Story by: Robert Mukondiwa
At a tender 22 years of age Gregory Kadzura could pass for any other typical fresh-post teen in Zimbabwe.
But as the steward of a challenging family business as the face and administrator of the celebrated Mount View Hotel in Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands city of Mutare, he has a lot more on his young shoulders than the typical youth his age.
He sits behind the bar at the end of a hard day’s work and sits sipping, appreciating and perhaps even making love to his chilled glass of Dimple Scotch whisky as he gives his interview. The day has not allowed him to pull out of his schedule and only the night gives him respite albeit only for a few hours before his cycle restarts.
To him it is an ordinary day job. Yet to many other young people who see him lead the turnaround of an empire in a troubled economy, he is a role model and a sign of hope for the aspiring rising young entrepreneur.
“It isn’t a stroll in the park to lead a brand like Mount View while maintaining a calm head especially in the face of economic challenges and the need to keep the industry shining in the eastern highlands,” he says in between his much deserved rendezvous with his drink.
And the biggest challenge is that he also has to help transform a brand that his enterprising father Jonathan Kadzura helped establish and bequeathed on him to run armed with the same enterprising genes of the Kadzura lineage that make him tenacious as he runs things in this sprawling city. Mount View Hotel is undergoing rebranding and refurbishment at a steady pace that will see it rise to its former glory and become a brand for a booming future that is almost certainly coming as Zimbabwe’s economy gets out of the woods.
“The challenge is to make all these changes while also maintaining a brand that has been loved for decades in the city. Our clientele expect the best and even though the economy doesn’t make things any easier, we have no excuse but to provide the best. That is why we are reinvesting. It is not a choice, it is an inevitability,” he says wisely.
While others are chasing dreams of fast cars, girls and burning money on the social scene, Gregory, with a calm head on his shoulders, prefers to work, make a change and transform things with no pursuit of self pampering. That is probably why he is steadily becoming the go-to person for institutions that want to show the youth that in spite of age, anyone can make it as a young leader in the field of their choosing. He has become a brand in himself. A person but also a personality.
He doesn’t let it get to his head though.
“We have work to do. We have a whole generation of youth to inspire. That is what I am focused on. I may eventually become a celebrated personality. That has started to happen even. But I am more interested in helping the youth like me achieve their goals and realize their dreams.”
As he lets the rest of his drink race to his throat in preparation for a few hours in bed in his apartment, it is evident that Mount View Hotel, at the end of the transformation, will emerge the must visit hotel that TripAdvisor have rated well in Zimbabwe’s eastern mountainous jewel of Mutare.