Humble Beginnings: From Neighborhood Vendor to Company Owner

Photo provided by Farai Mukamba

Farai Mukamba is a vibrant young entrepreneur from Masvingo, the founder of Fah Roh Candy Shop.
She attained an honours degree in marketing management from Midlands State University. She is also a life coach certified by the International Coaching and Mentoring Foundation. Farai started her candy business from scratch and has so much drive. She encourages and equips young women to start their own business ventures.

Tell us about your business.

I am into the distribution of confectionery. I supply a wide range of sweets and chocolates to school tuckshops, play centres, kids’ parties and to corporate in need of clients’ hampers. I’m so passionate about grooming start-ups hence my business works more with street vendors.

How did you start up? What motivated you?

I started this business in 2015 after a nasty experience in job hunting. It came a point when I reminded myself that instead of looking for a job, it was up to me to create one for myself. I had just acquired a marketing degree, and I really convinced myself it was just the right thing to make use of my academic qualification and build my own empire.

With the support of my family, I got into the idea of selling sweets right in my neighbourhood in Morgenster Mission. They encouraged me a lot, and yes, I got started.

What lessons did you learn when you started?

I learnt that everyone has the capacity to create opportunities for themselves. It’s not always that one should fold their hands and wait for manna. There is need to start something. A person can only learn as they go.

I also learnt that discouragements are part of the journey for start-ups. That should never let one give up. Instead, it should give you the urge to do more.

I also learnt that you will never be able to manage a thousand dollars if you cannot manage a hundred dollars. Starting small equips you for the greater things.

What advice would you give to fellow women who want to start a business?

Passion and skill are quite essential in every hustle. Start a business in an area you are passionate in. Simultaneously, one must skill themselves. Not even the sky is the limit; as long as you dream it, you will achieve it.

What shows you that you have grown in business?

I started as a street vendor. I would stock from Harare tuckshops then sell in Masvingo. By God’s grace, the business grew, and we managed to acquire a shop space in Masvingo town at Tsungai Complex.

We managed to register with the Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association (ZBCTA) for easy facilitation of imports. To date, we stock from South Africa stretching to Zambia.

It started as a one-man business, but to date, we have a number of agents in Masvingo town and a few in Harare.

What do you celebrate most about your business?

As mentioned earlier, I started very small in the small town of Masvingo. All I know is I had a vision to grow big and go international.

In November 2017, it was indeed a dream come true. I got an opportunity to share my journey as an entrepreneur with the world and how we started Fah Roh. It was an international event, and yes, this rural girl Fary had to speak at the World Youth Forum in Egypt. It was a huge milestone. We continue to hope for more opportunities for the brand Fah Roh.

What are your greatest strengths in the business?

Hard work and determination have been my ladder. I failed, I made mistakes, but I did not lose hope. I was determined to start all over again, and today I’m grateful I have seen it. Hard work pays.

Last but not least, our mantra is that of surprising our clients always. We make it a point to satisfy our customers.

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