. . . I wanted to be a soccer player
CANADA based entrepreneur Zeb Tsikira says life forced him to sell freezits in a bid fund his soccer aspirations.
H-METRO’s reporter PRAISE MASVOSVA caught up with ZEB TSIKIRA in question and answer segment.
Q: Tell us who is Zeb Tsikira?
A:I am a self-made millionaire, serial entrepreneur, author and property investor who started as a vendor in the early stages of my life. I am the second born in a family of eight and I am also the first son, so it means a lot of responsibility. My parents could not provide all what we needed so I had to sell freezits.
Q: Tell us your brief background?
A: I was born and bred in Bulawayo. We were staying in Nketa 7 a popular high density suburb. As a kid I wanted to be a footballer and I would sell freezits so that I get money to buy soccer boots. If my parent sent me to the shops I would divert the money to buy soccer related things and I would even play soccer in the streets just like any other ghetto kid. I grew up poor and had to work hard for myself.
Q:Tell us about your family?
A: I am married to my lovely wife Colleen Tsikira and we have two awesome kids Ethan(Tanaka) and Zoe (Tadiwa). I love my family and they are the reason I continue to work hard.
Q: When did you move out of Zimbabwe?
A: Since things were not really good, my parents sold our house to fund for the Canada tickets. My parents left me behind with my brother for some months because the tickets were expensive. I left Zimbabwe in 2001.
Q: Tell us about your level of education and schools which you attended?
A: I attended Munondwane Primary School in Nketa 7 and then I did my high school at Hamilton Boys in Bulawayo. I am a University drop out. When I got here (Canada) I got a
part-scholarship to study psychology but I felt it wasn’t my thing. I don’t regret it though because I followed my heart and passion. Before I dropped school I went on Google and researched how other successful people had become millionaires and reached financial freedom. That’s when I discovered that they had done it through property investing.
Q: As someone in real estate business what can you say about the current state of that business in Zimbabwe?
A: To be honest I am not sure and that’s the reason why I am coming back home to do my research. I will be in Zimbabwe very soon. Zimbabwe is my home I can be successful abroad but my heart bleeds for my country and I would want to develop in it. I also want to invest in my home country. it’s been years without coming back home so I want to have a clear picture of what is going on.
Q: How long have you been in real estate business?
A: I have been in this business for seven years and it was not a easy road to come up with a first property. After dropping out of University i started working three jobs at a time so that I could save money to buy properties. I sold the idea to my wife (by then she was still a girlfriend) and she supported me through thick and thin.
Q: Tell us who are your biggest influences?
A: Strive Masiiwa, Philip Chiyangwa, Prophet Walter Magaya, Donald Trump (real estate mogul) and Grant Cardone among others.
Q: Tell us how you developed your career?
A: It all started when I decided to drop out of University because I figured out what had made a lot of millionaires around the world and what was property investing. I then realised that I needed capital to start. I also realised that I was accumulating student debt for a degree I didn’t even like.
I decided to leave school for multiple employment opportunities in order to save money and get into property investing. I used to work three jobs at a time, sleep 4 to 5 hours a day and sometimes not even sleep because I was afraid that if I sleep I would miss the opportunity of making more money. I started over 20 businesses over the years and took property investing mentorship and scaled our family property empire from three properties to over 100 doors in six years.
Q: Tell us your secrets behind all the success?
A: Firstly, I owe the success to God.
Self-belief, I had to believe in myself, never give up attitude, getting up and dusting myself whenever I fail. I am obsessed with being successful and I also learn from my failures.
Q: Do you have any plans to come back home?
A: Most definitely but I love the liberty of being able to travel around the world. For now I will soon visit and see how it goes that side.
Q: Tell us about your social responsibility as a successful millionaire?
A: I really love helping the youths, I have been sending Kids to school in Zimbabwe. As a family we have also been donating our time and commodities to the homeless and the needy in the USA and Canada. This year I decided to reach out more to the ghetto youths in Zimbabwe using music to spread positivity and encouragement.
Q: You have been supporting local artistes especially Zim dancehall chanters are you going to look into other genres?
A: Not at the moment, I am just starting and there is a lot to learn. Maybe in the future. I love music and with music you can reach out too many people. In a way I will also be empowering these youths.
Q: Are you likely to grow a record label or it’s not your own portion?
A: Not at the moment, I am really enjoying making music with the youths. I am taking it one day at a time. I have more than seven songs coming out soon. Recently we have dropped Prince Boya’s song titled Paghetto.
Q: Locally who is your favourite artiste?
A: Not just one, I have several like Bazooker, Pumacol, Prince Boyah, Enzo Ishall, Takura, Jah Prayzah, Stunner, Poptain and this upcoming artiste called Tinazz 96.
Q: Looking at the arts industry what do you think is lacking for Zimbabwe to attract the international market?
A: I think the talent is here but artistes lack funding and financial literacy.
Q: Tell us what it cost to become a successful businessman and entrepreneur?
A: To me it takes three things self-belief, determination and execution.
Meanwhile, Zeb is in the United States where he is working on finishing his two flips in Arizona (buy low, renovate then sell high), buying a 20-unit apartment building in Ohio.
Zeb is also acquiring a 60 unit building in Canada and he recently purchased a 12 unit building among other properties.