By Amanda-Ellen Jojo
THE term ‘entrepreneur’ often summons images of experienced, successful individuals who have reached a point in their lives where they felt confident to take new risks and face new challenges. But success can come at any age.
Shakemore Timburwa is amongst the youth who went against the grain by launching multiple ventures before reaching the age of 30. His notable story shows that passion coupled with determination are more significant than age or experience with the young entrepreneur’s star shining among seasoned business people.
At an early age, Timburwa’s life was characterised by life pressures, demands and responsibilities, hence this catalysed his desire to become an entrepreneur.
“Shacky is a boy child who was born in Mutare and there’s a consciousness of where I am coming from and which is a poverty-stricken background which is why I hate poverty with a passion,” he revealed to The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
“In these past few years, I’ve learned this truth I always share, which is the biggest financial advantage you can give yourself in your 20’s is resisting the urge to impress anyone.”
He is an entrepreneur with massive interests in fields which include mining, real estate, manufacturing, and energy. He is the founder of Energy Plus, a leading integrated energy company with operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The company specialises in Liquified Petroleum Gas and renewable energy solutions.
Even though there is a pressing need for more renewable energy in Africa, few nations have treated it as a priority thus Energy Plus is on a campaign to address that.
Commenting on that, Timburwa said: “… More focused attention is needed to improve access to clean and safe cooking fuels and technologies, awareness to expand the use of renewable should be the starting point. Energy poverty is a humanitarian crisis in our continent and energy poverty in Africa is alarming and the rate of deforestation is devastating. It’s an untapped market with billions to be made and the major secret of billionaires is their ability to find solutions to the challenges of humanity.”
As the rest of the world is making progress towards attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. He is buoyant that energy efficiency in Africa is making impressive gains particularly in the electricity sector. In regards to that, he has engaged a couple of companies in Africa and beyond to put in motion the need to achieve SDG 7.
“My plan is a Cape to Cairo Vision, I want to paint Africa green when it comes to clean energy I’ve already started working on a massive LPG network system that when it’s done it will connect the whole continent, the vision being to improve access to clean and safe energy.
“We shall be working with governments all over Africa and the United Nations to make sure the vision is attained which is aligned to SDG 7,” he added.
Investing resources and time into a network of building reliable partners is one of the secret ingredients in establishing viable enterprises, as such, Timburwa partnered with Zimbabwe’s astute businessman, Rinos Mautsa in founding a real estate company.
“Rinos happens to be a longtime friend and we established a construction company called Picco Construction and our goal is to change the real estate and property development outlook in Zimbabwe and Africa.
“Our thrust is not only to build modern high-rise houses but to also cater for the low to middle-class families. We are also buying equipment to invest hugely in infrastructure development,” he stated.
Timburwa also owns a fully fletched company Parvaim Gold which is into mining and also works as a financier
“We link foreign mining assets investors to different mining assets, meaning our company does invest in development and production stage mining companies, as well as products and services that serve the mining sector, nationwide and God willingly, continentally ultimately getting global.
“We do considerations on investments in mining companies where a value catalyst is projected within the short to medium term,” he added.
Parvaim Gold also offers a variety of services which include; producing assets, development of stage companies, turnaround situations as well as acquisition finance.
It also invests in products, services, and technology for the mining sector and is focused on opportunities where it can work with its partners to realise value accretion within two years from initial investment up to as many years as we agree.
Concepts and opportunities do not just emerge out of thin air, thus Timburwa’s success story is hinged on consistency and dedication.
He said: “In this life, wisdom has painfully taught me that if ever you want to be successful, you must fully embrace the boredom of consistency. It’s not a lack of money, it’s lack of knowledge to spread your net of investments in different baskets that affects many who want to diversify, accept you can’t do everything then employ those who can do it on your behalf.”
The award-winning entrepreneur is mindful of the need to invest in a vibrant human capital as it has a bearing on the outcome of business operations.
“The truth is I have a generation to inspire and I know I’m not that smart so I stuff my area of weaknesses with qualified employees who can execute and take up my vision and run with it in excellence in the sectors I’m involved in and from my experience they do it meticulously and we’re a winning team,” Timburwa remarked.
Moreover, the well-off entrepreneur reached the superior echelons of success because of the portrayal of a serendipitous cocktail of time management, effort, discipline, character, patience, socialisation, resilience as well as determination.
“Entrepreneurship is a jealous thing; it requires the entire man, if you don’t separate yourself from your distractions, your distractions will separate you from your goals and the life you want.
“From a young age, we are programmed into thinking that moving through life and acquiring values of mastery, ingenuity, and decency should need little effort. And so, if the road gets tough we think we’re on the wrong path, yet character can be developed through experiences of trial and suffering which then strengthens the soul, ambition inspired, and success achieved,” he underscored.
He affirmed that real greatness and the realisation of one’s inherent genius are meant to be a difficult sport and the ability to thrive depends, in the end, on one’s attitude towards life circumstances.
“In this humble journey of mine at the zenith of understanding and wisdom I’ve come to learn that entrepreneurship is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and, in its depths, it has its pearls too,” he remarked.
