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Dr. Vere’s Coat of Many Colours

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By Gilbert Sikanyika

Doctor Kudzanai Vere belongs to the group of African young Turks determined to conquer the world and leave permanent foot-steps on the sands of life.

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I have known Dr. Vere through social interactions over the years and I have come to know him as a pragmatic, hard-working, and purpose-driven person. He sets high goals and when he attains those goals, he sets even higher goals. He places a high premium on his aspirations. He challenges himself to challenge challenges in his life. He does not take “no” for an answer…He knocks, knocks, and keeps knocking until doors of opportunities fling open before him. He is tenacious and aggressive in his daily operations. He does not wait for opportunities; instead, he creates opportunities for himself. He is a workaholic if ever there was one.

He was compelled to stop school in form 4 due to family financial constraints but that could not deter him from pursuing his dreams. He started working as a Receiving and Costing Clerk at Redstar in Nyanga in Zimbabwe and he rose through the ranks to become Branch Manager within a spell of three years. He was arguably the youngest Branch Manager heading a Blue Chips Company when he was only 22 years old.

Doctor Vere has “A coat of many colours.” He is an entrepreneur, Author, and Speaker of international repute. He enjoys developing people in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Personal Development, Practical Business Management, Organizational Development, Financial Literacy, and Leadership Development.

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Just what makes him tick

He gets inspiration from motivating himself and others. His life gets better when he impacts lives in Business related issues. He was born in a family of 10 in a remote area of Zimbabwe in Nyanga. He went to Maereka primary school, Nyatate school, and Mapako High School. He has also attended: Zimbabwe Open University, British College Of Professional Management, Coppetstone University among others. He has:

  • Diploma in Accounting
  • Diploma In Accounting In Business Management
  • Bcom Accounting
  • Certified Public Accountancy
    -Master of Arts in Leadeship and Management
    -Registered Public Accounting
    -Certified Forensic
    -Doctorate in Phylosophy in Entrepreneurship among others.

Dr. Vere is also a notable and versatile writer whose books such as Becoming A Person Of Impact and Exceed Beyond The Ordinary have blessed multitudes of people. It seems he is a “Jack of all trades and master of everything.”

His books have impacted the hordes of people from all walks of life because of the nuggets of life they carry. His presence is being felt almost everywhere and so far so good. Although he never completed formal education, he is a self-made man who has managed to school himself and has acquired a string of diplomas and degrees and was recently conferred with a Doctorial degree in recognition of his teachings and passion for entrepreneurship.


“The whole of my adult life I have been learning business at times passively and at other times actively. I have vast years of business management, ” he said. His ultimate goal in life is to become an oasis of inspiration in Business circles. He is married to a lovely lady Fortune who is the Managing Director of the family business empire. Doctor Vere is also blessed with a wife and five children.

Gilbert Sikanyika is a Writing Prophet based in Zambia

SUCCESS STORIES

“I started doing poultry 5 years ago after I had been retrenched from work”–Vimbai

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By: Vimbai Tanyanyiwa

Most times people make so many mistakes along the way which are always overlooked as non-existent just because people end up seeing the finished product never the journey. I started doing poultry 5 years ago after I had been retrenched from work and I had to push myself to find an alternative source of income that was going to keep me alive. Most people look at poultry rearing as something just so easy yet not considering a lot of factors that need to be adhered to for you to produce the best quality of chickens when the time is due.

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It’s so easy for people to just say in 6 weeks (dzinenge dzaita) they will be up for harvest – but what of the mistakes and endurance that you make as you start; the casualties you endure the first awful winters before you know how to withstand the cold so as not to have a lot of the chickens dying? Chickens just like anything dear; require a lot of care and attention as they grow. But one of my first mistakes, when I started, was never accepted that as much as it is about money- passion has to drive you so you create the determination to succeed in the intended project.


I lost a lot of chickens within batches due to negligence & mismanagement & overzealous behaviour of putting my trust in employees & not being hands-on committed to the project, which I feel is not my mistake alone. Every project requires a person who monitors whoever employed so you don’t suffer losses. In looking for workers do most ever consider if the one being employed has the necessary skill or knowledge pertaining to that project or we just employ? Well, my mistake was just employing & sadly daily I would be told one or two have died, coming from a person with no remorse who felt it was ok for chickens to just die yet you trying to generate income from that & a livelihood.


