Ruth Butaumocho Gender Profile
Studying for degrees in hotel management and sales marketing was a career path that Farai Jokonya knew would open opportunities in travelling, while enjoying the glitz and glamour associated with the job. Still young and very impressionable, Farai knew that he would have the world under his feet, working in the hotel and catering industry, something he had prepared for during his university days.

However as days went by, Farai yearned for a better career, which would enable him to transform people’s lives by assisting them to discover their worth and the change they could bring to their communities at large.

It was after a lot of soul-searching that it dawned on Farai that he had a passion to develop and change people’s lives. He could not have been further from the truth. Having spent 10 years in wedding planning, and events management in hotels, Farai packed his bags and decided to fulfil his aspirations.

Today, 33-year-old Farai is a renowned motivational trainer with Success Motivation Institute Zimbabwe, where he is trying to change the mindsets of young Zimbabweans and Africans at large.

“I have found fulfilment in what I am currently involved in, than what I was doing before,” he said in an interview recently.

He made history by being the first African to scoop major awards at the recently held Success Motivation International World Convention, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The young, ambitious business coach and motivational facilitator educated in South Africa and the United Kingdom, walked away with the Sales Rookie of the Year award, as well as a medal for the highest sales in one organisation.

Being a motivational speaker has also allowed him to be open-minded about situations, without being prejudicial, pessimistic and dismissive, without seeking to understand, while looking at other alternatives to better the circumstances.

“I don’t believe in people blaming their circumstances and economic environment. People can still achieve some much, with little once they think outside the box,” he said

Dealing with the young whom he coaches in different aspects of life, through one of his programmes, “Making of a champion” targeted at the 13-25 age group, has made him realise the great potential Zimbabwe has despite the prevailing economic challenges.

“I am excited about the future because I see the potential that Zimbabwe has once people work towards changing their mindsets and spur themselves to achieve.

“It (Zimbabwe) is an endless spectrum of possibilities and the youths need to be empowered to change their mindsets and attitudes, so that they can unlock the potential they possess,” he enthusiastically declared.

Employing various motivational tools contained in the SMI tools, Farai has been able to bring smiles to a lot of parents, who had given up on their children after they failed to handle problems often associated with adolescence.

“Some of the youths that had been condemned by their parents are now confident, dedicated, focused and can now identify endless opportunities, around them,” affirmed Farai.

He added that the programmes they offer have also embraced youths from disadvantaged communities, who are doing very well after Farai and his team honed their skills in areas of specialisation.

“There are various programmes that we equip our clients with once we conduct aptitude tests and have checked on their personal and professional attributes,” he said.

In 2015, he and the SMI Zimbabwe team introduced a new four-week programme called “Attitude Is Everything” under the SMI franchise.

Farai said the programme was gaining vast popularity in the corporate world, with individuals, organisations and SMEs in Zimbabwe who were benefiting immensely from the programme.

Farai believes the programme will help by improving overall employee effectiveness and productivity in both their business and personal lives.

Farai said the use of proper motivational skills has spawned several entrepreneurs and moulded a crop of good leaders who were now doing well in diverse sectors across Zimbabwe.

“It is sad that some people still regard motivational training and developing personal skills as an elitist approach to grooming individuals for both personal and professional growth.

“My experience with motivational training and personal branding has brought positive results to individuals. It is important to note that motivational training complements academic achievement, and personal branding helps in moulding yourself as a brand,” he said.

However, societal negative perception of motivational training has not in anyway clouded Farai’s vision for the future. “The future looks bright in my career and the growth of motivational training in Zimbabwe as more people realize the benefits they stand to accrue in branding themselves.

“I am working on becoming a better coach and the opportunities in the industry are plenty,” enthused Farai, a God fearing man, who alternates his spare time between Bible studies and spending quality time with his friends.

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