‘I WAS BORN TO SHARE’
21 December 2017
. . . meet the 2017 businessman of the year
AGED only 35, Lewis Muzhara, carries himself with a humility rarely associated with success.
The young businessman is the CEO of LM Auctioneers and was recently named the businessman of the year in the auctioneers’ industry but when amongst people, he always makes it difficult to spot him because of the way he gels into the common folk.
His company was also awarded the company of the year in the same category and Muzhara is also a holder of an honorary doctorate in Philanthropy which he was awarded last year by the International Institute of Philanthropy. The young man’s profile keeps growing and all from very humble beginnings where he would walk almost 10 kilometres to school and back for 11 years.
Like every other young boy, Muzhara had many dreams growing up but being a businessman was not one of them – not until he was a full grown man.
“I went to school in Mufakose, at Rusununguko Primary and Mufakose 3 High and I used to walk from INGWE Farm which is 7-9km from Mufakose. That made me interested in Long Distance Running during my early years as I would also do well in those distances at school because of the mandatory daily training,” says Muzhara about his early ambition.
“However, soccer became my main sport as, by Grade 5, I was already making it in school’s first Team which was very difficult in those days but I broke the jinx by being the first student to make it to the A Team at a lower age. My coach and teacher, Mr Kawanzaura proved to us that it wasn’t about age at all but talent.
“Soccer became my best hobby and I never thought I will one day be a business person as I thought soccer would be my Bread Winner.”
By age 13, Muzhara had joined CAPS United juniors before doing his first job as a casual worker for CAPS after finishing his A-Levels at Denmark and Peoples Colleges.
It was not until year 2000 that Muzhara got a feel of the auctioneers’ industry when he joined Ferreira Auctions’ Accounts Department.
That is where he met a man that planted the seed of being an entrepreneur in the young Lewis.
“After the land redistribution exercise, my boss Ian Henry Ferreira told me, and i quote, “there is something you need to learn from a white man than just looking at one angle, learn what I have been doing and use it for your own benefit.” Those words inspired me a lot and in 2004 I registered my company and sat at home all the time being mentored by Mr Ferreira.
“I have never tried any other business, my mother and father taught me to be focused and understand life from a Godly point. Things are not done in a haste, patience and working hard and praying makes life simpler,” says Muzhara.
However, whilst he seems to have all the answers today, the still-soccer-crazy Muzhara accepts that it was not all rosy.
“In business you don’t just wake up and start making money. I always laugh at some young business persons around who go around clubbing, posting pictures of their riches on social media . . . that’s not life. It is important to be humble and to know someone doesn’t have what you have out there.
“I come from a normal family, neither rich nor poor because we had everything at home and never struggled to make the ends meet. But I Salute my mother for being the woman she is and has been, she made me love and respect women with all my heart.”
What makes Muzhara stand out is the support he gives to society – usually silently – and he says this has nothing to do with the money he is making with his LM Auctioneers business but more to do with his upbringing.
Muzhara has helped so many students to finish their University levels, paid school fees for many whilst some have opened companies through his help but his main achievement has to be the various donations he has made to Women’s football national team, The Mighty Warriors and he had only five words to explain why he helps the ladies who are so often neglected by the soccer fraternity,
“I just love those girls!”
Muzhara had to be forced to say more,
“I have assisted The Mighty Warriors on several occasions but I always do it with love not to get media attention saying I have done this and that. Even you came to me, not the other way round. So I would rather not be specific about how I have helped those girls. If you are curious, just talk to any Mighty Warriors player they will tell you what I have done for them.
“Our family believed in giving, my father raised so many families and at one point I would wonder how he made it through. I was taught never to fake love but all the same giving was the most important thing that my parents taught me. I thank my parents and God for the guidance and love. I am not perfect but I work hard to be the best,” says the philanthropist
“I give, not because I have, but it’s a passion and desire to see the next person happy. I would rather have nothing but make the next person happy. My Church Celebration Ministries International has also played a big role in my love for humankind. We are always taught to build people, build dreams and I always say to myself ‘Beautiful children Live To Give’. My heart pains when I see people struggling most of the times when I get in a shop I end up paying for someone.”
Whilst he was named businessman of the year, Muzhara celebrates more an award which – to him – is even bigger,
“Having Honorary Philanthropic Award is the achievement I count with Joy. It’s very difficult in a struggling economy to keep giving and be recognized. I thank the World Philanthropic Association for the recognition. I know my children will run orphanage organizations soon as they seem to love and give too much.
“I also hope that my love for mankind is infectious and will be passed from one person to the other as that’s the only hope for everyone.”
Muzhara also spoke on being named businessman of the year,
“I Feel humbled and honored and thank all my 2017 Clients, God and my parents for being so loving. There is no doubt I work three times harder than I should. I don’t rest, I feel sorry for my wife sometimes but a man’s got to do what a man has to do so that there is food on the table.
“Will continue working hard,, there is no substitute for quality and I always tell my workers that I don’t believe in shortcuts and bribes. You have to work hard and pray harder.
“I dedicate these 2017 Awards to my parents for being alive and seeing my success some have achieved this without their parents present but I thank God for them.
“I salute also #TEAM LM, you guys have been great we are a small team but we work hard to achieve the best auctioneering services by being honest to our clients and understanding business concepts, values and ethics. LM has been a Brand that can only be recognized by straight forward business people and on that I thank everyone in the team as that has made us grow rapidly.
“We have even assisted clients, you know the economy is not favorable, a person can find our charges burdensome sometimes and we understand the importance of assisting vulnerable individuals and we do that with love,” says Muzhara, an ardent Arsenal and CAPS United fan.
He has also helped CAPS players with groceries and money when the going got a bit tough for them.
But he does not believe in climbing to a mountain top to speak of his generosity or wealth.
“It’s like on a funeral when you find a person claiming ndini ndatenga chikafu chadyiwa pano,, then there’s something very wrong with that person,” says Muzhara.