HomeStandard Style‘Failure could be your road to success’

‘Failure could be your road to success’

There are people who have made a name for themselves over the years and have become successful at what they do.

New Ground with Patricia Mabviko Musanhu

What I have now come to understand when I listen to their stories is that there are key ingredients to success and for the purposes of this story, I will mention only a few.

The first one is that, to make a name for yourself requires that you build that name arduously over a period of time.

Secondly, for you to transition upwards to your envisioned place of success, you have to overcome what seem to be insurmountable challenges that line the course of this “road to success”.

Kudakwashe Mupawose Manyepxa, short named Kuda, is a name that has lingered in business for the last two decades. Today we narrate some of the obstacles that she has had to overcome on her way to building a Wellness business empire.

Kuda grew up in Mutandiri village in Bindura district. One of the obstacles that stood in her way before she even had an idea of what she would become in life, was a denial for her to get an education.

This was not because the family had no money. It was because of religious beliefs that stipulated that girls were not supposed to go to school.

So very early in her life, Kuda found herself fighting religious beliefs which had been adopted by the family. This made her the black sheep of the family as well as within their religious sect where she was soon labelled a rebel.

However, this did not stop her drive to get an education. She fought hard and saw herself through primary and secondary school education.

By the age of 23, Kuda had acquired a degree in Pharmacology and toxins from the Michigan State University in the United States.

She got a job with a pharmaceutical company as a quality controller and worked full time.

However, in her spare time, she would braid hair and diligently save whatever token of appreciation she was given. After a while, she realised that the money she was getting as a token for doing hair was much more than the salary she was earning at the end of each month.

She therefore resigned from work and in March 1994 began to look for premises to establish a hair salon. In November of the same year, she opened doors to her first hair salon using money she had received as a package from work.

When she opened the hair salon, one of her biggest hurdles was that as a woman who was under the age of 25 at that time, she could not open a business account without the consent of a guarantor.

To overcome this hurdle, she relied on support from a family member who had established himself as a captain of industry and agreed to become her guarantor.

As much as she was determined to run a business, Kuda soon realised that she did not possess the skills to manage the business. For example, she knew nothing about cash flow management, had no understanding of how to manage staff and didn’t know how to market a business to get clients.

Consequently, a few months into running the business she was failing to pay salaries and had accumulated debt. She applied for an overdraft facility of Z$25 000 and used it up in no time. With increased borrowing and accumulation of debts, Kuda was soon taken to court by creditors.

A directive was given by the bank to close her bank account. However, the manager who had been tasked to close the account had observed her and recognised her potential as well as her shortcomings. She put Kuda through a start up business management programme that changed her life forever.

Soon after this training, Kuda was able to grow her business and went on to open four branches in Zimbabwe.

In 2001, she was invited to South Africa to do hair for Members of Parliament before the opening of Parliament and she took the opportunity to open another branch in Sandton and moved to South Africa in 2004 to manage this branch.

Kuda returned to Zimbabwe in 2010 and is in the process of consolidating her business. “I m building a world class day spar a day at a time, which I hope to officially open in August 2014. We are operating at the moment but not at full capacity,” she said.

When I asked her what she attributes this success to, she said “The obstacles I have been through have made me who I am today. Above all, I have God at the centre of my life and there is no way I can fail. I believe that what is known as failure is actually the road to your success,” she added.

Patricia Mabviko Musanhu is a Company Director/Producer at Black and White Media Productions. She can be contacted at pmabviko@gmail.com

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