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    Saturday, 17 February 2018

    Younger.com from rags to riches



    Younger.Com, from rags to riches to philanthropist
    MASVINGO- The story of this ordinary Zaka man is no ordinary at all. It is typical of the proverbial rags to riches, later on philanthropist.
    Lazarous Mazarire grew up in real poverty and persevered until he went to university and started his own business. Mazarire has made a number of donations to the less fortunate in life as he has paid school fees to more 1 000 pupils in and around Zaka.
    He has donated more than 10 wheelchairs in Harare and Masvingo to accident victims and those disabled from birth.
    Other notable donationshe made was when he gave Sovereign Chavani of Manjeru Village under headman Svinu in Zaka in July 2014 a wheelchair after having read about his plight in The Mirror.
    In May 2015 he read about the plight of Tatenda Chigagure, a Chikarudzo Primary student from Hillside in Mucheke, Masvingo and donated a wheelchair to him as well.
    The 37-year old businessman never dreamt that one day he will become a transport guru and pacesetter in the industry as he went to school for 11 years without putting on a shoe or a uniform.
    He now owns a fleet of seven 15 seater passenger kombis which ply the Masvingo-Birchenough Road and owns houses in Harare and Masvingo and several undeveloped stands.
    He pioneered the use of pimping sound system where kombis produce a whistling sound and the colourful decorations and stickers on the kombis to attract and entertain customers.
    "My kombis used to be popular for speeding, when employing a driver the first question I would ask is; are you a speed merchant? I used to believe that speed is the best way to beat competition.
    "Unfortunately I later learnt it the hard way as I lost three vehicles in one year and since then I have slowed down and as a result there are no more speed related accidents,'' said the soft spoken businessman.
    Younger would go to school putting on old clothes donated by well-wishers and some of the shirts and shorts would be so oversized such that they would distort his body frame and appear as if he had stolen them.
    Fortunately enough that did not deter him as he was gifted with sharp brains and was always the best in class. That spurred his parents to work hard in order to fund his education.
    "My father was a builder and there were five of us who were going to school so my mother had to supplement for our fees by selling seven days beer to fund our education," said Mazarire
    Mazarire did his Grade 1 to 7 at Madondo Primary School in Zaka and Form 1 to 4 at Chinorumba Secondary and for 'A' Level he supplemented while at home in Harare where he was staying with a brother who was a night watchman at one of the printing companies in the capital then.
    "I only went to night school at Nyandoro in Highfield for five months but because it was during the height of ZESA load shedding in 2000 I abandoned the school and studied on my own for the remainder of the studies," added Mazarire.
    For the two years he said they would survive on newsprint rejects which his brother used to bring from his workplace and they would exchange that for food from vendors who would use the newsprint to wrap vegetables.
    He obtained 14 points at 'A' Level and went to study at the University of Zimbabwe.
    "I only got the money to buy the UZ registration form three days before due date from Jerryfanos Chifashu an uncle who had visited us in Harare. The uncle occupies a very important place in my life as he made it possible for me to go to university to fulfil my dream," added Mazarire with a smile.
    He enrolled for a Bachelor of Science Honours in Economics and upon completion he joined the Ministry of Finance in 2006 as an economist in the budget department until 2014 when he joined Pevimark Construction as finance manager until 2016 when he left to concentrate on his businesses.
    Besides the economics degree Mazarire has a full CIS and an MBA majoring in finance.
    The soft spoken businessman started with a spare parts shop in 2009 at Gazaland and in 2010 abandoned the business to venture into the transport sector with two kombis plying City-Glen Norah route.
    "I had a passion for cars and at one time I had a fleet of four cars parked at my house, eventually I decided sell them and start a transport business," he said.
    In 2011, when his fleet grew to five vehicles he diverted to long distance routes plying the Masvingo-Birchenough road but he says currently the sector is affected by the on-going cash shortages in the country.
    "Because of the crippling cash shortages very soon we will introduce electronic payment system in the sector in order to circumvent the problem which is threatening the viability of our businesses," he added.
    He also said the passenger transport sector is no longer as viable as it used to be because most boarding schools have acquired their own buses and no longer rely on hiring which was a cash cow during school trips and opening days.
    Mazarire is married and the couple is blessed with two children.//Feature

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