Last month, we kicked off our Curriculum Coach Spotlights series by featuring Carmen Morris—an extraordinary Curriculum Coach who has served the Partners Worldwide network globally, but spends the majority of her time serving our partnerships in Latin America.
This month, we turn our attention to Southern Africa to learn from Tendai Kashangura.
Tendai lives in Zimbabwe, a nation that has suffered economic turmoil for the past 15 years, fueled by political instability and an ongoing recession. The World Bank recently ranked Zimbabwe 159th—out of 190 countries— in “Ease of Starting a Business.”
In the midst of this daunting economic environment, Tendai is a bright spot.
He is a coach, mentor, visionary, highly-talented trainer, and an entrepreneur himself. We have been blessed to call Tendai our Curriculum Coach for the Southern Africa Region for the past five years, and under his guidance, we’ve seen great progress and growth through in our business training efforts in the region.
To date, Tendai has facilitated Train-the-Trainer events in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa, and Malawi (with Mozambique and Zambia coming soon). He has been intentional about training new trainers and certifying new Curriculum Coaches, who can replicate this work and bring it to the next level.
Tendai’s generous spirit and keen business insights have blessed our Southern Africa team—and our global training team—in innumerable ways.
Beyond servings as a Curriculum Coach, Tendai stays busy as the Managing Director of a business training and consulting business called Kashy Com Investments (KCI).
He also serves as a Management Consultant to AfricaWorks Zimbabwe (AWZ). AWZ is an local organization we have been proud to partner with for almost five years. With AWZ, Tendai has helped oversee microloans programs and savings groups that focus on bringing vulnerable communities out of poverty—with a specific focus on serving women, widows, and orphans.
In 2016, Tendai helped form Cashmate Savings and Credit Cooperative in Zimbabwe, where he is mentoring the Project Manager and the Management Committee Chairperson.
He is also the Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant for the AfricaWorks Swaziland (AWS) honey value chain project.
In his spare time, when he’s not overseeing savings groups or conducting business trainings, Tendai is a pastor and a regular volunteer at Zimbabwean orphanages—serving the most vulnerable in his own community.
He’s happily married to Dzidzai (coincidentally, a Shona word which means “learn”), and a father of three daughters.
A CONVERSATION WITH TENDAI
What do you enjoy most about being a Partners Worldwide Curriculum Coach?
I enjoy being able to speak on the business-as-mission concept, and see the way people come alive and get excited about that. Being a pastor and having an interest in the theology of work and business, this comes naturally to me, and I really enjoy it.
I also enjoy mentoring new trainers and coaching them as they become able to lead the business training on their own. We have trained about 20 new trainers, and I’ve mentored four of them closely, helping them become new lead trainers; this has been very rewarding.
What is your dream for PW’s business training in Zimbabwe? in Southern Africa?
My dream is that we’ll be able to reach out more to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Zimbabwe, and also to more farmers. These two segments will have a great impact on our nations in Southern Africa, and not just an economic impact but a multiple-bottom-line impact.
Right now in Swaziland, for example, we are training more farmers than anyone else. Currently, 121 farmers in Swaziland have completed the Partners Worldwide business training curriculum for micro-entrepreneurs. It will be nice to see that expand to other countries in the region.
In Zimbabwe, 277 people have graduated from business training (40 are SMEs, the other 237 are micro businesses), My dream is to expand the use of Partner Worldwide’s curriculum to serve more SMEs and agribusinesses.
What’s something about yourself that most people do not know?
Most people don’t know I am really involved in working with orphanages and the social sector in Zimbabwe; I’ve been visiting and serving orphanages for many years.
Even before I started using the Partners Worldwide curriculum, I was helping orphanages start income-generating projects and become more sustainable. We have seen great success in those orphanages and their profitability. They have even become big proponents of our training approach and some have become trainers themselves.
What do you want people to know about Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe is one of the most educated countries in Africa and has one of the highest literacy rates across the continent. The economy is mostly agro-based with a strong mining sector.
But often the issues of business and entrepreneurship training are limited in our education system. The unemployment rate remains very high at around 90 percent, with 45 percent of the unemployed estimated to be self-employed and operating in the informal sector. Most of the self-employed businesspeople are just surviving rather than thriving; they are doing business by default, and not entrepreneurs by choice.
We are working hard to address this gap through the Partners Worldwide business training and mentoring. Because we are an 85 percent Christian country, the biblical basis of business within the curriculum is well accepted here in Zimbabwe.
Stay tuned for next month’s Curriculum Coach Spotlight!