A Zimbabwean safari guide who ventured to the US in the 1990s, living on Cup-a-Soup while working at making children’s dreams come true, returned home to continue his profession with a bag full of ideas. He’s now making waves in the schools, communities and tourism boardrooms of his country.
Blessing Munyenyiwa pours his own labelled gin at the bar on the upstairs terrace of his newly built, outer suburban boutique hotel, overlooking the dry mopane woodland of Zimbabwe’s outer Victoria Falls, the town he calls home. Looking west, it is an idyllic spot for a safari sunset.
Given that the self-made businessman and philanthropist likes to quote Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War 2 hero and prime minister, the drink almost seems appropriate. He is gesturing towards where he says the spray can usually be seen from the Falls when I ask him about the time he issued a plea to Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, (which went viral on YouTube) to halt mining in national parks.