A chef driven by passion

HARARE - She is only 28 but Chef Bolivia Mabwe, the managing director of Bolivia Events operating as Bolivia Hire and Catering Services (BHCS) has set her sights on conquering not only Zimbabwe but the region and beyond.

Driven by the desire to bring the oomph into all events and gatherings, Bolivia reckons she is living her passion and the world is yet to see the best of her.

“I am very passionate about what I do and like the wise have it, if you follow your passion you won’t work a single day. Everyday when I wake up, I am looking at ways to improve my events management and catering service business.

“If we are not handling an event then I am either researching or attending value adding workshops and trainings that can help enhance my scope of business,” she said.

With a staff complement of 25 contract workers; 13 of whom are chefs and 12 waitresses,  Bolivia Hire and Catering Services is one of the most sought after events management and catering brands and Bolivia believes it's all thanks to their workmanship and quality customer service.

“Whenever we get a contract we give our best through signature services that are for a long time imprinted on the hearts of our clients.

“We don’t just provide a service, we live an impression and touch lives through the sumptuous meals and up to the mark all round services,” she said.

A hospitality and tourism degree holder from Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Bolivia believes she is living her calling and is not leaving anyone out in her quest to inspire the world through unparalleled events and catering service.

“While some business are elitist or outright low-class pronged, we are all encompassing in that we try to give all our clients the best regardless of their status.

“We have the best service for low income earners and again the best for the high end. We don’t give shoddy services because passion is what drives the business,” she said.

The proud mother of one said she continues to get inspiration from her beautiful daughter Teana who is already following in her footsteps.

“I am a mother of one beautiful girl and just knowing that I must provide for her keeps me going. She is already showing some entrepreneurship acumen and has hinted on becoming a successful businesswoman in her own right,” said Chef B as she is fondly known. 

The self-driven events and catering services boss also revealed that her passion has made her a complete person through the various events she caters for. 

“We cover various types of events. The happy ones like weddings, birthday and graduation parties and bridal showers to name a few.

“We also have the formal ones like corporate events as well as the sorrowful ones like funerals and memorial services and these have made me a complete person through the various emotions I go through with each event we manage,” she said.

The business idea which Chef Bolivia conceived in 2013 before going professional in 2016 has become a source of livelihood for 25 people 14 of whom are women and for that she is grateful.

“Whenever I look at my team, most of whom are women looking after their families, I feel encouraged to do more.

“Families are being fed and children send to school and I am grateful to my clients for the support and indeed God for the blessings and inspiration to soldier on,” she said.

Bolivia, a third born in a family of 5 lost her mother in 2018 and father in 2005 and says she is grateful to her siblings for the support. 

“My young brother is an Information Technology (IT) student and is always on call to support me when he is available.

“My sisters on the other hand help with managing the pressure because sometimes we are managing two events on the same day and I need someone running the other event. 
They are indeed a blessing and I thank God for them,” she said. 

A Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali) alumni under the business and entrepreneurship track, Bolivia also thanks the Africa-wide network for adding value to her business drive.

“I am an alumi of the former American president, Barack Obama founded Young African Leaders Initiative network and I believe being part of that month long training at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in Pretoria helped give direction to my business,” she said.

The highly passionate events and catering boss also revealed she is a philanthropist who believes in giving back to the community.

“Our business thrives on the support of the community and now and then we organise charity programmes to empower communities. Sometimes we take money from our profits to buy goods and groceries for the disadvantaged and in some instances we actually go cook meals and share with them at their various orphanage and elderly homes,” she said.

Bolivia was part of a recent outreach by Yali alumni to a children’s home in Marimba Park, Harare where they donated foodstuffs and money for administration purposes.

As the year comes to an end, Chef B is grateful for the remarkable strides in 2018 and hoping for better prospects in 2019.

“We recorded remarkable growth in 2018 and we thank all those that supported our work. We have great plans for 2019 and we are hoping for bigger and better rewarding contracts so that we grow our enterprise and in turn empower families and the marginalised who look up to us,” she said

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