Until I had to self introspect and understand that no person will put in as much concern and care into the project except you the owner who is pumping money into it so it survives. I then pushed myself to be hands-on until I noticed that it was very possible to have over 90% survival rate, not the bigger losses I was suffering before. During terrible winters it proved that the lamps were not adequate on their own but I had to come up with another technique to warm up the chickens since most were dying from the cold. That’s when I learnt from a Good Samaritan about the use of charcoal & mbaura in foul runs to help ease the crisis. But it had to be strategic since too much heat too would then kill them as well so it had to be proportional.

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I had gotten to a point where I feared buying any batches in Winter for most wouldn’t survive but after that, I wasn’t scared to endure the winters as I had now learned how to fight the winter mania.
Not buying any batches in Winter meant no income & no income meant problems & stresses of accumulating bills which would, in turn, get to be difficult to settle. Another one of the many mistakes I had to make along the journey was accumulating debts & failing to pay them having to then ruin relationships I had with friends & family when I failed to honour up. Debts in any way always come up when we are in tight situations & we wish to solve them urgently but always end up creating more problems when we fail to pay them.


So I have learnt along the way to at least be content with what is there & work with what’s available.
Or forever be one to never really see the profits as every little money you get ends up being channeled to clear the debts. I am not really well organized in this area yet but I am striving to. Pressure from societal expectations and always wanting to live in the fast lane is never good for business. At times you need to make peace with the fact that; we were all given different lives & opportunities & we run different races. It’s not your duty to then try to always be in competition with friends & colleagues & family even when your budget doesn’t warrant you to.


Running a business demands discipline & control that puts you on the right path otherwise you run the risk of tarnishing your brand if one day you wake up being named & shamed for providing poor service to your clients

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#StudentShine

Zimbabwean Born Harvard Graduate Launches Hitch-Hiking App

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tuverl app

Hope was born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and he did his A level at Mpopoma High School and O level at Ihlathi High School. Apart from his academic successes, he was also a multi National Chess Scholars Champion winner. Hope later on received a scholarship to go and study at the Harvard
University and just after college he went on to found Tuverl which has to date received several awards and recognition. They recently came out first at the Georgetown Africa Business Conference Pitch Competition which was
held in early February 2020 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Tuverl also won the World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition in early December 2019 held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC.

In mid-December 2019 Tuverl also won the YouthConnekt Sustainable Development Goals Video Competition. They have also participated in several pitch competitions, winning the Fan Favourite prize at the RevRoad Pitch Competition in Provo, Utah, and finishing 3rd place at the Harvard China Forum Pitch Competition in Cambridge, Massachusetts in early April 2019. Tuverl participated in the Mass Challenge Accelerator Boston Cohort in 2018 and were part 10th cohort of Halcyon Incubator Program from January – June 2019. Tuverl is also a recent Startup Battlefield 2020 finalist, the pitch competition was held virtually in September 2020.

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Problem Statement

It can’t be innovation without problem-solving and Turvel application is there to solve or address a wide range of problems. In most African countries, Public Transport is an industry that is run by private companies; millions of small to medium enterprises and individuals, whose buses, minibusses, and individual cars operate without any schedules or timetables. This makes Public Transport very unreliable to commuters, who lose valuable productive time while waiting for transportation or in transit, as a result. Drivers also waste time, fuel, and man-hours trying to locate
commuters along their designated routes or park in one place waiting for commuters to find them.

This is highly inefficient. The Covid-19 era came with new and many
challenges for commuters as Public Transportation was grounded by the government to minimize non-essential movement and reduce the risk of exposing the public to the Coronavirus. This left people who do not own their own personal vehicles with few to no options for safe essential travel.


While some have welcomed the reintroduction of ZUPCO as the sole provider of Public Transport, there have numerous complaints about long lines at bus stops, too few buses in circulation, and the general lack of social distancing while in transit.

