Masvingo businesswoman wins US$1 000 in competition


MASVINGO – Rudo Shoko, the proprietor of Lulu Events Management in Masvingo has won US$1 000 in the prestigious Ndine Thaza business competition sponsored by Bizani Media.

Ndine Thaza is a reality game show in which real life entrepreneurs showcase their businesses and practice the art of business planning and was started in April 2018. The competition’s objective is to expose startups and help them to promote their businesses on a national scale.

Shoko won in the Season 5 of the competition which started in September 2019 and ran until this month and is the first female competitor to snatch the award. The first season was in April 2018. The award for Season 4 last went to Wilfred Mutakiwa of Harare.

In addition to the prize money, Shoko walked away with free advertising on ZBC for 3 months and social media marketing from Bizani Media.

To enter the competition, one has to have an operational business, and one applies by engaging Ndine Thaza on social media handles expressing desire to participate. Ten shortlisted entries are required to submit a business proposal with a SWOT analysis on how they would use US$1 000 to grow their business.

The competitors defend their business strategies on the national broadcaster, ZBC with judges giving marks.

The company that comes up with the best proposal wins the top prize.

The first runner-up in Season 5 was Paidamoyo Mapanga also of Masvingo who is into soap making business. She garnered 745 points against Shoko’s 793.

The second runner-up was Joseph Musengi of Masvingo who is into solar and electricals services with 709 points and the fourth position was Faith Mavima of Chiredzi who is into Accounting services with 705 points and the bottom of the top five is Boldwin Magumbe of Chiredzi who is into driving school business with 675 points.

The Mirror had a chat with Shoko who said that she benefitted immensely from her participation in the competition.

“We are into event planning and management. We provide tents, PA systems, decorations and also do organize corporate functions.

“We recently expanded into the manufacturing including production of office and home furniture. Some of the products that we make are desks, filing cabinets, couches, headboards, TV stands and wardrobes,” said Shoko.

Her business improved tremendously from the publicity she got through the competition.

“The exposure has been overwhelming, we have got so many new clients stemming from the TV episodes we featured in Ndine Thaza,” added Shoko.

Shoko started her company in Masvingo in 2009 and it is located at number 101 Robert Mugabe opposite Chevron Hotel. She sells her products to both formal and informal sector and her future plans are to establish Lulu Events as the biggest events planning company across Zimbabwe.

Shoko also recently came top in the World Leaders Summit competition on Entrepreneurship. The competition involved 96 African countries.

She was scheduled to travel to India for the award ceremony but this had to be suspended owing to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Shoko was born in 1990 in Bulawayo and she attended Mpopoma High School and Mucheke for her secondary education and thereafter she trained with Prowerb Women Entreprenuers in Harare and also did online courses on event planning and management with South Africa School of Weddings in order to enhance her professional skills in event management.

Lulu Events Management has four employees and two attachees. She is married to her business partner Jeffrey Shoko. They have four children; Anita, Aisha, Anisha and Jefferson.

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