A STORY OF PERSEVERANCE AND PERSISTENCE: THE HOUSING HUB FOUNDER’S STORY
Marvellous Nyongoro is a young businessman whose journey has proven to be one of persistence, provision and prosperity. At 24 he is an international brand with many awards to his name. His company, The Housing Hub has changed the face of students’ accommodation in Zimbabwe.
In an exclusive interview with My Afrika Magazine, he revealed that his journey has meandered in different ways and still continues to surprise him. He has continuously been a student of experience, correcting and building his brand each day.
“I never knew I would ever be an entrepreneur and didn’t even know what entrepreneurship was, I was a geek and my passion lay in inventions. I actually won a scholarship for my high school through some inventions I did. I thought I would be in a professional job like being an account. At my Ordinary level I wrote 15 subjects and had 11As 3Bs 1C,” the soft spoken entrepreneur explained.
According to the human design research, Entrepreneurship is about finding solutions and healing the pains of your customers. While starting out at Midlands State University, Nyangoro faced a big problem finding accommodation and even fell prey to bogus housing agents which led him to finding a viable solution.
My registrations at MSU was delayed so I had trouble finding accommodation. I realised it wasn’t just me but a lot of people, leading me to forming WhatsApp and Facebook groups to update each other on accommodation availability. The groups filled up fast until a friend of mine called Gabriel Manjonjo advised me to register this as a company.”
“My first PBC was registered in 2015 from funds given by my parents. I always thank them because even though they didn’t understand the vision I had, they supported and continue supporting me to this day. When things are hard they are always there to pray for me and just as they gave me that $60 to start my company they still believe in my vision.” Marvellous explained.
Hardwork and dedication saw the company grow at a fast pace becoming a household name in Gweru.
“Staring was the most difficult thing to do because people hate change. I had to go door to door asking for landlords to register their houses for the housing hub platform. We made many mistakes while trying to come u with an easy to use platform that is conducive for both students and property owners. Some would even say it to my face ‘hazvishande izvo mfanha’, it doesn’t work. Many doors were slammed onto my face but it made me even more determined to pursue the dream.”
Nyongoro went on to build his business at a rapid pace. The growth took him by surprise as he had no prior business knowledge.
“I had no mentor or knowledge to do with business, so my team and I made some errors we have had to learn from like growing too fast through stretching resources ,we faced problems when there was an internet shutdown, merchant codes were closed and the model was not perfect and we lost money in charges and refunds.”
Throughout the journey, Marvellous has learnt valuable lessons like having structures in place and systems in place and accountability systems.
“I have learnt that entrepreneurship is not all roses. You don’t work for yourself, you work for the people. At the housing hub I’m always getting calls from the landlords and tenants needing help. Its all about serving the customers. Failure is inevitable but that does not in any way define you or your capabilities.”
The housing hub is a multi-award winning digital marketplace that offers student accommodation services, creating a bridge between students, landlords and property managers run by the energetic Marvellous Nyangoro.