From homelessness to entrepreneurship: The inspiring story of Bruno Furnitures founder Leo Saunyama


Hello everyone, Its Bruno Furnitures, today I have decided to tell you my story and hope to encourage someone going through family rejection or hardships to always believe God for a breakthrough.

My real name is Leo Saunyama, born 26 years ago in Harare and raised in Rusape.

I was born in a family of 7 and grew up staying with my father and stepmother in Waterfalls.

I attended Prospect Primary School from Grade 1 to 3 but couldn’t continue learning at the school after I had misunderstandings with my stepmother who later chased me away.

I was then sent to our rural area in Rusape where I did my Grade 4 to 7 at Musaringo Primary School.

The situation in the rural areas was harsh as I was also the breadwinner and would struggle to make ends meet, this contributed to me failing to pass my Grade 7.

However, I proceeded to Form 1 at Zurura Secondary School and still the demands at home increased as I grew older.

I would wake up around 3am, work in the field until 6am and then prepare to walk to a school which was 7km away.

Imagine going through all this as a child, this affected me directly because I used to sleep during class also contributing to me failing to pass my Ordinary Level examinations.

My father then suggested that I should go back to school and repeat my O’-Level studies. I disagreed and this was the beginning of most of my childhood trauma.

My own father rejected me and chased me away from his rural homestead and I became a destitute.

People in our rural area called me names as I became a well known thief and criminal mastermind, but I regret this, I was never proud of it.

I later moved to Harare to stay with my aunt who accommodated me for only four days before she chased me away, I had to go back to the rural areas.

When I arrived back home, my father gave me US$20, disowned me and told me to start my own life.

This all happened while I was still a teenager, I came back to Harare and managed to find a job as a gardener at Mai Mutede’s house in Waterfalls.

This woman treated me like her own son but after eight months, when she discovered that I was still a minor she said she could not continue employing me, I was left homeless again.

I spent two days roaming around in Harare CBD pondering for my next move because I had nothing, no money, no phone, no passport only my aunt’s South African number.

I decided to go to South Africa to stay with her, she welcomed me and sheltered me for four months before she also rejected me in a foreign land.

I moved to Johannesburg with another aunt but she also showed me the door after two months, this is when I decided to come back to Zimbabwe.

I used the little savings I had to rent a room in the outskirts of Harare and I started job hunting.

I spent six months submitting CVs at local companies and finally got a job at Chicken Slice where I worked for two years.

As a side hustle at Chicken Slice, I would also give loans to workmates who would return the money with a little interest.

This allowed to have a small startup capital to run a business, with this, I became who I am today.

I then left Chicken Slice in 2017 to pursue carpentry after admiring a few carpenters at Glen View Area 8 Complex who volunteered to teach me the tools of the trade.

I started small, the sales were very low, even failed to sell a single item for about three months but I continued to hang on telling myself that one day I will grow big.

Sometime in 2018, I came up with the name-Bruno Furnitures-and immediately created a social image where I posted and advertised all the products.

In 2020, the business grew so as the clientele, Bruno Furnitures managed to employ 15 young people and we bought our first car.

God continued to bless me through the works of my hands and all the relatives who used to reject me began to hear of my success. I have never returned the bad they have done to me.

I bought my second car, a residential stand, got married in 2020 and now blessed with two beautiful girls all from such humble beginnings.

Like I said, I have never chosen to return all the bad things I was subjected to by my own father and relatives.

Now, Bruno furnitures is now a recognised furniture manufacturing company in Harare delivering its products all over Zimbabwe.

We now do deliveries everyday and “We thank God” for that.

My advice to you all young entrepreneurs is, no matter what is thrown your way, you should put God first, have faith in him and everything else will fall in place. Never give up!

In life, opportunities and chance happen to us all, hang on and believe your time will come, when it does don’t miss it, grab it by force.

Today I am a better person than I was 10 years ago, let’s push, work hard. God will remember you and you will thank him nekasingapere!

#InGodWeTrust #NeverGiveUp

Yours Truly

Bruno Furniturez

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