#021 – Zuwa on Embracing Our Agency and The Courage to Act Now

This week I have the honour of speaking with Zuwa Matondo, a son of Africa and sun of Zimbabwe (zu-wa means sun(shine) in the Zimbabwean Shona dialect). I have known Zuwa for the last 12 years, and he has become a big brother to me. 

Audacious in nature, Zuwa believes in everyone’s ability to create a space for themselves to achieve their unique purpose. Facing his fears despite the possibility of stumbling, he has constantly sought growth outside of his comfort zone having gained experience in corporate law, finance and governance.  In that journey with ups and downs he has worked with various governments, international organizations and within a Global 500 financial company. Zuwa especially has a heart and passion to serve, believing gifts, big or small, are not to be kept but shared in order to uplift others. 

Zuwa’s desire to pursue an impactful career has been best expressed by his founding of Gov-Enhance Africa, a platform for policy thinkers and governance innovators to create out-of-the-box policy solutions to ultimately help the continent’s citizens. I hope this conversation inspires you.

02:00 – Zuwa introduces himself and explains why he doesn’t define himself by his job or career path anymore

[You’re not this circumstance, you’re not this situation. Keep things moving in a positive direction – Zuwa

07:15 – How active citizen engagement was modeled through his childhood and how it influenced his profound love of Zimbabwe 

11:25 – How coming to Montreal, and meeting the greater African community, further affected his Pan-Africanism point of view

16:10 – Leadership lessons from running the McGill African Students Society (MASS) and other student activities 

20:40 – Why Zuwa chose policy as his way of serving and the role of the African youth 

25:00 – On how we can make policy easier to digest for the everyday person, and how Gov-Enhance was created as a result 

[We always want to be at the table, but sometimes you have to build your own table first – Zuwa]

30:00 – On how to start small where you are: at the county, city, province level; and grow from there 

32:30 – How law prepared him for governance and policy, and on his experience working in China 

[Ambition is climbing the ladder, but purpose is making sure that ladder is on the right wall – Zuwa

38:00 – The current Covid-19 crisis, and how it’s a current example of the importance of public policy and trusting our governments 

40:00 – Lessons learned from starting Gov-Enhance Africa, on building teams and running an organization 

45:50 – Message to his younger self and what drives him to keep going when times are hard 

[You know and learn by trying, you have to do it, and you can’t be afraid to fail – Zuwa]

You can follow Zuwa on Twitter, and Gov-Enhance Africa on the website and Twitter

What did you think of the episode? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and if you liked it – share it with your friends 🙂

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In the meantime keep striving, keep thriving, and keep shining!

Michaella

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