Mutara, the ambitious young entrepreneur with grand aspirations

Mutara, the ambitious young entrepreneur with grand aspirations

Desberia Mutara of Deluxe Ranch is still ecstatic after an achievement in her entrepreneurial journey.

My Afrika Magazine Columnist, Sympathy Mangwenya Sibanda sat with her to hear more about her journey, aspirations, and challenges. *Desberia Mutara (DM), Sympathy Sibanda (SS)

SS: Welcome to My Afrika Magazine where we profile movers and shakers and celebrate the beauty of being African.

DM: Thank you, Sympathy. I’m truly honoured.

SS: Invite our readers a bit into Desberia’s life?

DM: Desberia Mutara is a 33-year-old woman, first born in a family of 4. I was born and grew up in Rusape, rural area. I was born to peasant farmers and my desire for more in life made me take education seriously.

SS: Interesting. So, did you at any point transition into the city?

DM:  I always knew that I needed a way out of poverty and education was my ticket. It was my only way to change the narrative of poverty. I consistently came first in my classes, and especially I relocated to Harare for education. My parents realised to give us a better life, they had to sacrifice for us to go to Highfields, where I continued my education from Chipembere Primary, to Kwayedza High School for O’level and Highfields 1 High.

SS: Did this sacrifice pay off?

DM: It really did! During my A levels I scored 18points. Unlike these days where children can write as many subjects as they can, I remember having a hard time convincing my headmaster then that the 4 subjects, despite not having teachers were attainable. The 18 points, including my leadership ability and responsive community engagement opened up opportunities for me to be accepted into the prestigious Joshua Nkomo Fund, a privilege I am still in awe of up to this day. I would not have been afforded the opportunity to go to tertiary without them.

SS: Impressive! Go on…

DM: I graduated with an Honours in Accountancy from the University of Zimbabwe. I am now an MBA holder from MSU and a Certified Chartered Accountant.

SS: That’s laser focus. How did you get into entrepreneurship?

DM: Ever since I realised, I needed to break the cycle of poverty in my family, I knew the answer was being a business lady. I had no idea in what area, but the passion burned so much in me that I began selling sweets in grade 6 which attracted a beating from my father. The passion did not die as I ended up being the CEO of my high school Junior Achievement Company.

SS: No pain, no gain, right?

DM: Haha thats right. So, after school I got into employment, and I was heavily involved in several network marketing where I reached manager in three of them. This gave me the confidence that I can set up and run a company.

SS: And goat farming? What path led you there?

DM: When I was in between employment, I had ample time to put my business ideas in writing and goat farming became my number 1 idea. I never realised that growing in the communal areas as a peasant farmer’s child, herding cattle and goats had so much influence on me. I fell in love with that business naturally. With the support of my parents, we got our first batch of 20 Matebele goats and that was the birth of Deluxe Ranch Pvt Ltd. My father got trained and is currently the Operations manager.

SS: The same father who beat you for selling sweets at school is now reaping the beautiful reward of raising an entrepreneur. Any mentors along the way?

DM: Oh definitely. I realised that information is power, and I enlisted the help of a personal coach: Zivai Matondo and learnt a lot about digital marketing from SMEs from Tofara Online.

SS: How unique is farming business compared to other enterprises?

DM: Farming as a business is way different from farming for subsistence. Before I started on boer goats, I had never seen one. Boer goats grow fast and are very good meat source. Majority of cattle in Zimbabwe are dying from diseases e.g. January disease but people still require protein sources, and to help fight against hunger and poverty in line with SDG2.

SS: What have been your strides in this business?

DM: As Deluxe Ranch, we have managed to grow our goats to over a hundred and we have around 70 sheep. We also managed to buy a grinding meal and dehuller in line with making own stock feed. To supplement our animals’ diets, and people: we have also drilled a borehole which is working as part of our nutritional gardens programme.

SS: Any networking forums on your path?

DM: I am happy that I got training from Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) under USAID. In May and June 2023, I was selected among the eight Zimbabweans where I graduated in the Business and Entrepreneurship class. The experience gave me the African perspective in business and mostly, a wealthy of networks across SADC.

WhatsApp-Image-2024-01-28-at-22.23.14-1-e1706594522447 Mutara, the ambitious young entrepreneur with grand aspirations

SS: Let’s also talk about the competition you won.

DM: On 12 December 2023, I came up 2nd in the Pitch competition by Empower Bank.  It was an honour for our company to be recognised locally for our efforts as Deluxe Ranch. Calls had been made to submit pitch decks and ours was selected among the best 10, where we later battled it out for the prize. We now have a relationship with the bank and where capital was delaying our growth, we are happy it will change our narrative. The 1,500usd we got, will help beef up our Boer goats stock to increase our supply.

SS: Any female role models in your sector?

DM: Even if women account for 70% of labour force, agriculture is a male dominated industry. Land is still heavily skewed in the hands of males. As a female farmer, I look up to success stories of other females who have taken the business by storm. My role model locally is Dr Divine Ndhlukula. She is a trailblazer in the agricultural arena.

SS: What’s the bigger vision?

DM: My vision is to see Deluxe Ranch grow to be a choice supplier of stud livestock to the farmers and quality meat to the consumers. Our aim is to value beneficiate as we look into healthy options of cheese and baby formula. I believe, this is just the beginning of Deluxe Ranch.

SS: You are an Impressive role model and exemplary African. Thank you for your time and all the best on your journey.

DM: I’m truly honoured.

Sympathy Sibanda

I love life, am a creative, a published author and a serial entrepreneur. Award winning Co-founder at Amandla Brands.

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