Kadungure’s glitz and glamour

Standard People
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA The name Genius Kadungure is synonymous with glitz, glamour, pomp and wealth in Zimbabwean social circles. Presumably, all emanated from the highly publicised US$17 000 “All-white-party” that he held a year ago.

But that too has come with its share of bad publicity.

There also have been myths as to what business he is into with numerous suggestions that he might be into some shady or illegal dealings.Some have labelled him a gold-digger alleging that his businesses were funded by a wealthy “sugar mommy” who runs big businesses in the capital city.The stories go on and on.

But who, really, is this young man who has people turning their heads whenever he passes by?

Well, a day in the office of Genius Kadungure in Harare’s New Ardbernnie industrial area leaves one with even more questions than answers.Kadungure (27), is the man behind Pioneer Gases, a domestic and industrial gas supplier that competes with fuel giants such as BP and Boc Gases.“My brother, I make money,” bragged Kadungure. “You will be shocked at the figure that my cashier will give you if you ask how much she has received in sales from morning up to now.”

And true to his word, the cashier walks in five minutes later with a piece of paper that indicated that on that day she had received an impressive US$25 000.

“At the end of each day, I get the sales averaging US$30 000 in Zimbabwe alone and a similar figure in Botswana.”Born in Domboshava in a family of four, Kadungure started hustling in search of a decent livelihood at the age of 17.

“I started as a middle man securing gas for domestic users. I had a friend who worked at the Angolan Airways offices who secured for me my first ever contract,” he said.

“After that I followed up on many gas users and that is when my fortunes turned. Just after a year, I was already driving and two years later I had a Mercedes Benz S Class and things kept happening.”

Like many other rich young men, Kadungure’s lifestyle is typified by women. It has been reported that he has been beaten up by husbands of women he had sexual relations with, claims that he does not completely dismiss.

“It happens a lot of times and it has become normal. I have never dated someone’s wife intentionally though,” he says.A few weeks ago, he was reported to have been given a thorough hiding after a certain man accused him of bedding his wife.

Kadungure is said to have sped off in his Range Rover while his friends ran for cover as empty beer bottles flew in their direction.“I dated this woman long before she married and she only visited me at my office but there was nothing like an affair. We have since resolved that issue so it is no longer important,” said Kadungure.

The man is not new to controversy. He has been accused of neglecting his son sired with a village woman in Domboshava, claims he also dismissed.“Look, I was never in a relationship with that woman. We just had sex and she claimed I had impregnated her,” said Kadungure. ”I could not accept that because I knew a number of other guys who were sleeping with the same girl, you know the boys’ style. The parents only started pursuing the issue after realising that I had struck gold.”

Asked why he has not taken a paternity test, Kadungure said he has never had the time.“I take care of my issues. I actually have a child that I take care of and as far as I know that is my only child,” he said.