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Dr. Phillip Chiyangwa, the Defender of Ubuntu!

Dr. Phillip Chiyangwa answers to different nicknames. One moniker that clearly defines his persona is Mureza wehondo (the flag of war). For ...

Dr. Phillip Chiyangwa answers to different nicknames. One moniker that clearly defines his persona is Mureza wehondo (the flag of war). For decades, he has waged a war to empower the black majority.

In 1994, he ganged with the late Peter Pamire to create the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) to stir black business empowerment which was controlled by the white minority.

“Black empowerment tells me to defend what you have and agitate for more. We have pride in our own country and currency, that’s Ubuntu,” he said recently, adding that the nation’s mineral resources and land must benefit local people.

The property mogul’s growth was a battle, but the long road presents valuable lessons to aspiring entrepreneurs. From a tender age, Chiyangwa was destined for success.

“I would go into the villages to sell and buy goods. I was lucky I was not hurt because I travelled at night and I was young. It was not easy. I used my strength, brains and fought to be where I am today,” revealed the candid businessman-turned-politician.

Chiyangwa is a Jack of all trades, refusing to be confined. Earlier in life, he was a promoter and manager. “I was in promotions of boxing, music, wrestling, and football,” said the man who once a gardener.
Philip Chiyangwa
Dr. Phillip Chiyangwa

Through his promotional arm, he brought the late pop star Michael Jackson to Zimbabwe and sponsored local wrestling. On the footballing scene, Chiyangwa laboured on the grassroots, later rising to the top echelons of the game as the ZIFA president, and presently the COSAFA president.

The Native Investment Africa Group, his diversified entity, has interests in property development, education, engineering, and the medical field. “Some people want to use shortcuts to gain power. We must use the land that is in our hands. We have minerals to make the country money,” he said.

The entrepreneur believes everybody is born to succeed. “Everybody is born to succeed it is decreed in the bible. It is the circumstances that you create for yourself. Leave something, a legacy for your children,” revealed the businessman.

Unlike other leaders, he has displayed true leadership virtues. “I have been through hell on earth and have overcome. True leadership is about overcoming,” he said. And when he lost the ZIFA presidency in 2018, he handed power smoothly. On the regional stage, he aided to dethrone Issa Hayatou from the CAF presidency, after 30 years at the helm.

Chiyangwa has nurtured an array of business people and politicians. “Sometimes I wish I had his (Dr. Phillip Chiyangwa) kind of the heart of not possessing things. People don’t know Dr. Phillip Chiyangwa. He did not steal from anyone, rather he has empowered people,” testified Super Mandiwanzira.

“We can count many people that came through Affirmative Action Group (AAG) who are somebodies in politics, including Larry Mavhima, politician Saviour Kasukuwere, businessman Tendai Savanhu, transporter Esau Mupfumi, including myself,” added Mandiwanzira.

Through My own Boss (MOB) reality show, the vocal personality mentored aspiring entrepreneurs. A socialite of repute, Chiyangwa’s videos, twirling to local music generate social media debate that propagates Zimbabwean artists. The unrepentant patriot has vehemently defended the country, its resources, and policies to empower its citizens.

Transformation is part of his desires. “I am brutal in seeing a change in our schools. I am a realist. I came from a poor background and made it,” said the man who is a seventh born in a family of 14 siblings. Technology is vital to growth, according to Chiyangwa. “The biggest investment is in technology. The usage of building space is diminishing. We must be catching up with the times.”
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