MUFARO CHAKABUDA- ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am the founder and CEO of the Maritime Centre for African Dance Inc, the President of Chaks Publishing House, the President of masteps.com, and also founded a charity for scholarships geared towards Zimbabweans called zimscholarships.com.
The first business MCAD Inc, was started with $20, to be exact, $19.50 and over the course of 7 and a half years, now spans Canada, UK, Zimbabwe and some parts of the US. When I first started the business, no one believed in the idea. I was shut down by many entrepreneurial organizations. But I persisted in my idea and never stoped believing in myself. I was even more determined to succeed.
Most recently, I authored the book, “From $20 – An Artrepreneur’s success story”, which details my experience from starting with $20 to building a global brand through trial and experience and with no loans.
I have volunteered in the community sitting on the Cultural Opportunities grant board, the Africans in the Diaspora of the Maritimes Executive board among others.I enjoy entrepreneurship and leadership, and I’m passionate about sharing that with others around me. Even though I came to the Maritimes and to Canada, without knowing anyone, and for education, I have become a part of the community and a community leader. I always made it a point to challenge myself, from my University degree, where I achieved milestones such as being the first black Resident Assistant, (appointed), first black President of her residence, (nominated), to being the first female African student to run for the Vice President of Finance for the Dalhousie Student Union.
To date I have received numerous awards including the Progress Women’s Excellence Awards 2009 (Atlantic Canada), and nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009. I was also nominated for the Portia White Prize in 2007 and 2008 and most recently, second in Canada among all female entrepreneurs for the RBC Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Start Up Category, 2010. In 2011, I was nominated for Canada’s RBC Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Profit and Excellence in Entrepreneurship and Leadership and the ZimExpo Finalist (top 3) for the Business Leader of the Year. In 2012 I was selected as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 21 Young Emerging Leaders.
21 Leaders NS-CEO MCAD Inc/Nominee RBC Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship 2012
Tell us what many people may not know about you?
I love to write; I enjoy writing stories. When I was 14 I wrote a short story that turned into a short story book that I published and tried selling on my own in my neighbourhood. I also LOVE to dance. It relieves stress and makes me happy and focused. When I’m alone I usually put my headphones in my ears and dance in my home.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
I learned from a young age, especially from my parents to write down goals. I’ve written goals since I can remember. This is part of my focus. I write daily goals, monthly goals, yearly goals and then set about getting them achieved. I use this for personal and business. This keeps me on track for where I am going personally and business wise.
I have always been an avid reader and have found different mentors this way. Lately I have taken to listening to audio books every morning or while I’m working. Some authors I enjoy are “Think and Grow Rich – a Black choice” by Dr Dennis Kimbro; Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and “Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy. The most life changing book, the first book that lead me on the self learning journey was by Robert Kiyosaki, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, a year before I began the business, and a year after my first year of my graduation.
My mom and sisters, also, I speak to them daily and they motivate me to push me to reach my goals.Through networking with organizations that target partnering aspiring business leaders with successful entrepreneurs who built large businesses, I was fortunate to have 2 boards serve with individuals who were able to provide more of an insight into the business.
Every day I keep my bigger vision in sight, so that no matter what challenges I face, I remember that it is part of the process of getting to where I am destined to be.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Sheer Persistence and Stubbornness. Pushing my boundaries, and learning from EVERY single person I encounter in my path, good or bad.
I see my life in stages, arts and entrepreneurship are close to my heart, so I will definitely be building and growing more business. I also see a future in politics.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Having impacted other people’s lives, especially women in education and arts positively. Having given as much as I have received.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?I am honestly now just learning to balance and realizing the importance of it. I love what I do but I also allow myself to take a break when I need it. I am still able to work the 14 hour days, but also realize and appreciate the time I need to take a break. I also incorporate my work with relaxation, so it’s still intertwined in some way.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Fav food: sadza muriwo nedovi or sadza nematumbu (similar to fufu or nshima with vegetables with peanut butter or with intestines)
Fav Book: Think and Grow Rich – A Black Choice – Dr Dennis Kimbro
Music: Eclectic – But anything from Oliver Mutukudzi or Thomas Mapfumo (Zimbabwean Artists)
Movie: Love Jones
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada? (Also suggest solutions if any challenge in the community or as a black person)
There are still very many challenges for a black person endeavouring for success. When I first started, though I wasn’t expecting it, there were a lot of instances of racism. I chose not to focus on the negative and focus on my goal. I think so often it is easy to get caught up in the negativity of a situation, and I almost did, it wasn’t always easy. What made it easier was to keep focusing on the end goal and result.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like TD Jakes, Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc?
I certainly believe there are platforms but not at the same large scale especially in terms of the arts. However, I believe there are just as many talented individuals in Canada
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
-The Late Rocky Jones
-Lieutenant Governor Michaelle Jean
-Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis
Should & do Blacks support / patronize black music, events and businesses?
Yes most Canadians support each other.