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Women of substance – ‘Hard work the best way to success’

Brain Murandu

ONE does not wake up one morning and become an outright success in a chosen career. Loveness Mashamhanda, the managing director of Uncovered Investments, has drawn inspiration for hard work fro

m her mother.

Besides managing Uncovered Investments, a company that specialises in supplying computer accessories, printers, stationery, scanners, hardware and commodity broking, 39-year-old Mashamhanda is also a finance director for M&H Educational Suppliers which has scaled heights in ploughing back profits into the community through sponsorship of sporting activities.

“My mother is and shall remain my role model. She was very strong and sold wares to make us survive. Our parents separated when I was still very young,” she said.

Mashamhanda (nee Katsande) grew up in the makorokoza (gold panners) town of Kwekwe before being lured by the bright lights of Harare.

She attended Mbizo high-density suburb’s Chiedza primary school from Grade One to Seven and later went to Amaveni secondary.

Born in a family of three – one boy, now late, and a sister, Beauty, based in the United Kingdom – Mashamhanda joined the Ministry of Justice in 1983, two years after completing her “O” Levels.

She became a court transcriber at Rotten Row Magistrates Courts where she worked up to 1992.

She resigned but still pursued the legal field by joining well-established legal firm, Scanlen & Holderness Legal Practitioners, from where she resigned in 2001.

“During my stay in the legal field, I did a marketing diploma (LCCI) at Open Learning Centre and then decided to switch over to business and formed Uncovered Investments in 2002, a company which I registered in February 2003,” she said.

The woman of substance says it was interesting to be a businesswoman as she works at her own time and is her own boss.

“Now I am an employer and can interact with businesspeople with the support of my husband,” Mashamhanda said.

She married Alex Elias Mashamhanda in 1987.

Mashamhanda has a soft spot for sports and she supports her husband as a finance director for the sporting activities which M&H sponsors.

“I was a very good athlete. In my days I played netball, competed in high-jump plus long-jump and participated in drum majorettes,” she recalls with nostalgia.

However, it appeared not cut-and-dried for her as she had an earlier inclination to emulate Florence Nightingale.

“I liked nursing very much but later realised that it was not my calling. I was still young and held nursing in high esteem and loved wearing a green badge denoting State Registered Nurse. That was also my mother’s (Senetty Mutoti of Gokwe’s Mateta area) wish,” remembers Mashamhanda.

She holds a vision of making great strides in the business sector.

“I wish to venture into the production sector by setting up factories. I want to go into production and distribution full time,” she says.

Mashamhanda embraces the tenets of a biblical quote from Ephesians 5 vs 22-25, which says that wives should submit themselves to their husbands as the husband is the head of the home just as Christ is the head of the church.

“Everything is with the support of my husband. Although I’m competing with my husband and want to beat him – brainwise not through brawn – I also complement his efforts,” she said.

She says she is not inclined towards joining any women’s rights organisations.

“I’m not ready to join some women’s fight for equality with men. But I acknowledge that women should stand up on their own and not be too dependent. I’ve got a role model (my mom) and that is why I do what I do. You have got to stand up and be counted as a woman,” says Mashamhanda.

Mashamhanda adds with finality: “I want to rise higher and higher – the sky is the limit. I don’t know where I’ll end but God will help me along.”

She says her husband enjoys her cooking while she also enjoys going to church and travelling.

Her warmth spreads around a family of five lovely boys and two beautiful girls.

She surprised many at Kwekwe High School earlier this month when, touched by the plight of Chinhoyi-based finalists Nemakonde Secondary School, who played bare-footed against Pamushana of Masvingo in the annual M&H Educational Suppliers Under-17 school boys tournament, she donated some money to the Mashonaland West boys.

Mashamhanda urged fellow women to work hard in whatever office the good Lord has put them.

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