Florence Muzvaba, also known as Mai Chiedza,
is a highly successful businesswoman based
in the Midlands, UK. She owns her own successful
cake making and events planning company as
well as a thriving charity organisation. In addition to
that, she is the author of two inspirational books and
is currently working on a third. We had an exclusive
chat with her for HoM.
by Rodney R Chawota
Tell us a little about your life in Zimbabwe before you came to the UK.
Before coming to the UK in 1997, I lived in Harare. After graduating from the Girls’ High, I worked as an air hostess for Air Zimbabwe.
And your family?
I have a beautiful family of four daughters Karen, Kelly, Kyra and Keona and a supportive and hard-working husband, Farai. He’s always been there for me and I’m very grateful for all he does.
What’s the secret to your successful marriage?
I would say unity and friendship. It’s so important to be united which to me means becoming one to fulfill each other’s purpose. Support is important. Be your partner’s
friend and cheerleader but also work as a team.
How do you manage to juggle it all?!
It’s about finding a balance. That balance for me is not
treating business and family as two separate entities
but instead finding a way to intertwine them together.
So for one, I teach my daughters about what I do so that
one day if they feel it’s part of God’s plan for them they
can continue with the business. But I also make sure
family time is family time because family always comes
first. I love holidays and I work hard to take my family
away. Just this year we went to Disney World in Florida.
You used to be a nurse. Why did you leave your nursing
The bible says that God has a plan for us. What will
be will be and I trusted the Lord and prayed to always
make the right decision.
Some say that there are too many event planners and cake makers. What do you think?
I believe each brand has its own identity. Each business has its own way of doing things that will suit a certain type of client. There are so many different types of clients, so there is always room for more event planners. Cake making is about passion for the art and passion to bring a client’s vision to life.
Tell us about your books and what inspired you to write
Beauty From a Broken Vessel was my first book that was born from a period of reflection where I looked back at my life, where I was in the present and where I was headed. The book was written to inspire and give hope that a beautiful piece of art can be made from even a broken vessel. I wrote my second book, Born For
a Purpose, to empower women have been historically undermined and underestimated and show them that with perseverance, they can excel. I’m currently writing a book on leadership.
You have spoken not only in your book but also in interviews about being ‘broken’. How did you rise from the ashes?
God. I have been through some trying times but what gave me the strength to keep going was prayer and the reassurance of the Lord in my life. Rainy days come but the storm never lasts. It always clears. So I was always determined to fulfill my God-given purpose because of that.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
By keeping positive and through prayer. I speak goodness into my life at all times.
What have been the main achievements of your charity?
Unite To Change has really been a blessing. Thanks
to the help and support of many we have collected
hundreds of textbooks, books, pencil cases, stationery,
school uniforms and much more and donated these to
a number of schools in Zimbabwe. But this is just the
beginning and there is much more to come.
Do we as Zimbabweans in the UK support each other enough?
I believe that as a people we do need to be supportive of one another because through support and genuine love we can grow as entrepreneurs, as Christians and as a community. An empowered community is an empowered nation. It’s necessary that we love and support one another. Some of us do and some of us don’t, but for me it’s so important that we do.
We have to ask you – do you think things will ever get
better in Zimbabwe?
The situation in Zimbabwe is honestly a tough topic to speak on, but I think things can get better if we change our mindset. People want to brag about the superficial things like high exam grades and possessions. But what use are those things if not watered and nourished?
Those seeds need to be planted in fertile ground to flourish. We all have our own purpose and we must grow it. Finding purpose is important.
How does one go about doing that?
I don’t think there is one way to find it – it depends on the individual. But one thing I can say is that when you find it, you’ll know. I always tell my daughters that if there is something they really truly love they should put their all into finding that thing.
What are three things that you can’t do without?
God, family and love.
What do you see in your future.
The future is in the Lord’s hands, but I have many plans
for my charity work and for more books