Zimbabwe-born Tinei Chagonda is an audit manager at PwC South Africa, but in his spare time he also runs multiple interests in Zimbabwe, including a solar renewable energy business, a fuel transport and logistics business, and a fashion retail business.
When he was accepted at the University of Cape Town (UCT), he could not let the opportunity go to study at one of the best tertiary institutions in Africa.
‘Learning to manage the workload, balancing work with my social commitments and feeding my entrepreneurial spirit all at the same time was difficult,’ he says. ‘I co-founded the UCT entrepreneurs society in 2012 (which is still operating successfully) and I was running a resident tuckshop and cab business at the same time. Balancing this and striving to pass was one of my biggest challenges.’
Tinei believes the CA(SA) qualification is a vigorous journey that shapes your character, putting you through different phases that build perseverance, resilience and grit.
‘It equips you with the ability to make strategic and key financial decisions. It has given me confidence. When people know you are a CA(SA), they automatically give you respect, acknowledgement and their time as they are willing to listen to you. This has served me well as an entrepreneur.’
As a mentor at Endunamoo, the first black-owned and SAICA-accredited APC professional programme provider in South Africa, he aims to inspire and develop future black CAs(SA) through sharing his journey and experiences as a leader and entrepreneur.
His transport business aims to empower taxi drivers. ‘I was motivated by the desire to stop seeing taxi drivers go unrewarded after years of hard work. I developed a taxi operating model that gives drivers the opportunity to own their vehicle after a period of one year. This scheme has empowered many individuals and given them the capital to develop other aspects of their lives. It’s a model that indirectly solves one of the biggest challenges in the taxi industry – aggressive and dangerous driving. With the prospect of ownership of the vehicle transferring to them, the driver becomes more careful as they are incentivised to preserve the condition of the vehicle.’
Passionate about finding sustainable energy solutions, he has partnered with a group of young electricians and together they provide renewable energy solutions to households and corporates particularly in Zimbabwe where the regular supply of power is not consistent and power is expensive. This has been able to create jobs in an economy with over 90% unemployment.
In just five years, in a tough Zimbabwean economic environment, he has grown his clothing business from one to three boutiques in prestigious malls and shopping centres. While many retail shops have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has managed to keep afloat.
‘Within six months of joining PwC,’ he says, ‘I was selected along with 25 other managers from across the PwC South African region to be part of the coveted Leadership and Personal Enhancement Skills (LEAP) cohort for 2020. Selection to this special programme targets top-performing managers who have demonstrated strong potential to make a huge impact in the business and ultimately become future leaders of the firm.’
Tinei believes he has only just begun to have an impact on the world. ‘I have already displayed my ability to empower people and to provide employment. My passion to succeed is driven by my desire to give back to the world and to make the lives of many people transform for the better. My aim is to continue to get exposure, confidence, and an opportunity to spread my passion. I am to get the opportunity to meet like-minded people with the same energy to share ideas and change the world. People with the unique ability to solve real-life problems through business is exactly what we need throughout Africa. My dream is to apply business strategy to solve medical and healthcare issues, educational needs and transport and energy concerns.’