In this interview with Trevor Ncube, Agriculture Tech entrepreneur and music producer, Kuda Musasiwa, talks about his experience growing up in Sydney, Australia and losing everything when he came back to Zimbabwe after being let down by a Zimbabwean company.
Please watch the video above this post for the full story.
And you know, the one story that I can tell which I think it encapsulates my life as a young kid who was born in Mbare is that, you know, my parents had got a scholarship for my dad to his doctorate in Australia.
And so were plucked out of Mbare and dropped in the middle of Sydney.
How old were you?
I was a baby. I was a baby. And that’s when I went to primary school. And in those days there was no black people within, within the Australian setting at the time, the aborigines are scattered in two pockets in Alice Springs and somewhere else and there was just no black or immigrants at the time, and Australia’s a very candid brash place.
People use strong language there, and it was extremely, extremely racist at the time because they had no understanding. This is sort of, you know, Michael Jackson still hasn’t really hit the streets the Michael Jordan is not that popular on the screen and so forth. So a black child in Australia was an extremely difficult thing. I remember primary school.
Parents actual parents of children picketing the school so that I wouldn’t be allowed in the pool with the children, and then sadly the teachers agreed to this so why did that do to you.
It crushed me. It crushed me to see teachers, allow that to happen the headmistress even allowed in. I was given five minutes was the other kids were changing to swim after every lesson is a hot country does that make you a racist so it made you tolerant.
Look, it may be now, it may be a person who started to lead a band of misfits, you know, it made me now the person who hung out with the kid was a dwarf, the kid was you know with the red hair who everyone called a ginger and it made me somewhat of an outcast and hence I believe that sometimes my calling anti authority person personality sometimes comes from those fears where I am a nonconformist.
Because I guess I was never accepted as as them in the 80s, it was really died I mean, the Prime Minister at the time Bob Hawke, they asked me my sister and my brother to act as Aborigines in the Bicentennial story in 1988. And at the end in the Sydney Opera House when we finished the Prime Minister walked up to his wife, and he looked at me my brother goes there is my little Golliwogs and he rubbed our hair. In, that’s the time that it was at the time right so by the time we came back to Zimbabwe I think it. It made me in a weird way, follow a lot of my dad’s leanings of being a nationalist right.
And this sort of proliferate all the way through to my university is to the couple of things that can didn’t brush. That’s how you appear to the world, so that that’s where this comes from. Absolutely. You see, people say I’m loose with language I use a lot of French, but in the in the society I grew up in certain words would not be considered as bad as they are now, you know, so my swearing I 100% accredited that to my Australian upbringing right is a very people they speak a lot more freely. I think I also got my sense of humor from them though they give us good as you get self deprecating, you know, don’t be afraid continued on it that’s the kind of environment that I grew up in. So they the negative you’ve got from growing up in Australia, and in any positives. Yeah, as you mentioned the human. The human eyes, I think we made my love with agriculture I think came from there as well, you know, even though I was in Sydney. A lot of the times where the sheep farms and stuff. Usually, I saw a people who have been around for about 200 years in this this new land that they sort of occupied, who had built this Heaven, out of a place that is, is really hellish, if you think about I mean the temperatures the heat the you name it, but it’s a really beautiful country and, in fact, if I was not in Zimbabwe and I was raised my children anywhere else I would say Australia is my is my next pig. I just believe that people are most similar to us, sometimes with different skin color. Your dad is a man of faith, this, you will not explain that to me what what happened. Um, you know, I believe there’s been a journey that I’ve been traveling on in my faith, being a son of a pastor, you You’re, you’re brought up within the space of Christianity you’re baptized at a young age, I’m the new chairman and so forth. Right. As you go to university you start to explore you start to wonder, I think that’s when I sort of became a lot more agnostic about my approach. However, I do feel that as I’ve got older I am 40 now going to 41.
