KwaMaiguru culinary joy
Kwamaiguru takes Gweru by storm
IN GWERU the name Kwamaiguru is synonymous with African traditional food such as mazondo, mabhonzo and good customer service.
Services offered by most food outlets in the Midlands provincial capital generally leave a lot to be desired.
Enterprising Veracious Mhanga successfully took advantage of ‘this incompetence’ in the town’s food outlets and started a giant food outlet trading as Kwamaiguru.
Mhanga, 35, told the WeekendPost that establishing a business like Kwamaiguru is not a stroll in the park.
“Kwamaiguru is now a brand and it required both patience and focus to carve it,” said Mhanga, adding the open air outlet started as a joke.
“When I started this business in 2012, I never imagined becoming as big as I am today. I started serving less than 20 customers a day.
“Because of our excellent service, we offer the number of daily customers ballooned to a few thousand and the problem we are now facing is space,” said the mother of six.
Currently the place is running with two large gazebos with beautiful wooden furniture.
Kwamaiguru is located along Gweru’s Main Street and food offered on daily basis include sadza, roasted chicken, beef, sour milk, beef knuckle bones, beef offals and rice.
“Our thrust is on traditional dishes but of late our customers have implored us to open a grill which specialises on breakfast,” said the former cross-border trader.
Mhanga, is married to a first born Derek Mindisi hence the title maiguru (sister-in-law), gets most of her customers from football teams that regularly use Ascot Stadium such as Hard Body, Black Rhinos, Caps United, including their fans.
“Some of my customers are Midlands State University students, especially those on block-release programmes,” she said.
A number of schools in the province have fallen in love with the brand hence they have hired the company to provide food at all their functions.
“Owing to the increasing demand from schools, we have introduced outdoor catering.
“In this department, we have a mobile kitchen and a number of vehicles just meant to execute the job,” she said.
Mhanga is planning to expand her business empire along the bustling Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway.
“We get most of the proposals from our customers and the idea of setting another outlet along Bulawayo-Victoria Falls came from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) employees who are also part of our customers,” she said.
Mhanga said her secret to success lies in her excellent customer service and the provision of hot and sizzling spice-free meals.
“Here the food does not have spices and we make sure that we are strict on that and as a result people love our food.
“We will never run short of refreshments here,” she said.
However, one wonders who Mhanga is.
She is a person of humble beginnings. She was born in Shurugwi area and attended Hanke Mission School.
Because she failed her ordinary level dismally, she did not proceed with school any further.
As a result, she ventured into cross-border trading where she raised small amounts which she used as capital for the food business.
Through her food business, Mhanga bought a house in the upmarket suburb of Athlone in Gweru.
Currently, the joint boasts 32 employees and she advised other women not to despise their humble beginnings but to remain focused.
“Women generally are hard workers and I urge them to think big and come up with something meaningful for them to be counted in society.
“They should remain focused and they should know that self-pity is dangerous. They must prepare to take risks,” said Mhanga.