Pastor, Lawyer & Coach Joyce Mutangara Talks Leadership, Embracing Diversity & Keys to Success

Photo provided by Joyce Mutangara

With over 20 years of managerial experience in legal, administration and coaching, Joyce Mutangara is a lawyer, pastor and a Gallup certified strength coach who runs her own coaching business. She is leadership director and shareholder of Hikari Inc., which provides leadership training and support for businesses in tech and design.

Joyce has lived in Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique and speaks four languages – English, Shona, Swahili and Portuguese.

We caught up with Joyce to find out a little more about who she is a woman and what drives her.

Who is Joyce?

I was born in Tanzania. We moved to Zimbabwe in the early 1980s. My education was done in Zimbabwe, from primary level to university. One of the mishaps in the education system is that in high school, one is not given much of an option for your career path; it’s either medicine, law, accounting or engineering. I used to watch a certain programme on law, and I loved the way the people were so confident, and I thought to myself, ‘That is how I want to be like in the future.’ I did not know anything about strength or talent and the fact that humans are unique, and we cannot be anything we want to be but who we are [already].

I began to practise after my degree, and I thought it was all about imitating other people or other lawyers. But it did not work for me because I am unique, and I had to embrace my uniqueness throughout my journey.

One of my relatives introduced me to the strengths assessment called the CliftonStrengths. This revealed to [me] what my strengths are, and I realised I am more dominant in relationship building. So when I took that to my practice, it worked well because I would build a relationship with my clients, which was different from just a lawyer and client relationship. But because of the relationship built, the client would feel cared for, and we would draw closer to each other.

I was impressed by how embracing my strengths changed my life [so] I became a strength-certified coach. I have trained a lot of people in this regard from different sectors [such as] banking, tourism, etc. At the end of the day, it does not feel [like] work; it feels like a part of me, and I have to do all that I am happy about and good with.

I am a director and shareholder of a start-up, and I want to focus on doing more not only in Zimbabwe but around the world. Our aim is to help businesses, especially after the COVID-19 lockdown where most businesses have been crippled.

I am also part of the design and tech industry where our main focus is on women because of their nurturing nature and [that] can develop communities and also give women and young girls [the chance to] set their footprints around the world.

I would say my vision is to see Africa become a leadership icon, and my mission or purpose is to train millions of Africans to become reliable, authentic and caring leaders.

I am also a pastor. I encourage people to work on their faith and hope. I have been married for 18 years, and I have three inspiring children.

How do you manage multi-tasking, that is being a lawyer, pastor and certified coach?

The most important thing is prayer. Pray, pray and pray for God’s strength and wisdom. Secondly, one has to have a genuine concern [for] people and helping them. Multi-tasking requires one to understand their purpose, which is the alignment of talent, character and meaning of life. So for me, my strengths are inclined to helping people and also building healthy relationships with people. My talents also help unlock people’s potential, and that is how I find meaning in what I do. This helps me when multi-tasking. I do not find it strenuous at all, but a gift.

[With] regard to family, I believe one should share every detail with their family so that they do not feel left out or neglected. I always update my family on every move – who I am working with, what project I am working on – so that they feel part and parcel of my journey.

Multi-tasking also requires one to be very clear in terms of their priorities. For example, how do you start your day? First priority is God; hence I begin my day with prayer. And while praying, I include my other priorities, which is my family and loved ones.

What would you say are the challenges for African women in the digital industry?

The lack of resources [is] the biggest problem when it comes to the African woman. Due to the economic situation, the basic requirements [like] electricity, laptop, phones [are] lacking, and the women [don’t] have access to those. These are the basic requirements to a modern education. There is not enough information on the affordability and certification of the education required in this industry. There are a few, if any, trainers in this field, but we too as Africans can be part of [those] who can certify other people to be in this industry.

Photo provided by Joyce Mutangara

[In] other countries, children are [taught] basic computers or coding from a tender age, but in Zimbabwe, it is not that accessible. Already, our internet facilities are one of the most expensive, which makes it not easily accessible to everyone, which makes it a disadvantage already.

Tell us more about the articles you write. How do they help women today in business?

My blog is very self-reflective, and I believe it’s because we can only achieve outside of ourselves what we achieve inside of us. I attract who I am not who I wish there was.

