This article is yet another look at a Zimbabwean entrepreneur’s profile. The core reason why I do such articles is to inform you so that you know some key details regarding these entrepreneurs. That will be coupled with creating a source of inspiration for you as either an existing or aspiring entrepreneur. Of course, it might not be as comprehensive but I always see to it that I avail a package that inspires you. The focus of this article is Tawanda Nyambirai whom some of you might have heard of; understandably, some of you might not have.

Who Is Tawanda Nyambirai?

Tawanda Nyambirai was born on the 24th of October in 1969. He attended Chibi High School for his advanced level education, attended the University of Zimbabwe and also the University of Uppsala. In short, he is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and banker.

He attained a Law Degree from the University of Zimbabwe (1989 – 1992). He also has a Certificate in International Conflict Studies – Regions in Change from Uppsala University (1993). Upon completion of the certificate, he worked with Kantor and Immerman Legal Practitioners for roughly 5 years.

He was General Manager Corporate Finance of NMB Bank Ltd from 2000 to 2001. He then became CEO for TN Financial Holdings Ltd from 2001 to 2009. In that same period, he became the Group CEO and Controlling Shareholder for TN Holdings Ltd.

TN Holdings Ltd was the largest furniture manufacturer and retailer in Zimbabwe at the time. It sold its interests in TN Bank Ltd in June of 2012. TN Holdings Ltd established the only one of a kind cattle bank the world over – it was called TN Livestock Trust.

Tawanda Nyambirai is a Senior Partner at a law firm by the name of Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners. His practice areas are Commercial and Corporate, Commercial Law Consultancy, International Investments, and Telecommunications Law. By the way, Mtetwa there refers to the internationally recognised human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa.

How The Empire Was Built…

It started with TN Financial Holdings Ltd which Nyambirai started in 2001. This comprised of TN Asset Management, TN Financial Services, TN Medical Benefit Funds, and TN Bank Ltd. About 8 years later TN Financial Services Ltd did an acquisition of Tedco Ltd – which was specializing in furniture. Thereafter they decided to name the whole portfolio TN Holdings Ltd subsequently listing it on the ZSE in 2010.

An Overview Of TN Holdings Ltd

TN Holdings was a loaded portfolio because it comprised of several subsidiaries. It had TN Bank Ltd, TN Harlequin Luxaire Ltd, TN Asset Management Private Ltd, TN Financial Services Private Ltd, TN Medical Benefits Funds Private Ltd, and TN Health Care Private Ltd. Other diversifications were TN Grill and TN Baker. There was also TN Holdings Zambia Ltd which extrapolated the aforementioned to the Zambian market. As at today one of the notable changes is that TN Bank Ltd is no longer exists. Plus it is no longer known as TN Holdings Ltd – it is now called Lifestyle Holdings Ltd. Interestingly though, it is still referred to as TN Holdings Ltd – even his Twitter profile says CEO TN Holdings Ltd. The other enterprises are still operational (or have been tweaked somehow but still largely the same) and you can check out more on their website.

Notable Mentions

You probably remember the 5 years-long legal battle by Strive Masiyiwa for his telecoms license right? Well, Tawanda Nyambirai was one of the lawyers who were part of his legal team. In 2012, Tawanda Nyambirai sold TN Bank. It was bought by the Econet Wireless Group. The deal was such that Tawanda Nyambirai would get a stake in the Econet Wireless Group. Bear in mind that Nyambirai was Board Chairperson of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe at the time.

Following the deal, Nyambirai was to no longer be the Board Chairperson of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Rather he was now going to be a Director on the Econet Wireless Group board. These developments have always been the subject of widespread speculations but I will not get into that. You would also like to know that it was that deal that led to the birth of Steward Bank. In essence, you can say that TN Bank Ltd’s name was changed to Steward Bank.

Notable Achievements

  • 2010 Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year
  • 2010 Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Harare Businessman of the Year
  • 2010 Harare Agricultural Show Best Commercial Sector Display
  • 2010 Geneva International Award – TN Holdings Ltd
  • 2010 Platinum Technology Award – TN Holdings Ltd
  • 2011 Paris OMAC Quality And Excellence Award – TN Holdings Ltd
  • 2011 Brussels Best Practices Award – TN Holdings Ltd
  • Special Recognition for Tawanda Nyambirai’s contributions to the Masiyiwas’ philanthropic initiatives.

Given an opportunity to talk to Tawanda Nyambirai I am confident there is so much to learn from him. His journey has been filled with so much activity and several intricate developments that can serve as learning points. You can engage with him on Twitter here.