Sunday 27 February 2022


At the 30km peg from Zvishavane town is Mberengwa centre where there is an eye-catching US$300 000 building complex.

The state-of-the-art complex has been described as a pacesetter in the district and has earned itself the name “Dubai Mall of Mberengwa’.

It is owned by Ms Sylvia Choruwa (44) of Isheanopa Group of Companies.

The shopping mall comprises 32 shops, offices, a manufacturing block for upholstery, tailoring and detergents making for Small to Medium Scale Enterprises.

From humble beginnings, Ms Choruwa popularly known as Amai Isheanopa, is now among successful businessperson.

Ms Choruwa, a holder of just an Ordinary level certificate, has won several local business awards in recognition of the role she is playing in uplifting small to medium enterprises in Zvishavane and Mberengwa.

“I was born in Chikomba district and I have won several business awards at regional and national level. I have 56 workers and I’m planning to construct more shopping malls in Zvishavane and Mberengwa. My goal is to provide operating space for SMES in small towns,” she said.

Ms Choruwa said she heeded President Mnangagwa’s call for citizens to take a leading role in developing their own country (Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo).

“I am happy that as a businesswoman, I am contributing to the country’s vision of attaining an upper middle income economy by 2030,” she said.

Ms Choruwa said the shopping mall can accommodate up to 100 SMEs drawn mainly from Mberengwa and surrounding areas.

She said growing in business has not been rosy as she started as a vendor.

“I had to overcome many challenges to be what I am today. I started by owning a small vending table at a flea market in Mandava suburb in Zvishavane in 2008. I was selling clothes and there were a lot of challenges as this was during the hyper-inflationary environment and drought,” she said.

A devoted Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (Zaoga) Forward in Faith member, Ms Choruwa said church programmes like Talents/ Matarenda contributed to her success.

“Matarenda programme taught me entrepreneurial skills and this coupled with hard work saw me graduating from a vendor to a shopping mall owner,” she said.

“I started my company in 2009 and opened three shops in the Zvishavane Central Business District under the name Isheanopa Investments. I later expanded my business to include hardware, clothing shops, real estate and also ventured into farming,” she said.

The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) honoured Ms Choruwa for contributing to the growth of SMEs.

Ms Choruwa has won many business awards which include the ZNCC Midlands Chapter Business Woman of the Year 2019, the 2020 First Runner Up Business Woman of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at National Level, Megafest Masvingo Business Woman of the Year 2020 and Entrepreneurial Outstanding Business Person at National Level among others.

Ms Choruwa commended the Government and the Minister of Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, for supporting women in business.

“Government must continue supporting women entrepreneurs through providing affordable funding.

“I also want to appeal to councils to provide land to women in business,” she said.

Ms Choruwa is married to Mr Benjamin Chiramba and they have two children. Chronicle


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