Tinashe Mutarisi is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur and multimillionaire who is known for founding and being the executive chair of paint manufacturer and distributor Nash Paints. Mutarisi also has a keen interest in arts and entertainment and he has sponsored several local acts in the past.
Mutarisi was born in Wedza. He grew up at Inyati Mine and attended Inyati Mine Primary School for his early education. He later went to Mavhudzi Secondary for high school.
In 2001 Mutarisi moved to Botswana with the express intention of looking for a job, any job so that he could work and raise enough money to start a business back home. He has mentioned that his late father, who used to own a grain mill in the rural areas, was his inspiration for becoming an entrepreneur.
In 2006, using his own personal savings Mutarisi started Nash Paints as a paint shop. The first location was in a rundown building called Chikwanha Shopping Centre in the Chitungwiza Township. This company which started out as a mere retailer with only three employees in a single branch during hyperinflation era Zimbabwe (and only got registered the following year in early 2007) eventually ventured into the manufacturing of its own paint and associated products.
Nash Paints now has over 30 branches all around the country and these employ well over 500 people. The company also has operations in Zambia, South Africa and Botswana. The original Nash Paints spawned many new businesses one of which is a holding company which encompasses it and its sister companies.
Nash Holdings, which was set up at the heels of Nash Paint’s success, has several subsidiaries which include Nash Paints itself, Eastlea Paints, Nashrin Cargo Carriers, Avion, Spec Paints, Fishmongers Penman, Furnishers Coloursel and Nash Furnitures. Mutarisi is the Executive Chairman of Nash Holdings.
As mentioned earlier, Mutarisi is a lover of arts and entertainment and has provided support to some members of the local industry. These include Bustop TV and Jah Prayzah’s Military Touch Movement. Most of his philanthropic work is conducted through his House of Hope Foundation and the Tinashe Mutarisi Trust.
Awards and recognition
Over the years Tinashe Mutarisi has received several awards and recognition for his business acumen and leadership skills. These include Top Business Leader of the Year (Paint and construction industry) at the Zimbabwe Business Awards of 2016. The crown of the Businessman of the year was bestowed upon him by Megafest magazine in 2016. In 2017 the Zimbabwe Institute of Management named him the Young leader of the year. The Standards Association of Zimbabwe, the country’s quality and standards body, named Mutarisi the Quality man of the year in 2018.
Despite his documented love for luxury vehicles, like many of the younger owners of wealth in the country (he once caused a bit of a furore on social media when he imported the country’s first Tesla electric car) Mutarisi is described as a down-to-earth person whose everyday street appearance and demeanour can easily belly the fact that he is one of the wealthiest men in the country.
Mr Mutarisi is one of the rarer business executives of large companies in Zimbabwe whose background the average Zimbabwean can relate to. Unlike a lot of his peers whose resumes are flash with overseas higher academic qualifications and extensive employment experience in large organisations, Mutarisi (except for a relatively recent MBA from Plymouth Marjon University) is the quintessential entrepreneur who built up his businesses and fortune from the ground up without an extensive academic background to bootstrap his career.