Keep your dream alive, do not let the surroundings shape your future!

Being born in a family of 3 girls, I grew up in rural area with my grandmother. After the divorce of my parents and we could hardly eat twice a day. Life was so tough, I went to school with no shoes, uniform, tuck or soap to bath. I even used “ruredzo” during weekends to make sure my body is thoroughly washed preparing for the coming week.

I was using my sister’s dress for school, which father was given after retrenchment from a cloth manufacturing company. I only later attained a school uniform when in form 3 after the headmaster of the school asked grandmother to buy uniform since the school had chosen me to be Head girl.

I later joined Health Harvest Foods in 2001 as a helper, under the supervision of other 2 workers left the organization 2 years later. Health Harvest started as a small restaurant with no company truck to transport daily fresh foods. Being the most junior staff, I had to pass through the market daily to buy vegetables. I recall sometimes putting vegetables in a bag and carrying them on my head and when the tomatoes broke the soup would drip all over my body, spoiling clothes, and when I got to work it became a requirement to wash them again before the start of the day.

Initially had a passion for hair dressing and did not imagine being capable of hospitality or a management career but all I can say Mrs. Matemachani (CEO) availed my talent through many ways. One was working rotations where she made us rotate the duties weekly; she required us to experience all positions of work. From her teaching experience easily saw potential in people. She began to train me as a supervisor and within 5yrs at work I held a business administration course, drivers licensed, various waitress courses and experiences from other institutions where I was interned to gain more of industrial experience.

Working under a great mentor helped me to develop more skills like being etiquette, confident, analytical skills and not being part of small minded groups. This made me concentrate more on personal development, all business areas and optimising on building clientele. My manager often also consulted me for suggestions which made me more courageous to speak and reach out to more people in my work. Most people would think I was her young sister because of how I could express a point almost as clearly as she would J.

I have grown from an initial qualification of 5 ‘O’ Levels, upon encouragement and teaching to other short courses and even now I am in my third year for Bachelors in Business Management and Information at Catholic University. Now my children can choose what to eat, which I never had the option.

Remembering all this now makes me shed tears of joy, I look back at my life and I see God’s Grace. I am now the operations manager for 4 permanent sites and various others and with different work setups. Health Harvest Foods is an amazing place to work and you learn more if you are willing. Thumps up to the team who work tirelessly for the organization is today. Be relentless, full of ambition and keep on pushing!

Lizzie Kuguyo Health Harvest Foods Operations Manager

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