Rumbidzai Matemachani, a Zimbabwean entrepreneur building a unique footwear and accessories brand  — Lionesses of Africa

What inspired you to start your company?

After graduating with a degree in footwear and accessories from Polimoda Institute in Florence, Italy, I was faced with the difficulties of finding employment. I decided to create my own company and move back home to Zimbabwe. I launched my first collection in December 2015. The business grew and the next hurdle was meeting demand. I then hired and trained 3 employees and put systems in place to allow myself the opportunity to focus on building and exposing the brand to new markets whilst the employees grew their skills. This also allowed me to create new collections and reach larger markets and produce larger quantities.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Rungano Rwedu prides itself in creating high quality luxury goods that are handmade in Zimbabwe. They are unique and usually one-of-a-kind pieces. We also take pride in uplifting the rural community in which we operate by creating employment for women and youth who are interested in learning hands-on skills.

Tell us a little about your team

Our workshop is located in Hwedza Zimbabwe on Greenbanks Farm. Our team consists of 2 women from the farm compound and one young 18-year-old man who recently finished his secondary education. I decided to hire individuals who lived in close proximity to me and those who had skills but no opportunity yet of finding decent employment. Our team is small but effective. They have unlocked skills inside themselves that have allowed them to grow and be creative while working in a friendly down-to-earth workspace.

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