Young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs finding sustainable solutions

Young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs finding sustainable solutions

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By Gerald Macheka

WHILE this is lower than the global youth unemployment rate of 12.4%, Africa has the greatest rate of working poverty in the world, with individuals employed but earning less than $2 per day.

Despite being Africa’s most educated generation to emerge from schools and universities, African youngsters are more likely to be unemployed when their higher education is completed. As a result, many young Africans have been driven to hunt for alternative ways to make a living.

Africa has the world’s youngest population, which is rapidly increasing. The continent’s youth population (ages 15 to 24) is predicted to more than quadruple by 2055, from 226 million in 2015.  Africa’s population as a whole is very young, with 60% of the entire continent aged below 25, making it the youngest continent in the world, in relation to its population makeup.

Africa’s youth are exposed to globalisation of culture in a variety of ways, including through fashion and music, particularly American rap and hip-hop.

There is contention among critics and analysts over what this demographic dividend could mean for African nations; some believe that, with effective governance, the economy could significantly benefit and develop, whilst others have argued that a large, poorly-managed youth population may lead to greater instability and civil conflict.

As such the demographics favor young African entrepreneurs to look at ways of being sustainable whilst doing business.

Based on the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects, the population of Zimbabwe was estimated by the United Nations at 14,438,802 in 2018. About 38.9% comprised youths under 15, while another 56.9% grouped persons aged between 15 and 65 years.

This article will look at an example of young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives into being environmentally conscious as well as making a difference in society. The company is called MAGAMBA 263.

Their story is a good example for many young entrepreneurs striving to enter into business to also consider other factors outside of just profit.

MAGAMBA 2SiX3 (263) is an art, fashion, design and entertainment startup organisation founded in 2020 in the Avenues area in Harare. The organisation was founded by Tanaka Tapfumaneyi(24),Benevolent Horogoda(23),Kana Njai Njai(20),Fayol Makore (25) and Leroy Kanengoni(23).

The collective is made up of creative visionaries who are passionate about positive social transformation. The long-term goal is to improve the standards of living for people, to create value and meaning in different aspects of life and also to help people realise their full potential and utilise their talents as well as skills to make a change in life.

The key competencies of the organisation are being sustainable, reusing and recycling material hence accumulating zero waste whilst making products.

MAGAMBA 2SiX3 is a mother brand for different projects and initiatives that are conducted by the organisation, however, the major focus of the brand is fashion designing, whereby they design clothes from sketch drawing, fabric designing and actual garment construction.

The fashion sector is strongly guided by a spirit of customisation, in which they try to create a limited edition of a product so as to realise maximum value of a product, this is because the final product will carry with it an identity that only the owner can relate to.

Outside of fashion, the organisation is strongly invested in art and designing, whereby they work on canvas pieces, graffiti, landscape designing and interior decor. An entertainment wing of the organisation is also present with the aim of helping young people use their creativity wisely and avoid self-destructive activities.

Activities like photography, videography, graphics, music recording and modelling runways are some of the new avenues the young creatives want to get engaged in.

The goal for the organisation is to play a role towards positive social transformation for the people of Zimbabwe, for example, being environmentally consciousness is a core value in the organisation, considering how we live in the SDGs era.

This entails interest in social issues such as (health) waste management, drug abuse and clean up campaigns.

Improving social capabilities through skills training and promotion of financial education are some of the mandates the organisation is engaged in.

For instance, if a child cannot afford the school fees, it should not be the end of the world, rather the organisation comes into play by empowering such ones.

The organisation is focused on an Afrocentric development strategy. Africa and all of its systems should be rejuvenated and used accordingly. Many aspects of being African have been eroded by the westernisation. Thus, being Afrocentric helps all Africans to be aware of their environment and their responsibility towards awakening Africa and improving the continent in the next years considering Africa houses many young people.

The organisation’s creative process is not linear, neither is it uniform thus, its creativity involves coming up with a solution to a certain problem, so that really plays a major part in the process.

The first step is usually knowing what problem you are targeting to actually start coming up with ideas. Research is also a major part towards one’s creative process.

To gain knowledge in a particular field, research is vital.  If Zimbabwean youth follow this model of engaging in business in the most socially viable and sustainable way, the outlook of the economy is promising.

Macheka is an economist and financial analyst at Equity Axis,a leading financial research firm.geraldm@equityaxis.net

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