Freedom Mupanedemo Correspondent
For 53-year-old Dr Smelly Dube, the geography that flung Mberengwa in south west Zimbabwe to almost anonymity and even came with the extra condemnation of nature, during her childhood did not deter her from conquering the world to greater heights.
Mberengwa is where the vagaries of nature, chiefly drought, unbearable heat and attendant maladies such as malaria present a continuing menace that the people have contend with every day and this is worse for the girl child.
Yet, even if one becomes hardened to the elements, not so many would resist the hunger that gnaws the belly and the difficulties that a girl child faces, growing up.
It is from here that Simeli Dube, misspelt Smelly by registrar of births in Rhodesia, rose to become a world class businesswoman, now rubbing shoulders with the who is who of world business.
From growing up in the weather-beaten Mberengwa, herding cattle and donkeys as well as doing domestic chores such as fetching water from shallow riverbed wells with her age mates, Smelly, now Dr Smelly Dube, finds herself trudging the length and breadth of the world’s biggest cities.
“How I rose to become who I am today is something that I cannot really explain to the best of my understanding but its only God and shear hard work. You know if you work hard, God always rewards you and am happy that I have been so blessed to become who I am today, It’s only God’s grace to sum up everything.”
A woman of courage, Dr Dube who now runs a chain of companies based in the Midlands under the umbrella name, River Valley Group has been in the UK for the past two weeks at the Invitation of a UK based African Achievers Organisation.
The organisation which rewards influential women and men from across Africa nominated Dube to be part of their associates’ and extended invitation where she was also presented with an award.
She also attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth 11.
Dube said she, through her companies has been engaged into philanthropic works, helping the elderly, widows and child headed families with monthly food hampers, a feat she says has earned her several local and international awards.
“I have been blessed and in turn I have also been active in my society helping the needy and by doing this I have also been recognised and won several local regional and international awards,” she said.
She said she was also in the UK to receive another global award.
Dube said she was also very happy to be part of the historic event, witnessing first-hand the procession leading to the burial of the Queen.
She said it was an emotional event especially on the burial day when she joined thousands of people and tourists from across the world as they pay their last respects to the Queen.
“It was really an experience, an emotional one.
I also had the chance to mix and mingle with high ranking officials in the UK,” she said.
She said she also had the privileged to pay a courtesy call to the Mayor of Hackney where she appended her signature in the Queen’ condolence book.
“It was indeed an exciting experience but also am very happy that i managed to raise the Zimbabwe flag high in the UK,” she said.
Dube said she will continue to work hard with working with the less privileged in the society adding that she cherishes the charity works by Kenyan evangelist Reverend Lucy Natasha.
“She is a devotee and she inspires me every now and then i watch her motivational sermons and the charity works she does in helping the needy in society,” she said.
Dube said she will be in the UK for close to a month while carrying the Second Republic’s message of a new Zimbabwe with a wide range of investment opportunities.
“ I am preaching our President’s gospel that Zimbabwe was now open for business and for the time I will be here,” I will also be unpacking investment opportunities that are back home under the new dispensation,” she said.
But who is Dr Smelly Dube?
Back in a village in Mberengwa, Dube attended Masase Primary and then Masase High School. She later moved to Harare where she got married to her long-time sweetheart, and former airman, Engineer Mncedisi Dube.
The couple moved to Chegutu, and later to Gweru where Dr Dube then entered into private property development.
The property development business grew in lips and bounds and she now runs a number of projects in Bulawayo, Zvishavane and Shurugwi. Dube has also expanded into motor industry and earth moving equipment. She has two kids a boy and a girl. And, the good thing is that Dr Smelly Dube remains humble and as soft as wool. Cool as a cucumber, Dr Dube takes care of many disadvantaged people.