From primary school teacher to eatery owner Mrs Tsitsi Musabayana

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
FROM being a primary school teacher to opening food outlets, Mrs Tsitsi Musabayana (38) has travelled a long and diverse professional journey.

Her story of ambition and true zeal to follow her heart is inspiring to say the least.

The mother of four is Eat n’ Lick managing director which opened its 19th branch in Gweru yesterday. The first branch opened in Chinhoyi in 2014. Eat n’ Lick has outlets in Harare, Mutare, Chegutu, Rusape, Chinhoyi, Karoi, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Chivhu and now has a new outlet in Gweru.

Mrs Musabayana said she trained as a teacher at Mutare Teachers’ College before teaching for about eight years.

“I trained at Mutare Teachers’ College and started my professional career as a teacher. After about eight years of spending time imparting knowledge, I then decided to leave the noble profession to follow my passion which is baking,” she said.

Mrs Musabayana said the dream of running a food outlet started when she opened a small confectionery shop selling sugary food such as sweets, candies, cakes and croissants in Chinhoyi.

“I have a sweet tooth and so I started with a small confectionery shop but then dreamt big. I wanted to have a place where customers would come in for sugary things and as well bread, chicken, chips and pizza and the idea of having this is Eat n’ Lick was mooted,” she said.

An oven for making pizza at Eat ‘n’ Lick eatery

Mrs Musabayana said being a part of the fast-food industry that caters for people who are traveling and want to buy food that is served quickly has been a dream come true.

“This industry has its share of challenges and fun. I got to know about the various aspects of the industry and was exposed to the diversity of things to do in this sector. The sophistication and glamour of the hospitality industry charmed me and pulled me towards it.

“As I said, I am a qualified teacher but I realised that I am passionate about food. I love children and as much as I enjoyed teaching, I knew my heart was elsewhere. We started in Chinhoyi in 2014. I could spend the whole day in the shop, seeing people being satisfied made me happy. As we continued expanding, we realised people loved our food,” she said.
Mrs Musabayana said experimenting with a new dish at home or baking a simple cake has been a passion that has stayed with her since she was a child.

To make sure that she has a bit of management knowledge, she said she enrolled with Africa University and graduated with a degree in Business Studies.

Mrs Musabayana said she also enrolled for accounting courses as she expanded her business.

“I wanted to expand my mind and then enrolled with Africa University and graduated with a degree in Business Studies. I did other accounting courses so that I understand business and how to manage a lot of people,” she said.
Mrs Musabayana said she was planning on expanding the business and opening more branches in the country before going regional and international.

“We believe in God who enables us to do what we can. We have opened 19 branches in the country since starting in 2014 and we are not stopping, we believe in God and we can’t be held back by what is happening around us,” she said.
Mrs Musabayana said she takes pleasure in contributing to the country’s socio-economic development through employment creation.

Customers getting served at the Gweru Eat ‘n’ Lick outlet

“In those branches we now employ a lot people. We still want to open more branches and employ more people as this brand grows stronger. This year two or more branches are going to be opened before we go international,” said Mrs Musabayana.

“In the region we are targeting countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Botswana and Zambia. Apart from offering meals, Eat n’ Lick has also sponsored many children under its corporate social responsibility programmes including orphans and the elderly,” said Mrs Musabayana.

She said she sleeps for a maximum of six hours a day and she is always thinking of how to make a difference in the country.

“When there is pressure or when there are projects I am working on, I sleep for four hours and when all is well, I sleep for six hours a day. There is no pleasure in sleeping for long hours,” said Mrs Musabayana.

She said the chairman of Eat n’ Lick is her husband, Bishop Isaiah Musabayana.

Gweru deputy Mayor Councillor Cleopas Shiri commended the company for opening a branch in the city.
“These are exciting times for the city as we want to see investment that results in the employment of our people. We are open for business,” he said.

You Might Also Like