Local News

“I started hustling at the age of 12”-the inspiring story of Valentine Kuzondishaya

By William Milasi
In the face of serious adversity which might have broken any ordinary man a Lion Heart was born-but Valentine Kuzondishaya is not an ordinary man.
Born in 1995 in Manicaland to modest parents-Kuzondishaya growing up had to contend with the minimum his bus driver father and a domestic worker mother had to offer.
When he was 11 twin tragedy struck as the young Kuzondishaya not only lost his father but also their humble abode in Marondera-the reality of homelessness struck at such a young age.
With the painful reality of trudging life without a father, streets became his only salvation-to salvage whatever the vagaries of life had to offer.
At the age of 12, an entrepreneur was born.
“My entrepreneurial journey was inspired by my background. I grew up in poverty, my father was a bus driver at Watershed College and my mother was a domestic worker. When my father passed on, I was 11 years old. And the reality of life struck as we were to be evicted from our premises three months later. That’s when I saw that employees are replaceable. I told myself I will never work for someone ever for myself to suffer as we suffered,” he said in an interview with Newsdigest.
With that resolve, an entrepreneurial spirit was born.
“I started selling in the streets at the age of 12. I had a mid of being my own boss from a very young age in the streets of Marondera. My upbringing and life experience inspired me to be an entrepreneur. Instead of feeling sorry for myself i took control and went for my dreams,” said the father of two.
Speaking of his family life he said, “I am a family man, a father of two boys and a little one on the way. I am a husband to Christbelle Kuzondishaya.”
With a vast business empire in South Africa, Kuzondishaya is now focusing on investing in Zimbabwe.
“I am based in South Africa in Cape Town. However, I am playing more on the home soil and investing more in my country now. I love people, I believe in people, in their ability to grow beyond the wildest dreams and that it’s possible to achieve financial freedom and enjoy happy and healthy relationships, Zimbabweans in particular,” said the serial entrepreneur who is also a business and relationship coach.
VK Lion Heart as Kundishaya is known said he owns a number of businesses.
“I own quite a number of businesses. I am a venture capitalist (Founder and Director at VK Capital). I have stakes in numerous businesses mostly start-ups across Africa,” said the CEO and Founder of @Jango Kingz Food and Beverage Company.
The main product at Jango Kingz is the Jango Kingz Energy Drink.
In addition to Jango Kingz he is also the CEO and Founder of Royal Touch Garage and Car Dealership, which is based in Cape town, though he said he is in the process of shedding of the business.
The self-made businessman said the biggest challenge being faced by entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe rests on lack of business knowledge.
“Notwithstanding other challenges such as capital, and licensing amongst others, the biggest challenge being faced by entrepreneurs in the country is basically lack of knowledge. There is a dearth of business knowledge, marketing and advertising skills and also how to raise capital,” he said.
He urged entrepreneurs in the country to be inward looking.
“I think entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe must invest more in self and personal development than anything else. They get into business without knowing the art and skill sets of the business world, thus we are having a lot of businesses starting but only a few succeeding.”
Kuzondoshaya said entrepreneurs have a critical role to play in the country’s economy.
“A country’s economic growth is measured by its gross domestic product. So, if we have a lot of domestic products sold and exported, we can grow the economy. We will the generate employment in the process taking youths from the streets hence more business equals to more employment and less drug abuse,” he said.
He explained that the entrepreneurship journey is not for the faint hearted.
“When one decides to embark on this journey, they must have mentor because entrepreneurship is a very tough journey. It’s hard to be rich and it’s hard to be poor so choose your hard. Do what others are not willing to do today. Be willing to pay the price that changes every day for a better tomorrow. It will be blood, sweat, lonely nights, losing money, disappointments, but you have to endure that and love the process as much as you love the ultimate price. You remain consistent with your grind and definitely you will break even and start enjoying profits over time. Above all never give up or give in, always solve problems and find solutions you will make money along the way,” he said.
He advised that for entrepreneurs to be successful there is need of them to be inward looking.
“I think entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe must invest more in self and personal development than anything else.

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