Dependable, resilient , versatile , patient,-are just a few of Peters many characteristics that mark him out as a leader and able manager. Peter s sales and marketing background stems from humble beginnings.
Peter was born in 1966 to migrant workers from Malawi who settled in Zimbabwe. He was the youngest of a family of 9 siblings. He attended primary school in rural Zimbabwe during the 1970s Rhodesian Bush War also called the Zimbabwe War of Liberation. Growing up in a large family made Peter tough and resourceful as he had to fight off his elder twin brothers who were about 3 years older. Because primary school was approximately 10 kilometers walking distance, Peter and his siblings had to leave home after curfew in the morning and return before sunset. Although many other children gave up school and joined the guerillas in Mozambique Peter’s parents emphasised that education was the future. As a result, Peter picked up English, Shona, and Chewa in his desire to become educated.
Peters memories of his early school days were very pleasant. “School was beautiful, playing soccer and running barefooted, making toys out of wire/clay, swimming in bilharzia invested rivers as well as imitating Bruce Lee in martial arts.” His mother would bake scones and send Peter to sell them at various events in order to supplement school fees as the salary earned by his father was insufficient. These early entrepreneurial activities sewed the seed for Peter to become a businessman. His mother discouraged him from playing with unruly characters, avoiding funerals (where one learned activism from one’s peers) and visiting areas where people died during the war. Peter’s father was a committed Christian who held a family prayer meeting each night before the family went to sleep. Using his bible teachings, his father encouraged his children to become self-reliant instead of depending on finding employment. His father referred to the exploitation he endured in the second world war with no benefits despite the risks to which they were exposed. Peter and his siblings attended these meetings out of respect for their father as everybody feared for the worst consequences.
Peter learned a number of skills from his father such as tailoring and carving wooden hoe and axe handles. Most of his siblings migrated to the city in search of employment or vocational education. The government declared that one should first go for national service to the Rhodesian army before getting employed but both parents discouraged their children from conscripting, praying that the war would end sooner. Sadly, his father passed away in 1978 at the height of the war but also close to ceasing fire in 1979. Peter could not continue school due to lack of funds and relocated to Harare where he took on various jobs to finance his further education through part-time studies. He worked his way up from shop floor to management level in clothing and furniture manufacturing industries. He also worked for a German private tour operator and university lecturer who also became his mentor.
The influence of Peter’s father meant that the Church became an important focus in his life. Peter spent his spare time in Harare with elderly people at church as well as going to movies and soccer matches in the 1980s with those of his age. Choral music, long distance running, and crafts became his favorite activities. His mother relocated to Malawi in the early 1980s where she passed away in 1987.
His passion for business activities was enhanced when the salary earned then was not enough to cater for his education. He subsidised extra funds by engaging in cross border trading going to Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa between the late 1980s and early 2000. Interactions with people from various cultures increased his knowledge of German, Afrikaans, Ndebele and Xhosa.
Peters zest for education saw him attain tertiary qualifications in Zimbabwe in Public relations, marketing and sales management (LCCI). In early 2000 he relocated to Cape Town and continued with part-time studies at UWC (Advanced diploma in management) through the assistance and mentorship of the then chief economist of Wesgro, whilst pursuing a cross border trade in arts and crafts as well. After graduating at UWC in 2007, he was employed as a shop assistant at Noordhoek selling arts and crafts.
In 2009 he became the marketing manager at African Home. Peter believes that African Home has greatly enriched his career since he has had to learn to be proficient at multi-tasking. To this end he has become adept at moving between showroom management, product development, customer relations, following up on independent craftspeople to meet deadlines and attending to global clients via emails.
In 2011, Peter enrolled for a marketing diploma at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology(CPUT) and graduated in April 2015. His ambition is now to enroll for an MBA. Peter is married to Loveness who lives with him in Cape Town . They have two boys Jurgen (19) and Todd (17) who stay in Zimbabwe. Peter always strives for self-improvement and loves positive incremental changes in life’s journey on earth.
African Home has been very fortunate to have a person of his caliber as a trusted and valued staff member.