The Sunday News
Hazel Marimbiza, Sunday Life Correspondent
ABOUT 10 years ago, Jerry More Nyazungu was one of the many street vendors operating in Harare, but is now a cut above the rest.
Back then, he used to sell airtime, sweets, doughnuts and bananas. Now he is the founder of Zimbabwe’s fastest growing consultancy firm called M&J Group. M&J Group was founded in January 2015 and now has 43 employees.
“Our work involves offering services to other companies such as human resources training, marketing softwares, public relations softwares and sales softwares,” said Nyazungu.
But his journey to success has not been rosy.
“Being a vendor was hard at times. Firstly, I felt discouraged because people always said I was not capable of doing much because I’m asthmatic. On top of that I had to be in streets during winter despite the fact that I never had a jersey to wear. Also you know most people look down on vendors, so some people looked down on me and others would randomly insult or shout at me,” said Nyazungu.
As if these obstacles were not enough, at times customers would not pay Nyazungu his dues. But determination nudged him along. While he was selling in the afternoon, in the evening he was studying — he was studying accounting and business law. After completing his studies he worked as a bookkeeper and then later on founded M&J Group single-handedly.
“When I was building M&J Group at first people did not trust that I was capable of building their businesses but I soldiered on and did my best until I established good relationships with several clients,” said Nyazungu.
He now gets calls from company owners from all over the world including countries like America and Australia seeking his services. He has been through a lot, and he has learnt a lot such that he cannot keep the knowledge to himself. And the best way for him to share the information was to pen a book. On 12 July this year he published the book titled ‘‘The Chartered Vendor’’ which entails his business journey.
“In the book I share with entrepreneurs my story — how I managed to survive — how I managed to become successful. They should never give up especially now during Covid-19 because most people are saying things are hard but they should know that they can still make it even during a crisis,” said Nyazungu.
The book also carries a lot of lessons such as the importance of sales and marketing and building a team. Currently Nyazungu has sold 320 copies with the help of popular artiste Sandra Ndebele, who is one of his brand ambassadors.