Meet Brian Kudzaishe Mataruka. His day starts at 4:15am when he sits down to write out all his commitments for the day and week ahead. From there, he doesn’t stop. Brian may be only 29 years old, but he has already had a successful career and is on the path to great things.
Lucille Ball is famous for saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” It occurs to me that this motto describes Brian perfectly!
He is a lawyer by profession, practising as a partner at Gill, Godlonton & Gerrans Legal Practitioners, where he specialises in mining, infrastructure and commercial law. He has been with the firm for 4 ½ years, and made partner less than a year ago. In fact, he made partner at the firm in one of the shortest periods in the history of the firm. He is the head of the Business Rescue, Judicial Management and Liquidation Department, a busy place in these economic times. And that’s just his 8-5 job.
Brian sits on the Board of Directors of Willdale, Ltd., the only brick manufacturing company to be listed on the ZSE. He is one of six board members, and is the youngest by at least 20 years. He is on the HR and Audit and Finance committees. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Cardinal Corporation, a thriving property development company. Here he advises on matters of infrastructure and represents various shareholder interests.
In May of this year, Brian and his business partner, Farai Elijah Munyawarara, began a new property development company called Umuzi Properties (Private) Limited. Umuzi is an Ndebele word for home, and the main objective of the company is to build not just houses, but homes, for middle-income earners. Brian tells me that this is his “baby,” and he talks about his business concept with great passion. Umuzi was established in order to service the middle class homebuyers who are looking for secure investments. The company currently has projects including Zimre Park, Rydale Ridge Park on the Bulawayo Road, and one in Ruwa. Brian has designed 4 bedroom units with a single garage on land that averages 300-500 square metres. (See picture of home layout). For security of investment, Umuzi deals only in land that has title deeds, therefore securing the investment for the buyer and thereby averting the risk of loss for prospective homeowners.
Brian and Farai have also employed a Direct Cost Construction Model that engages the builders and service providers directly. As a result, costs are reduced and the company supports the local communities and local labour. They buy quarry stones from the local mines, bricks from local manufacturers, etc., and create positive synergies by using this business model and, at the same time, help people realise their dreams of owning a home.
Brian’s commitments don’t stop there. As Past President of the Rotaract Club of Borrowdale Brooke, Brian established two major charity projects that he is still involved with today. His moral obligation to give back to the community is so inspiring. He gathered the support of sponsors like Telecel, Econet and Enbee to create the Hatcliffe Spelling Bee, which has become an annual event in June that is hugely popular. The club is currently a finalist for the Plascon Paint Your Community Challenge, and hopes to win in order to paint the Hatcliffe Clinic this year. He is also involved in a drive to raise funds to provide sanitary pads to rural girls in need and is currently working closely with Southern African Women’s Institute of Development Affairs (SAWIDA) and the Rotaract Club of Harare West to import more than 7 000 reusable sanitary kits, which shall be donated to rural communities.
In spite of challenging times in Zimbabwe, Brian Mataruka is focused, determined and, most importantly, positive. He can be a true inspiration and role model to us all! He lives by the motto: “This is Africa so we keep on Trying,” which is truly a positive way to look at life.