Zimbabwe’s most controversial businessman and Sakunda Holdings chief executive officer, Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei, has given rare insights into how he started his flourishing business empire, revealing how he came from humble beginnings to be where he is today.
Tagwirei, who according to a local weekly Sunday Mail, is believed to be a multi-millionaire and one of the richest Zimbabweans living in the country, said at one time he was forced to sell the only house he owned to keep his dream of running his business alive.
Delivering a special sermon to Seventh Day Adventist church members at a meeting dubbed “Faith-Driven Leadership” in Harare yesterday, Mr Tagwirei, who is a devout Adventist and elder of the church, said he founded Sakunda Holdings after he noticed he could offer a better service compared to players that were already in the business.
He said contrary to popular belief that his business empire took off a few years ago, he started running the giant fuel company in 2003 and the business grew due to hard work and perseverance.
He chronicled his road to success, saying it had many challenges but he prevailed.
“The importance of a dream depends on the work you want to put in it. Many people think we started Sakunda in 2018 but we started in 2003, and when we started the business, we used a bedroom as our office in Belvedere, and we started by selling 15 000 litres of fuel.
“We spent a long time, almost 12 hours, in a fuel queue because we wanted to go to South Africa. We said this business must be done better, because we asked ourselves, how could we be in a queue for this long? In everything that I do, I am always looking at things that I can make or do better; I do not invent things.”
He said after he had sold the only house that he owned to invest the proceeds into his business, he waited until he achieved the milestone of owning 40 service stations before buying another house.
“My wife and I bought our first house after nine or 10 years, around 2011 or 2010, and when we bought it, we were being forced by the bank to buy a house because we were renting their house. At the time we bought our house, we had about 40 service stations operating and we had been patient,” he said.
The business tycoon said he once ventured into small-time chicken rearing.
“At some point, my wife and I even started keeping chickens and they got bad because of electricity challenges, but we had acquired freezers and blaster freezers, but electricity was a challenge.” – Sunday Mail