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Solution

After assessing these challenges in the 1st few months of the covid19 pandemic, Tuverl went on to develop its intercity carpooling service that is meant to make travelling safer, easier and cheaper during the Covid19 pandemic. After downloading and signing up on the Tuverl App, commuters can search for peer-to-peer trips that originate from a city or town of their choosing to another city or town in Zimbabwe. They can pay for these trips using mobile money payments, such as Ecocash, OneMoney and Telecash.

We plan to support more payment methods in due course. On the Tuverl App, users who have their own personal vehicles can register to be drivers.
Once registration is complete and their profiles have been verified, drivers can create trips from one city or town to another. Drivers have control over the pricing of the available seats in their vehicles. As such drivers can make
extra money during a trip they were already planning to make. Picking up passengers along the road, when drivers travel on pre-planned trips between cities and towns is an old practice. Most Zimbabwean commuters know this as hitchhiking or simply hiking.

Tuverl has found a way to make it a lot easier for drivers to find commuters or passengers, by adding a technology layer that makes it faster for drivers to connect with commuters. As the economy opens up, Lockdown regulations are relaxed, and travel restrictions are removed, it is important to give commuters more options for travelling safely. Commuters and drivers can download the Tuverl App on the following links.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?
id=com.tuverl.android .

People who are interested in our work can follow
us on the following links.
Website: http://wwww.tuverl.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuverl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tuverl
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/
store/apps/details?id=com.tuverl.android

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SUCCESS STORIES

Interview With Princewell ‘The Roadrunner Farmer’

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Roadrunner farmer

In the words of Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”, Princewell is one man living and putting to test these words by taking his passion in poultry farming into a test. Princewell (PW) is always there on Twitter mostly sharing his story, pictures, and updates on his roadrunner farming, something which has helped market his business and inspire someone out there. Coach Mallvine (CM), our Productions Manager, caught up with Princewell for an online interview, and below is how it went along. Enjoy the interview and don’t forget to subscribe to stay tuned for more interviews and updates.

CM: Please introduce yourself to our readers.

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PW: Real name Terence Maphosa, a young passionate roadrunner Farmer in his late 30s.

CM: What brought you into farming?

PW: On this one there are a lot of reasons:

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  1. Availability of idleness in my rural area which I saw as a chance to put up something productive and since I had no water, the only idea that looked feasible out of the many I had was road runners.
  2. Passion for roadrunners, before these exotic breeds I was doing the ordinary kumusha roadrunners. So, it became a transition into something catchy more advanced on a larger scale.
  3. Roadrunner farming is not congested that much so, I saw an opportunity that I could use and it worked perfectly.

CM: How big is your farm and what are you currently farming?

PW: This is not a “Farm” as you might call it. It is a resettlement area, but I have a good space which is up to 6 hectares for the chickens and 5hectares for crop farming. It is located in Mhondoro Ngezi. For the crops, I focus mainly on maize, sunflower, soya, and sorghum. These crops reduce the costs of buying feeds.

CM: When did you start the chicken business?

PW: I started in November 2017.

CM: Tell us the types of chickens you sell.

PW: I have 5 breeds that I selected on basis of their different strengths and purposes. Black Australorp (a machine at laying eggs), Koekoek (good at eggs as well), Light Sussex (Both meat and eggs), Kuroila (Meat Master….weighs heavy), Jersey Giant (Meat Master). I have a 6th which is the Buff Orpington but I see it is as a flower that I like seeing around.

CM: Which is the best chicken breeds to keep and why?

PW: Black Australorp, Chicken business needs a bird that lays more so that you minimize the costs. It grows big as well and that will make it marketable for meat. However, I should point out that it differs with farmer’s preferences and also some parts of the community have certain beliefs attached to a black chicken. In that case the Koekoek will come second.

CM: How many hours do you work per day and what is your typical day like?

PW: Roadrunner farming needs all day attention. Feeding, giving medicines to the ones that are sick, cleaning food troughs, etc.

CM: Has it been viewed as more of a business for you or a lifestyle choice? Some combination of both?

PW: To be honest, it started as a business but it grew to be at the heart of my lifestyle. I woke up every day feeling proud of being a roadrunner. So, now I live in the roadrunner business.

CM: What is the most satisfying part of farming for you?

