Tawanda Nyambirai plots comeback

Tawanda Nyambirai plots comeback
Tawanda Nyambirai

Tawanda Nyambirai

BUSINESSMAN Tawanda Nyambirai, who recently acquired one of Zimbabwe’s oldest gold mines, Acturus Mine, is planning to revive his empire which spans fast food retailing, livestock banking and furniture production.
Nyambirai ventured into the corporate world in 2001 when he founded TN Financial Holdings Limited, a financial services group that included TN Asset Management, TN Financial Services, TN Medical Benefit Funds and TN Bank.
In 2009 he led the reverse takeover of Tedco Limited — a furniture retail business which had been listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange since 1973.
TN Holdings was rebranded to Lifestyle Holdings in 2012 and subsequently delisted from the local stock exchange after giving birth to TN Grills, TN Supermarkets, TN Harlequin and TN Livestock Trust among others.
Nyambirai created a unique and successful business model which combined banking, furniture sales and fast foods.
At the time, the business model benefitted the bank as it acquired a significant market share using furniture and other products as a conduit through which to acquire banking customers.
The sprawling business empire, however, soon ran into problems as it expanded too fast at a time when the economy was contracting and disposable incomes were dwindling as most people lost their jobs due to massive company closures.
Nyambirai, who was forced to scale down operations and shut down some of his business units in line with the deteriorating economic conditions, said conditions were now ripe for a revival of his empire.
“We are expecting the country to turn and we will see people starting to build houses as they are able to access mortgage finance and with that they will need to furnish their houses with furniture. This will result in furniture companies TN Harlequin and Pelhams becoming blue chip companies again,” he told The Financial Gazette in an interview.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a new lease of life following the ascendency of Emmerson Mnangagwa to the presidency in November last year.
Mnangagwa has vowed to resuscitate the comatose economy by stamping out corruption, opening the country to foreign investment and inculcating a new culture of hard work among Zimbabweans.
He has also promised to be frugal with public finances, ensuring that more money is channelled into production as opposed to consumption to help transform Zimbabwe into a prosperous nation where citizens thrive and enjoy a better life.
Nyambirai said although TN Harlequin had scaled down operations and significantly reduced branch network, the leading furniture maker was still very much in existence.
“Because of technology things have changed and we can’t have branch networks across the whole country. We now sell furniture virtually through our social media presence, our website among other platforms,” he said.
“We bought Pelhams when it was already collapsing and we are in the process of reviving it. That is why we saved it through a scheme of arrangement. Pelhams will soon be opening,” he added.
The commercial lawyer said TN Beverages was doing well on the market with its Premier Plus Maheu and Mr Juicy products.
“We are building a massive factory with brand new equipment and will be launching it in the first quarter of this year. We are taking over the market and we are going to be leaders in the beverages sector, starting with the maheu subsector,” he said.
He added that the livestock unit, which has been dormant for the past few years, will soon resume taking cattle deposits.
“We are much stronger than we ever were. We learnt our mistakes and have been building and strengthening our internal systems. We have a significant capital base in terms of cattle herd, which will give depositors confidence,” Nyambirai said.
The livestock bank, which had 600 cattle in 2013, recently clinched a new deal with Gweru City Council for more land that is expected to cater for more cattle. Nyambirai said TN Grill will come back as a distributor of products from the group’s livestock bank.


  • Kevin Mpofu

    This man could have been a successful if he has specilised on one or two “business lines” sad he wanted to put his hands in everything no wonder he fell like the walls of Jerico. Hope he does his act right this time around

    • Lovemore Ndebele

      You could not have said it any better Kevin, us consumers could be benefiting as competition and creativity could have results to fair and reasonable prices as fast foods. Innscor and Chicken Slice empire could be facing serious competition

  • Perfect Kumalo

    TN Financial Holdings could still be dominating with a significant market share had Nyambirai made smarter investments or managed his investments better but he must be applauded for venturing into the spaces he did.

  • Buddy Love

    Tawanda Nyambirai is a dictator and womaniser there was no way he was going to be successful Mark my words, lets talk about in December 2018 nothing would have taken off or signs of crumbling will be showing if he ever bounces back. Anyone who questioned his decision was labelled a enemy and shown the door. Unless he changes his attitude, it’s another money down the drain

  • Sharon

    This guy has so many children with many women including with his wife’s sister, surely if you cannot control your zip in this environment you can never run a viable business. His middle name should be “woman” He used two of my friends and forced the other to abort when she became pregnant

  • Cde Hunzvi

    A good lawyer and it count this time Mr Nyambirai. Welcome back you have the vision

  • Patrick

    I have worked with this man, he does not listen to advise or tolerate views different from his own. A mini Mugabe, Trump & Tsvangirai type of human being

  • Robert Chigumba

    Nyambirai is a good man, am sure this time you will make it. Learn from past mistakes and go for it. We all learn from our past mistake. Am behind you my elder

  • Gwaumbu

    The most confused business model ever seen in a country.
    Any final year Business student should use this model in their dissertation on how not to do business!

    • Nester Marambe

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ndaseka hangu

  • Ken Kambani

    He needs to improve the way he runs business. He has a strange business model and approve and terrible HR skills

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