From Pain to Gain: How Recovering from Heartbreak Birthed my Business

Kerita “Kerri” Choga is a 35-year-old entrepreneur who is also a medical lab technician by profession. She is a free-spirited woman who enjoys life and is often misunderstood because of her opinions on life in general. She’s a passionate woman who takes business seriously and always pushes for the best.

Launched on November 12, 2020, her business, Tuma Kerri, offers several errand services that range from prescription pickup to airport pickups and drop offs, grocery shopping and personal shopping. They also include courier and delivery services; party planning, and project management. Tuma Kerri also provides appointment scheduling, wedding and anniversary planning assistance, moving coordination, de-cluttering, sorting, and organizing.

We caught up with Kerri to ask her about her booming business.

How would you describe yourself?

I am first in a family of four, born in Harare, Zimbabwe. I come from a supportive family who are my biggest cheerleaders. I want to bring solutions to problems. I realized that people in the diaspora struggle to have things done back home. I am also a skin enthusiast. Many women struggle with their skin. I also want to bring solutions to their problems.

How did you start your businesses?

I went through a heartbreak in 2020, and I thank God for giving me a business idea. I wanted something that could keep me busy. I needed something that would never make me miss someone over the weekends. Weekends for me mean work now – so are public holidays.

I was in a relationship I was hopeful would end in marriage, but the next thing I knew, I was dumped. I felt lost – felt like my whole world crashed. I went for three days without eating or sleeping. I remember saying, ‘God, I can’t be like this. I need to wake up and move on.’

I started brainstorming business ideas. One thing I said was, ‘I don’t want to sell anything I am not in a position to be selling.

It hit me I had been doing errands for a friend in Johannesburg and a cousin in Canada. They would always pay for my time and fuel. This was around 3:15 a.m. I was like, What if I have 10 more people like my friend and cousin? I can actually turn this into a business.

The next morning, I approached a good friend of mine with a senior position in the corporate world. I pitched my idea; the rest is history. I have a team that l work with. We have a small car and bikes.

What is your advice to other ladies?

Zvikoshese (value yourself). Never settle for less. Go after that degree. Go after that business. Never feel worthless because you are not married. Marriage is a beautiful thing but only with the right person. Keep working hard. One day it will all make sense.

What have been you major achievements?

Being recognized by Meta as businesses that thrived during COVID. It was the best moment of my life, especially businesswise. I also boast about having clients from all races, being rated one of the best premium errand services.

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