I come from humble beginnings: UK-based Zimbabwean mbinga shares his rags-to-riches story

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Tendai Banda with his wife at the Scorpion Kings gig held at The Boundary

HAVE you ever seen a man who sits on a fancy couch with his family, following a musical show on stage, a stone’s throw from the performers whom a plethora of music lovers always yearn to meet from close range?

Far-fetched it may sound but that was the case at the Scorpion Kings’ Kabza De Small and DJ Maphorisa Bulawayo Shutdown Party held last Sunday at The Boundary.

The venue was packed and heaving, seated on a luxurious L shaped chaise lounge closer to the decks and steadily popping champagne bottles alongside his sisters and cousin to enjoy the night out, a real Mbinga stood out to leaving many salivating.

His name is Tendai Banda, a United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean businessman and entrepreneur. Just like many other successful individuals in every breadth and length of the country, he has a “From Rags to Riches” tale.

Born in Malawi and raised in Bulawayo’s dusty streets of Mpopoma, Banda, revealed he came to Zimbabwe at a tender age of eight, after his parents had divorced.

In Mpopoma, where he went to Mpumelelo Primary School, he was under the guardianship of his grandparents.

He later on proceeded to do his secondary education at Gifford High School

“Most people have questions about who I am but well, I am Tendai Banda a businessman and entrepreneur born in Malawi. At the age of eight, I moved to Bulawayo, Mpopoma to be precise and there I stayed with my grandparents after my parents had divorced.

“I come from humble beginnings. I went to Mpumelelo Primary School in Mpopoma and then I enrolled at Gifford High School. Without blaming anyone in the family, I remember going to school on an empty stomach. However, I managed to escape from that dire situation,” said Banda.

While he was still in Zimbabwe, Banda, a former Old Miltonians Rugby Club player, was lucky to get an apprenticeship in 1992 pursuing Hydraulics studies

Later on, he was into a Diesel Plant Fitting study engagement and worked on different local successful mines.

“My success story started in Zimbabwe. I played professional rugby for Old Miltonians in the first team and was doing well in that. In 1992, I got an apprenticeship where I focused on Hydraulics.

“Later on, I had another opportunity in Diesel Plant Fitting, which allowed me to work for different mines in Zimbabwe that include Shabanie Mine. Then after some time, I decided to move to the UK in search of greener pastures,” said Banda.

Most people have a misconception that people in the diaspora are living a lavish life, or that it’s a small paradise where money can be picked on the streets, but Banda’s story differs with such sentiments.

He said he struggled a lot, especially in his first years.

Realising that his qualifications gave him a hard time in finding a job in that country, Banda went back to school and enrolled for a Spinal Cord Injuries course which he did up to Masters level.

The medical field is the one which opened his eyes and he then decided to start a business in that specialty.

Today, his cash cow is his company called RMT Healthcare Limited which deals with anything healthcare related, supply of nursing stuff, healthcare systems and equipment.

“While in the UK I struggled especially in the early years, so, I had to go back to school and ventured on a different journey which is the medical field and specialised in Spinal Cord Injuries, which I studied up to Masters level.

“With the opportunities the field brought to me, I was then inspired to start my own business so that I can be able to sustain myself and RMT Healthcare Limited company was born,” said Banda.

He added: “Success in business is based on perseverance and hard work. It is not about going around splashing and spending money with nothing to back you up.

“Back in Zimbabwe, I realised that young people are working hard and they are making a living through their hustle but as a businessman, if you want to chop your money you must be disciplined and make sober decisions because tomorrow you must not regret the fun you had yesterday.

“To young hustlers I will say hard work pays and I am the testimony. Be disciplined, work hard, don’t cut corners and most importantly be honest because that’s the only way that will lead you to success,” said Banda. Banda lives in Northamptonshire in the UK with his wife and two children.

He was born in a family of five and most of his siblings are in the diaspora.

The last born in the family is Tayesa Banda who is the head of Ecobank Branch Network SME Banking.

He has plans of relocating to Zimbabwe soon as he is building a mansion in Mt Pleasant Heights in Harare and he also has a soft spot for farming.

— BMetro


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