With an insatiable appetite for knowledge, life is one long learning experience for Komani entrepreneur and businessman Tunga Mushakwe.
However, it is his need to sell that has steered him towards a career as a sales manager in the uber competitive motor industry.
“It is in my blood,” says Mushakwe, who joined Kelston Chery as sales manager, head honcho and all-round nice guy in the bustling Eastern Cape town when the dealership opened in August this year.
“Actually, I live for it,” he admits. “It is what gets me going in the morning.”
The affable local has been on a journey of discovery ever since matriculating from the Christian College of Southern Africa in Harare in 1997.
The ride has exposed him to diverse spheres of business while his studious self has netted him several, equally diverse qualifications.
A diploma in marketing from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2000 marked the first step towards his colourful career.
The second was a diploma bestowed on him by the Insurance Institute of Zimbabwe in 2006, which landed him in the midst of a parallel universe in the health insurance industry.
Most recently, in 2021, he obtained a degree from the South African Theological Seminary.
Mushakwe, who moved to Komani in 2011, says his passion for sales co-exists with a love for people and the motor industry is the one place that offers him the opportunity to invest his energy in both.
“That has always been a major aspect for me in business – to work well with people and always striving to add value to the services we offer,” says the 42-year-old father of three.
“I believe in a personalised service that suits each and every client and I feel that is what sets us apart at the Kelston Motor Group.”
Always willing to push himself, he says he looks forward to growing in the industry.
“There is recognition for good performances,” says Mushakwe, who understands the link between genuine customer service and sales figures better than most.
Underpinning his enthusiasm for the next chapter in his career is a belief in the Chery brand and what it offers.
“After 20 years of gaining experience in various management positions in the health insurance and motor industries, I took this opportunity because I believe in the brand. It is great value for money.”
Of equal importance to him is the fact that Kelston dealerships value customer service above all else.
The first item on his agenda is to grow the brand in the Komani and Transkei regions, which are traditional strongholds of the agricultural sector.
Closer to home, he wants to make a real difference in what he says are “challenging times”.
“I see our business as a catalyst for creating employment opportunities and this is an additional avenue to contribute to the Komani economy.”
As he finds his feet in this challenging new role, Mushakwe is already investing in his future in the only way he knows how. He has enrolled for a degree in business entrepreneurship, starting in January.