I grew up in Budiriro, and I went to Glenview 5 Primary School and then Glenview 1 High School. I went up to O level and I was really intelligent, I always did well in school. However, I refused to continue with my education. My dad wanted me be a lawyer but I was really interested in showbiz. This was a childhood dream for me. I remember I always wanted to be famous so I used to do a lot in school, I used to sing and I used to participate public speaking. My love for the spotlight really started when I was growing up, a part of me always knew I was born to do bigger things. I am lucky that I followed my passion, and I pursued my dreams. Today I am living my dream and I am grateful for that.
I have faced quite a few hurdles in my life as well. I had people that couldn’t accept the fact that I was moving forward. There were people who wouldn’t support that. I have faced criticism from people and haters have been on my case a number of times. It helped me to keep my focus on the bigger goals, on what I really wanted despite what was going on around me. It was more of turning down the noise, and turning up my hard work mode. I remember when I went through a divorce from my husband, things were not okay for me. There was a lot of backlash from people. There was criticism, especially for me as a woman in the African society. It wasn’t easy to be a single mother with two kids and a lot of criticism in my plate. I had to gear up to be the mother and father to my two children, I struggled to make ends meet. I believe there is always an answer to your prayers, only if you believe and you have faith and hope in God.
I have managed to rise above that situation. I have become a brand, MaiTT, which I’m grateful for. I am now working for my children, it’s nice to be able to afford anything you want. I am not fussy about expensive staff or the expensive life, so that keeps, my finances healthy. I am a designer, I run a factory, where we have employees making clothes for people, I have built the brand MaiTT. In the process I keep falling and I keep rising, that’s just the story of every successful person. But with the determination in me, I am able to send my children to good schools, and give them the life that they want. It’s been quite a stretch for me to balance family life and showbiz. Sometimes I am not there for my children as much as I want to be, but I have made it a pint to spend as much time as can, after work and whenever I am free.
Support has come from my close family and my children. I believe that support is more than just the money, but they have been there for me during the tough times. My kids were my friends especially after I went through the divorce. I have quite a huge clientele for my designs, especially people from England, they support the brand MaiTT. Zimbabwe has really shown me some support which has been great. I have fans that I love much, who wait patiently each time I’m working on something, and give me the support after every launch. They have given me the biggest opportunities, which I’m thankful for every day.
I feel like in Zimbabwe we lack our own culture in fashion. If it is to change, we would have to start from the ground. Most times we see something from South Africa or the United States, we copy that because we that’s what’s trending, we don’t have our own unique style. Long ago people used to wear “nhembe” but we can’t wear that now, but hopefully someday we can spice that up as designers and take it up a level. Although now I can say we try to add an African touch to fashion just to feel that we are African, but I feel that more can be done.Fashion in Zimbabwe has a long way to go, and I hope that someday designers will be bold enough.
Being a business woman in Africa has been a challenge not only because of the pressure because we are undermined. Men do not take us seriously; they do not believe in us. Women are suppressed and discouraged in their ventures, but I feel like we need to strive harder.
We have to be strong as women, I love that challenge, and it is inspiring that we as women change the global market’s perspective on women owning successful businesses.Mai TT
Opportunities are really not the same, men are given more opportunities and even preferential treatment because women are believed to be weaker. More often than not, it is up to us as women to prove that we can do what a man can do and maybe even better. Sadly, but that’s where we are for now. I have come to love the competition; it keeps me going to know that I need to push harder and do more. I have learnt to not look at myself as a woman in business, but as someone in business, I just work hard for what I want.