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Nigel Chanakira: Business Mogul Reveals his Passion, Mistakes

Business acumen exists in the Chanakira family. Nigel Chanakira’s father and brother once operated a transport business and later diversifie...

Business acumen exists in the Chanakira family. Nigel Chanakira’s father and brother once operated a transport business and later diversified into retail shops.

The young Chanakira worked in the shops part-time. After failing to get into medical school, his first passion, he later opted for economics. When he graduated, he worked for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) as an economist.

By @Comic24Derick

Years later, after forming a successful business empire, Chanakira still recalls that episode that transformed his life. 

“Today is that accumulation of that thought process. We want to create entrepreneurs and influential young people,” he said during a seminar in 2020.

The word of God is the cornerstone of Chanakira’s daily life. “I read the word of God and seek His guidance in everything that I do. I have my successor that I use to plan every day,” he revealed.

Entrepreneur Chanakira’s Twitter profile is fascinating. First, he is a Christian, radical Zimbabwean and pro-poor. 

And he blocks the uncouth from his social media platforms. The depiction is curious for a man who is candid about his beliefs. Furthermore, he is a staunch Liverpool supporter.

The business mogul has a knack to identify, develop global leaders and shapers. In 1986, aged only 26, he was nominated to travel to Switzerland for a global business forum. 

“In 1986, I was picked by the World Economic Forum as a future global leader and went to Davos,” recalled the businessman.  
Enteprenuer Nigel Chanakira 
“The opportunity opened my world to contacts that I could not have met, including Bill Gates and we did not know how to behave. It was a rare opportunity to be elected as a global leader.”

The Davos journey shifted his mindset forever. “We lacked experience and exposure and I wanted to change that. “I wanted to sponsor and send more Zimbabweans to network, change and take ideas on these platforms.”

In 1994, he ganged with three other people to launch Kingdom Bank. Five years on, the bank was listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, after a merger with a discount company in 1999. Thereafter, the company went global as Kingdom Meikles. 

Disputes with the majority stakeholders resulted in a demerger in 2011, and he sold his shares in 2013 and exited the financial sector to pursue motivation.

As the Chairperson of Success Motivation Institute, he is pursuing his earlier calling to mould aspiring entrepreneurs. The institute aims to develop confident, effective leaders that can compete on local and international stages.

Offloading his shareholding stake was one of his biggest mistakes, Chanakira admits. “I didn’t have to sell Kingdom, I sold Kingdom to AfrAsia and when I look back in 2020 in hindsight, I should have been smarter even in the way I dealt with that particular incident,” he said, adding that there were too many disputes and stress in the organisation.

Owning an aircraft was another blunder for Chanakira. “I have owned aircraft that is not profitable. It was for fun and it was a good idea. I had six aircraft at one point. Those are mistakes. Why? Because I was just fascinated with aircraft,” he said.


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