Chenesai Monera: Passion, Purpose & Photography

Photo provided by Chenesai Monera

Chenesai Monera is a creative and socialite at heart who enjoys the company of people, positive influences and all things media-related. She is also a Christian and enjoys God and the things of God.

Tell us about your family and background.

I was born and raised in Harare, and I’m the lastborn in a family of three. I have one amazing half-sister, and I’m privileged to have eight amazing nephews and nieces.

My dad was a banker, a subsistence farmer and had a local store by the growth point at our kumusha (village) in Mhondoro. My mum is a teacher and a side hustler of note. I guess that’s where my interest for business and my work ethic come from.

How did you manage to establish and grow your business?

I think my advantage with regards to growth would be summarized by four things:

  1. Faith in God firstly, which has helped me find faith for my passions and has helped me in navigating some tough terrain.
  2. Support from my parents and siblings. Even at times where I couldn’t explain my reasons, they chose to step back or give me the benefit of the doubt but never wrote me off (it’s really important).
  3. Having an amazing a circle of friends and an amazing team at PXEL over the years has been crucial. It has added so much value to who I’ve become. These guys pick up the broken pieces on days I have not felt the best and in battles that everyone else doesn’t know about.
  4. Finally, just having an attitude of prioritizing and practicing consistency, hard work and intentionality. Respecting clients and their money is really important. Also, being humble is underrated. It’s a good virtue to have. It allows you to apologize when you’ve made mistakes and also allows you to learn from mistakes.

Tell us more about PXEL.

PXEL an eclectic brand tailored for people who want their memories to last for generations and beyond an event. It’s a team of creatives dedicated to professionalism and excellence whilst maintaining an easy-going nature and ensuring that every client feels special either before, during or after a PXEL service. We are now into photography, video and sound for weddings, family and corporate.

What are the challenges you faced during your start-up?

I think learning to handle the pressure of learning vs the pressure of leading vs the pressure of becoming. People generally assume you know everything and you are experienced, especially your team and clients. But most things you are also learning, and I have had to learn a lot of things on the job.

Another challenge has been knowing and understanding the vision but lacking the resources to bring it to reality because of certain constraints. Sometimes God’s ways say not now, but you feel like now or maybe in six months or a year. It’s gruesome.

The most difficult challenge has been the human capital aspect. It’s training and retention. It’s very hard initially to train people and even more challenging to recover psychologically when you teach people wholeheartedly, but they decided to pursue other things that are not PXEL for various reasons just at the moment they can now do the work with minimal supervision.

The state of the economy has been both an advantage and a disadvantage. There are other things that shouldn’t have taken much time or shouldn’t have been a great challenge, but this is our territory, and I thank God that He works out all things for our good. No experience is irrelevant.

What advice would you want to give to women who want to start companies at a young age, especially in a male-dominated field like yourself?

I would say scrap the whole mentality that you are a woman and you need preferential treatment. When God gives gifts, He doesn’t assign any gender role to your gift. As such, you need to believe that you have more than enough capacity to outwork the passion and vision that God has placed on your heart regardless of whether an industry is male-dominated or not. Just pursue excellence, consistency and integrity in all that you do, and you will do great. Be respectful to everyone and be consumed with being a better version than you were a day or week or month or two years before.

What are the major principles you consider as a woman in business?

  • Honour and respect
  • Integrity
  • Kindness
  • Stewardship

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