Research indicates that humans are creatures of habit and they tend to get comfortable in their habitual zones however, Timburwa is of the view that to thrive as an entrepreneur one is required to step out the comfort zone coupled with putting in more effort. Hence, he fortifies the conviction that the biggest trap in life is not laziness or bad luck, it is comfort because comfort breeds laziness.
“If you’re serious about change, you have to go through uncomfortable situations. Stop trying to dodge the process. It’s the only way to grow, I never allowed myself to believe they’re things I’m too occupied to do when it’s something I’m passionate about.
“I’m willing to work more than 18 hours a day on my own projects or companies rather than work 8 hours for someone else’s. So rather I reproduce and multiply myself in my employees it’s a serious life hack because it minimises distractions and protects me from being overwhelmed,” he stated.
The serial entrepreneur’s ideology which has resulted in success within his diversified entrepreneurial operations, revolves around money.
“My ideology is money should work for me, as opposed to me working for money, it’s all about power. If you work for money, you give the power to your employer and if money works for you, you keep the power and control it. In my small financial literacy and understanding of money, I’ve chosen to liken money to a grain of wheat that faces one of three futures.
“The wheat can be placed in a sack and dumped in a stall until it is fed to swine. Or it can be ground to flour and made into bread. Or it can be placed in the earth (asset column) and allowed to grow until its golden head divides and produces a thousand grains from the one. One dollar when multiplied will produce hundredfold dollars.
“So, each dollar in my asset column is a great employee, working hard to make more employees and buy the boss new toys from perpetual proceed,” he enlightened.
He further placed emphasis on how real wealth comes through creating solutions
“Real wealth comes when we take a critical look around us, see the challenges that surround us, and proffer solutions to them. One of the major reasons why millions of Africans live below the poverty line is our belief of mysticism that magic wands will suddenly mint money on us, making money isn’t mystical it’s practical,” he commented.
In addition, Timburwa is a firm believer in the philosophy of penny-pinching habits that is committing to things that bring peace, profits and purpose.
“Live in a small place, drive a modest car, keep a simple comfortable wardrobe, and patiently accumulate assets that will give you freedom for the next 5-8 decades. If you’re going to spend money everyday day, make sure you make money daily and never spend more than you create in a day, and if you perpetually live fake you will get broke.
“You know having money in your savings but still telling yourself “I’m broke” is a different kind of discipline,” Timburwa said.
Timburwa’s sense of purpose as an entrepreneur is embedded on strong Christian principles thus his faith has positively impacted his business operations.
“I believe in the Bible and it has made me intelligent, it is the wisdom and knowledge I get from the Bible that works as my stabilisation system in my entrepreneurial journey. I know no book that carries powerful business principles as the Bible,” he said.
For this reason, he models after Emmanuel Makandiwa who mentored him to be the man he is today.
He said: “His teachings and mentoring on believing in myself made me realise that I’m the maker of my character, I’m the molder of my life, and the builder of my very own destiny, he has unerringly proved, that if I will watch, control, and alter my thoughts, tracing their effects upon myself, upon others, and upon my life and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation, and utilising daily experiences, even to the most trivial, everyday occurrence, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of myself which is Understanding, Wisdom, Power.”
Businesswise, his inspiration is anchored on celebrated Africa’s business tycoons which are Strive Masiyiwa, Aliko Dangote, Dejan Stancer who’s the current chairman of the Global Chamber of Business Leaders, Philip Mataranyika and Dr. James Makamba.
Timburwa’s entrepreneurial undertakings have earned him several accolades the latest one being the Forty Under 40 Awards Africa which were held in Ghana last month. He was the overall winner for the Most Power and Radical Young People in Africa.
In 2021, he was also acknowledged by Forbes Africa under the prestigious list of 30 under 30 of Africa’s young entrepreneurs. Forbes is a home of reputable and esteemed global business and professional doyens from around the world.
Expressing his optimism on his achievements, he said; “It comes with great responsibility to be exemplary, to work selflessly, and be a role model to generations coming after me to emulate hardworking intertwined and premised on the solid character of integrity.
“My life is for the people, the goal being to affect those around me positively, I live for others and I know I’ll live again for a candle never loses any of its light while lighting up other candles!
“I’m forever grateful next stop is the Billionaires List.”
He is assertive that his achievements have given him leverage in terms of accelerating the message of clean energy and renewables.
He said: “I would say being on the lists is my permanent passport to solve the energy poverty crisis of Africa and to this cause I pledge my oath of allegiance to alleviate energy poverty on the face of Africa. Let me boldly say I’m the CLEAN ENERGY GIANT OF AFRICA!”
As much as entrepreneurs thrive on hustle culture, burnouts to some extent may be/are inevitable thus for Timburwa, work-family balance is crucial.
“They say, ‘work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back,’ the other four balls – family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass, if you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.
“So, I always try my level best so those around me know that when I work I work really and when I play I also play like a kid,” he highlighted.
By virtue of being a youth and through his accomplishments, Timburwa is on a drive to inspire the youth. “My life is for the people, the goal being to affect the youths around me positively, I live for others and I know I’ll live again for a candle never loses any of its light while lighting up other candles,” he said.