It is so important to build the person I am on the inside. The confidence I need to attract the right opportunities [and] partners has to come from within. And you will be amazed when that happens because it is just working on your inner self. We are who we think we are.

Even the Bible states that, “As a man thinks so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). So what you think about yourself comes into existence. I consider myself to be a thought leader, so I would like to challenge thought processes because everything begins in the mind.

I am currently working on a leadership curriculum, and one thing I advise people is our mindset has to shift. If you want to change in terms of being better in certain areas of your life, then you first have to change your mindset. I also write about strength…in one of the magazines called “Sibo Lifestyle.”

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And strength is important in women in business because one needs to know the unique tools you have inside, and that helps you get things done. This will make you embrace your challenges, opportunities, even weaknesses, and you will not try to be someone you are not. When one works towards their strength, [it] improves the quality of life. That is, working at what you do best and enjoy makes you more engaged, and the level of productivity increases to 20 percent, which makes it even better.

What is your experience working with people from diverse backgrounds?

I love working with people from different backgrounds. There is so much learning from people [who] live differently from us. There is building of a bigger network that is international, and with globalisation and the digital age, we should be able to cater [to] clients [anywhere].

Living and dealing with people from diverse backgrounds enhances your confidence because you begin to realise that ‘oh yes, I can do this! I can sell to anyone and make business with anyone.‘ When we were living in Mozambique, we were living in a community comprised of different people from America, Brazil, etc. It was so mixed, but at the end of the day, you notice you all have unique qualities, and once you experience that, you appreciate humankind.

The bigger your network, the bigger your opportunities, and living with different people creates better living standards as you learn from other people and improve where improvement is needed. Africa might not be as far when it comes to development, but in terms of human psychology and wisdom, we have a lot to offer, including our ubuntu…

What do you consider to be some of your keys to success?

1. Be clear about who you believe in.

This is all about one’s spiritual state in life. Who do you believe in and look up to? Why do you think you are here? As people, we need help from the higher power, and I know where my help comes [from]. Where do you get your strength and peace?

2. Know your purpose and vision.

Why are you alive? My vision is to see Africa become a leadership icon, and my purpose is to train millions of Africans to become reliable, authentic and honest leaders. Be clear about your purpose and vision. This will also make you a disciplined individual. Even if opportunities come, before you partake, [ask yourself if] are they in line with your vision as you will be living to serve and fulfill your vision and purpose.

3. Know your strengths and find your voice.

Get on that road and find out what you love to do, what you enjoy the most. And through your voice, contribute positively to the world. What do you have to offer out there?

4. Find your tribe or team.

Being in a team is so much better than being alone. The difference between those who make it and those who fail is those who make it do not give up. And this is made better when you have a supportive team around you that can pick you up when you are down and can be your strength.

5. Commit and be tenacious.

Commit to your purpose and vision. Do not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. The only person that can direct your path is God; otherwise, human beings should not have a hold over your life.

6. Do something towards your goals every day.

What is some advice you have for women who want to follow your path?

1. Self-development.

Do not wait for anyone to tell you when to improve yourself. There are so many free online courses, and [you] can even watch YouTube tutorials. The more you develop inside, the more opportunities you have. Remember you attract who you are.

2. Appreciate the uniqueness of people.

We are not all the same. Once you start appreciating the uniqueness of people, you connect with them [and] create stronger and greater networks.

3. Align with people on the same journey as you.

There is a book by Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich.” He talks about having a mastermind group. Basically, this mastermind group are people who want to grow and meet once in a while to discuss how they can grow together and align with one another and help each other in what they are trying to achieve. I have one; we are four and meet once a month and update each other on what we working on and what we are aiming to achieve. We cheer each other up and lift each other when one is down.

4. Take care of your brand.

Whatever you put on your social media should align [with] your vision and purpose.

5. Never give up.

Be your own cheerleader. Persevere always. Sometimes it is the people closest to us.

6. Discipline and consistency.

Be consistent in everything you do, and you will make it.

You can connect with Joyce through:

LinkedIn: Joyce Mutangara
Facebook: Joyce Mutangara
Instagram: @joycemutangara

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