Many of you will immediately recognize the name because of the late Ginimbi, real name Genius Kadungure. Zodwa Mkandla is of course ex-wife of the late Ginimbi. However, there is much more to her than just that. She is affectionately known by the nickname, Zozo. She is an entrepreneur who is passionate about serving people. Founder of the Zodwa Mkandla Foundation. An apt summary of her is a prominent Zimbabwean business lady and philanthropist. There is still so much more to talk about, so let us get into it.
Overview Of Who Zodwa Mkandla Is
Zodwa Mkandla was born in Bubi (in Matabeleland) on the 3rd of February in 1972. She did her early education at Mqwassini. She then did her ordinary levels at St Columbus and Mt Pleasant High School. She attained a Diploma from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). She is usually invited for guest speaking engagements. Subject matters include areas such as grooming, personal, and business etiquette, amongst others.
Two of her most iconic accolades came in 2017. She was named International Businesswoman of the Year (Women4Africa Awards). Women4Africa Awards is a global cultural icon and authentic celebration of African women. In the same year was also named among the Top 100 Women in the Tourism and Travel Industry in Africa.
She is the Founder and Managing Director of Traverze Travel. Traverze Travel is a business and leisure travel management company. The company has over 15 years of industry experience. Zodwa Mkandla has a proven track record of working in the hospitality industry. Some of her areas of expertise are negotiation, budgeting, business planning, and operations management, just to mention a few.
It is interesting to note that her initial aspiration was to become a teacher. It was her father linking her up with the late Nelson Samkange that shifted her aspirations. Nelson Samkange was in tourism at the time. Zodwa Mkandla subsequently worked at a reputable Travel Consultancy as a Receptionist. That is what gave her the exposure and interest to ultimately start Traverze Travel in 2013. Before 2018 Traverze Travel won a government tender. They were responsible for the Government of Zimbabwe’s foreign travel planning and bookings.
Zodwa Mkandla’s Business Success Principles
She once gave an interview with George Munengwa in 2021 where she highlighted some striking business success principles. First of all, she pointed out that putting God first is the key. She said that she believes that nothing is possible without God. In their business operations, she indicated that they pray before commencing their days.
She emphasised the importance of prioritizing your clients in all that you do in business. You should be honest and loyal to your clients. It is important to not discriminate against clients – treat them equally. She said that you must align yourself with the right people. You must have mentors and advisors; you do not live in a vacuum. She is also impressed that you should take advantage of your days of employment as a learning curve. She warned against the pitfalls of being pompous; stay humble!
She touched on the importance of getting into something you are passionate about and understand well. Doing what you understand is underscored by virtually all successful entrepreneurs. Do not just get into something simply because others are doing it. Martha Stewart, a successful businesswoman, TV personality, and writer once said, ‘Build your business success around something that you love – something that is inherently and endlessly interesting to you. That enunciates perfectly what Zodwa Mkandla was emphasising.
Zodwa Mkandla serves as an inspirational figure to aspiring or existing women entrepreneurs out there. There was an article I did where I discussed the importance of women in business leadership. We need to see more women stepping up into business leadership roles. We also need to see more women starting businesses and startups.