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SA returnee finds success in dad's footsteps

by Staff reporter
23 May 2022 at 06:37hrs | Views
SOON after completing his O-Level studies in 1996, Mr Killion Mafuruse (43) of Mpopoma suburb in Bulawayo decided to follow in the footsteps of his late father who was a full-time carpenter.

Although, Mr Mafuruse studied carpentry at O-Level, his father played a major role in shaping his career path by grooming him at a tender age.

Considering himself a talented artiste, he spent most of his free time developing his craft and eventually became a full-time carpenter.

Today, he operates a thriving furniture manufacturing business in Mpopoma suburb where he specialises in fitted wardrobes, couches, leather padded chairs, among other furniture accessories.

The emerging firm, which employs seven people, also engages casual workers depending on the amount of work available at any given time.

Mr Mafuruse's journey began immediately after finishing O-Level. Instead of proceeding with his academic studies, Mr Mafuruse decided to look for a job in the furniture manufacturing industry.

He briefly worked in Harare before relocating to Cape Town in South Africa where he secured a job in one of the leading furniture manufacturing firms, Barker Street Office Furniture.

In 2016, he quit his job and returned home. With what he had managed to put away as savings, he started a carpentry workshop, which has grown over time overcoming challenges as he learns through the process.

"It was not an easy journey for me to be where I am today. After returning from South Africa, I did not want to look for formal jobs anymore, I considered myself to have a creative mind coupled with the experience and skills acquired over time," he said.

"When you start your own firm, you are assured of employing others. Besides operating a business and employing people, I also train others, especially youths so that they also benefit from my expertise."
Mr Mafuruse produces a wide range of furniture including; chairs, tables, beds, inbuilt wardrobes, cupboards, among others.

The prices depend on the design and quality. For a set of couches, the prices range from US$250 to US$1 000.

Mr Mafuruse also performs customised work in homes and offices, making bookshelves, furniture, flooring and various built-in additions. He sells his products to both retail shops and individuals.

"Our main challenges revolve around shortage of space. Right now, we are operating in a small rented space where there is no electricity. For us to expand, we need a bigger space," he said.

Mr Mafuruse said through creating partnerships and connections within the country, his company has managed to grow despite the economic challenges. The timber, which Mr Mafuruse sources from the Eastern Highlands in Manicaland province, comprises teak, pine, mahogany and gum.

"Our market has since grown and we now have more regular clients compared to when we started out with. We have also undergone a lot of training. Over time, we have saved returns which we have in turn invested in better tools and equipment to speed up the production process," he said.

Mr Mafuruse said as the company grows, he hopes to incorporate technology in the production process.

A father of eight, Mr Mafuruse draws his inspiration from his father, who managed to raise them through carpentry.

"Although, I did carpentry at school, my father who was not educated, managed to impart the knowledge and skills which Iam now using to sustain my family. I have eight children whom I am taking care of through carpentry," he said.

"Just like what my father did to me, I am also grooming my children so that they are able to sustain themselves. My eldest son will soon be joining me."

Source - The Chronicle
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