One of the most maverick entrepreneurs to ever emerge out of Zimbabwe is Nigel Chanakira. Nigel Chanakira was born on the 11th of July in 1966. His full name is Nigel Muranganwa Kudzai Chanakira. In summary, he is an entrepreneur, banker, success coach, and philanthropist.

Who Is Nigel Chanakira?

He attained an Economics degree from the University of Zimbabwe. This was after having attended St John’s and Churchill Boys for his high school education. He went on to do his Masters in Economics from the same university. He also has a banking diploma.

An Overview Of His Journey…

From 2013 to the present day he is the chairperson of Kingdom Private Equity. This enterprise specializes in financial services and investments in tech and properties. His business interests are in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mauritius, and Botswana.

He has been the executive chairperson of SMIAfrica since 2002. SMIAfrica focuses on success motivation and coaching. SMIAfrica stands for Success Motivation Institute in Africa. He was the non-executive chairperson of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority from 2010 to 2016.

He was the founder and director at Kingdom Financial Holdings Ltd from 1994 to 2013. He was basically the CEO from 1994 to 2001. He was then again the CEO from 2006 to 2007. Then from 2008 to 2013, he was a non-executive director till 2013.

From 1989 to 1990, he worked as an Assistant Economist at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. He worked as an Economist at Bard Discount House from 1989 to 1994. From 1998 to 2008 he was the Board Chairperson at First Discount House Ltd – this was under AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe.

From 2007 to 2010 he was the CEO of Kingdom Meikles Africa Ltd. He was once a non-executive Director at Kingdom Bank Ltd. He also served as a Director at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. In 2013 he sold his shares (30 per cent) in AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe to focus on a different path.

He is a former chairperson of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority. He is also a Riskflow Group Director and Resident Representative for Zimbabwe at PUM Netherlands. He is the chairperson of SOTZIM which focuses on the fight against COVID-19. He is a Settlor at Legin Trust, he has been since 1994.

Some Notable Developments Along His Journey…

Kingdom Bank is the enterprise that really put Nigel Chanakira on the map. He launched this bank in 1994 as a joint effort with 4 other partners. It was subsequently listed on the ZSE, 5 years later. About 8 years later there was a merger between Kingdom Bank and Meikles which birthed Kingdom Meikles.

Fast forward 2 later, there were serious contentions regarding the shareholding. Nigel Chanakira decided to relinquish the CEO seat. Following that development, in 2011 Kingdom Bank opted out of the merger. Subsequently, that led to the birth of Kingdom Financial Holdings Ltd. The Kingdom Meikles experience led him to write a book on How To Not To Do A Merger. The book went to be a best seller in 2013.

Notable Achievements

2001 Top company listed on the ZSE – Kingdom Meikles

2007 Top company listed on the ZSE – Kingdom Meikles

2006 Best turnaround company listed on the ZSE – Kingdom Meikles

2007 Institute of Directors of Zimbabwe Director of the Year Award

A Tale Of Mistakes And Regrets…

On Business Decisions

Nigel Chanakira has gone through some turbulent times, no doubt. The man does regret some of the decisions he took along the way. During a speaking engagement in last year he said, “I did not have to sell Kingdom, I sold Kingdom to AfrAsia and when I look back in 2020 in hindsight, I should have been smarter even in the way I dealt with that particular incident. I should have just down-scaled it and turned it into a micro-finance enterprise or something like that before re-launching it, but there was just so much stress and too many shareholders and too many disputes, I had had enough of the corporate world and my battles are well known.”

On Spending

At the same speaking engagement, he also highlighted how regrets some of the spending habits he had. He said, “I have owned aircraft, that is not profitable. It was for fun and it was not a good idea. I had 6 aircraft at one point. Those are mistakes. Why? Because I was just fascinated with aircraft. I ended up swapping those 6 aircraft for a couple of cars with a colleague of mine who was passionate about the airline industry. So talk mistakes, I have them, I have a whole box full of them. ”

That is Nigel Chanakira for you; so much to learn from his journey. On mergers and making business decisions, this man has a wealth of experience and knowledge. Be sure to check out his Success Motivation Institute Africa here.