see our previous COVID Diaries Feature). The battle for better pay for nurses is a long-standing one that each passing government has failed to settle. A significant proportion of nurses in full-time jobs have to work extra shifts to make ends meet. In 2018 the government presented a complex pay rise structure that would see most nurses receive a 6.5%

pay rise, but over 3 years. However, those at the top of their pay banding would see little to no improvement in their salaries, which begs the question, ‘Was it even worth it?’ Unfortunately though, even at a critical time like this the current administration feels it’s not the right time to talk about nurses pay Hancock asked if nurses should be paid more after Covid-19 crisis Well, if not now then certainly after this crisis, when it should go to the top of the agenda. Compare this too to the fact that MPs were awarded an extra £10,000 to cover the costs of working from home during this time Thousands sign petition demanding MPs’ £10,000 work-from-home fund is scrapped One is truly justified to ask, ‘Where is the logic?’ Nonetheless the situation is far from resolved as reported here NHS Frontline Staff May Refuse To Work Over Lack Of Coronavirus PPE Says Unison There are clearly ongoing barriers in the PPE supply chain such as issues with quality control checks. A consignment of PPE ordered from China had to be sent back as it was not the recommended type. The rest of the nation has had to step in to support - British fashion retailer Barbour has produced and started distribution of 23, 000 gowns Barbour uses supply chain to make PPE for frontline healthcare workers Around the country, teams of volunteers have taken to their sewing machines and workshops to make scrubs, aprons, masks, visors and other supplies. Meanwhile, the government has ordered 400,000 gowns from Turkey which will only last two to three days at most as the NHS uses about 150,000 units per day. Unprecedented Times There is no doubt that we are living in unprecedented times and all of us, not just our leaders and healthcare providers have been pushed far out of our comfort zones. Most countries affected have found themselves woefully lacking in their response despite having had some indication of what was to come and some time to prepare. One can argue though that it’s easy to say this in hindsight. It’s also true to say that dealing with COVID-19 is like chasing a moving and unknown target. Nevertheless, unprecedented times require innovative strategies - innovative doesn’t always mean the grand and big and technologically advanced; it can also be just about appropriate prioritisation and going back to basics and looking after who and what matters.

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Profile for House Of Mutapa

House of Mutapa April issue  

Magazine on Zimbabweans living in the diaspora

House of Mutapa April issue  

Magazine on Zimbabweans living in the diaspora

Profile for dzimbahwe
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