Former actress turn to business

HARARE - There is much more to Tatenda Mavetera than her fabled role as Tendai Jari in Zimbabwe’s first soapie, Studio 263.

The veteran actress, who broke into stardom nearly a decade ago on the small screen, is now into farming and logistics in in keeping with her status as a jack of all trades.

"I grew up in Gweru and came to Harare in search of greener pastures," she said with a contagious smile.

Tatenda said besides being bewildered by city lights in the capital, she enjoyed life on camera and would have loved to continue acting full time were it not for the hyperinflationary period in the Zimbabwean dollar era.

"Life at Studio 263 was interesting and fun. Since it was first time there were a lot of new things I had to learn. It was an amazing experience worth learning to have a different flare to life's offerings.

"The hardships of the economy and networking made me realise the opportunity in clearing n logistics. It's an industry that you need contacts and references I got them from fellow friends and got into it," the mother of two told the Daily News on Sunday.

Tatenda, who also once tried her hand at Talk Show hosting - with her programme "Time out with Tatenda" which tackled day to day issues and gave people the opportunity to talk about their problems - owed her success in the logistics industry to her husband Eddie, who is also in the same business.

She said notwithstanding the thrills of running a successful business, challenges are abound in the male-dominated shipping and forwarding sector.

"Small companies are not given huge contracts and we are also constantly faced with challenges of companies not paying on time and the general liquidity crunch in the country has not helped the situation," she said.

The former Studio 263 actress, who temporarily bounced back into acting in 2013 featuring in the film 'The Zimbabwe I Know,' produced by renowned Nigerian star Ejike Asiegbu, noted that her passion for livestock and crops saw her venturing into farming.

"I got into farming because I love farming. I have realised that Zimbabwe being an agro- based economy, our fortunes can turn for the better if young people who have the energy get into farming to ensure food security in the country. Seeing this need after I had been allocated a farm I realised that I needed to effectively farm the land," she said.

Blessed with two sons Daniel and Darien Anesu Kandira, Tatenda said she enjoys reading and spending time with her kids in between her hectic schedule.

"I also enjoy spending time with the youths. I have a few leadership roles among the youths so I enjoy spending time with them, helping them out - through socialising - and bringing out the best out of them," she said.

And she has not completely cut ties with the film industry either.

"I also write concepts of movies on my free time. I have a lot of movie concepts," said Tatenda, who is also the vice president of the Federation of Young Farmers Club of Zimbabwe.

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