PW: The most satisfying part is having a product that the market has approved and is confident. That alone will give you extra energy to work even harder.

roadrunner farming

CM: What motivates you and how do you deal with negativity and any feeling of giving up?

PW: The greatest motivation is me, I look back and say, I cannot go back to the past life, so the only option is to push. Negativity will always be there and some will even destroy your brand but I always try to engage those who think I went off rail or I didn’t offer a good service. The problem is, people usually appreciate through hate. They hate what they like. So the best way is to engage and find a solution.

CM: What is your current take on youth participation in agriculture and how best can they become effective and active participants in this industry?

PW: Youth out there are desiring to go all out for farming but access to land and capital hinders a lot of us to participate in farming. We have the zeal but we don’t have a chance to express it. The government must identify youth with potential and empower them with ideas and inputs. Without that, farming will remain a thing of an idea to youth.

CM: Have you benefitted from any government or social programs to boost your agriculture business, if not are you looking forward to any?

PW: No. Not as of yet. If the help comes I will take it with both hands. I’m a citizen of the country and if the government sees it fit, I will take them and utilize them without fail.

CM: Many a time, access to finance and support systems are usually not in favor of subsistence farmers. How do you think the situation can be improved and work to boost and support the subsistence farmer?

PW: I am one of the subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe and I am thriving on the small space that I have. So the government may also consider looking into aiding us to boost our projects from the small pieces of land that we have.

CM: With regards to the market and marketing, how responsive has it been, and how you have been effectively marketing your business?

PW: Honestly, Twitter has been the base for my customers. All referrals and recommendations are mostly coming from Twitter. The key is being consistent and not supplying wrong or fake products. As far as to this level, the market has been quite fair to me. I market my chocks on social platforms that are, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. This is done by me and the aid of all people reading this interview.

CM: Tell us, how is the chicken Market in Zimbabwe and how can we improve our Chicken’s quality?

PW: The chicken business in Zimbabwe has always been there and it was more of broiler productions but the roadrunner business is of growth over the past 5 to 6 years. The marker is high because people are slowly moving to organic meat which I assume will overtake the broiler business in no time. However, we must reach a level of making our own breeds named after us, and unique breeds registered from Zimbabwe. We are focusing on importing breeds from other countries, yet, we cannot make our own. It is my dream that I will see that wish be of reality.

CM: What has been our greatest obstacle in your hustle and how did you manage to overcome that?

PW: My greatest obstacle has been on feed. Generally, feed in Zimbabwe is expensive and the profit margin is thin, so, for a farmer starting to grow it becomes a great challenge. However, planting your feed has been the solution and as for now I have no complaints.

CM: Any mistakes you have made in farming that you regret or have managed to learn from?

PW: My greatest mistake was in 2018 when I almost sold all my chickens due to frustration.  The market was not giving a favorable response and I sold a lot of birds. Later the market gave a positive response when I was almost giving up. It is now a story of the past and I learnt the virtue of patience. Every farmer out there must know, as long as you have a good product, people will buy no matter what.

CM: What advice can you give to the chicken farmer out there who is also looking forward to growing their farming too?

PW: To the small farmer out there; take your time to set your things, there is no competition in farming, the industry is not flooded, market is there go to the drawing board and set your things in the right place then come out with guns blazing and grow big. Whatever line you take in farming, just push to have the best product and remember, “honesty” is key.  Have good breeds that are compatible with any environment. It is not about having many breeds but the type of a breed.

CM: What are the keys to success in farming, particularly the poultry business?

PW: Have the best products, be honest, transparent, deliver, and lastly, work hard.

CM: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

PW: In 5 years to come I will be in the process of perfecting my own breeds and constantly supplying roadrunner meat.

CM: Where can people find you?

PW: I am based in Harare and as for my project it is in Mhondoro Ngezi.

CM: How do you see your role in the community?

PW: I see myself in the sense of a role model. With the growth in business follows a bit of dignity and responsibility. People expect much and you to act a certain way. Therefore, I accept that because some will be looking up to me as a role model it becomes my role in the community.

CM: Please give us your social media pages.

Facebook: Prince Machiavelli Chickens; Twitter: @terrymap1

Website: www.machiavelliprince.co.zw

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