I do feel I’m rekindling a lot of my faith. A lot of my belief in something greater than ourselves I think I’m living testimony as a man who’s lost everything twice, that there must be someone out there who wants better for us, other than ourselves. lost everything twice. You failed twice. I failed a lot of times but I think as far as losing everything twice to talk to me about losing everything twice. Look, the, you know, after 15 years of working in in the UK you know we we started to two great startups we had one called blockholders, w, and so Dodo UK and Mossad one called a star tools. And, you know, I made, I made quite a bit of money, as a young man, sort of, in the UK at the end of my my stay there. And on 2008 I came back, we shipped everything that we had in these 40 foot containers, including my beautiful Range Rover Freelander. And we use the Zimbabwean company. Black company. And till today, none of that stuff, ever came you know they didn’t pay the bill of lading and so my landing in Zimbabwe, my foot my triumphant return home after so many years out there in the UK. I came back and I had to start from scratch. And that was a deep lesson in the sense that things are things right, those things were acquired by you know by hard work so it’s almost like if you work hard, again you can reapply the things. The second time I lost everything. After building all this up. I went through a terrible divorce. Terrible divorce right. I married my child was flooded with datasets were 14. She left three children. and you know and properties and all these. So, the second loss, I would say is losing your family losing your own losing everything around you that you will hold the value again things. And starting again, you know, and what is that done to CUDA it liberated me because a person with absolutely nothing to lose any more has nothing to lose. So it’s almost you’re able to be far more adventurous you’re able to be far more provocative you know I think it was during this terrible divorce period that I, I became far more politically aware and political conscious and less afraid to speak, is the time that I started absolutely new business from from zero experience. And these are things that I feel, because you lost everything I didn’t. The barrier to being to taking a risk when you have nothing to lose is much easier. Nothing to lose could out but what’s the most precious thing to you right now. My family.
You know, and I think I have, you know, I got remarried I have a baby you know I got my children still, I think that it’s understanding that that what at my age now that clock is ticking downwards now, and they absolutely depend on me to make the right decisions to make sure I keep sending them to school to make sure that they are fed to make sure that you know they they looked after they’re protected right so the most important to me is family. So, essentially from the lessons we can be detached to things. But we can’t let go of family that’s what I’m getting from you. Absolutely. In that, and I think things for me. And this is why I probably drive my my old Honda Fit is bashed up as it is, as proved to me that you know the days of my judgment except for a long run right through it. Those things that used to give me value as a person can can disappear. But then as a person, you still have to remain, you still a dad you still a son you still a brother. And so these are important lessons that I’ve learned through these these, these periods in Zimbabwe that you know, your family, your your the people around you, the people you keep around the image that he put on you, is what’s going to keep you moving forward. It’s not the the worldly thing that sometimes we ought to do. I, in fact, if I think about I spent 15 years in the UK acquiring things which you lost, which I lost. And in that time my parents got older, you know by some by friends you know it’s almost I wish that I wish I just come back sooner. With nothing and try to get you know and beanie and spend that time with, but they say life begins at 40 coulda, you just started. Yes. And you’ve got a beautiful wife you’ve got a beautiful kids you you show them, you showcase them all the time, and you love spending time with them tell me what how much your family means to you.
They mean everything you know and I think everything I do is for them, you know i i take big lessons from my dad and my mom. You know I’m very grateful I still alive and very grateful for the, for the structure they brought into my life, and the amount of time they invested in us, including going to church on Sundays the family, eating together as a family is a time when we had nothing, you know, students in Australia. Mom is working as a care worker, we’re doing paper rounds, you know, it’s not like there’s a lot of wealth, but there’s a lot of wealth in love and a lot of warmth and laughter a lot of warmth in spending time together so we didn’t grow up rich at all, but I think my parents always gave us a lot of richness, with the love in the family you know that pray together stay together, and together. You know, it was always that and I think this is the thing that I’ve also carried through you know spent a lot of time with my son, my daughters, make sure that they participate in the business make sure they start their own businesses, you know force them to do things they feel they can’t do even at a young age, and I think this is the lessons I also take for my dad, fascinating and Begotten Son, how did you become bigger than my dad john 316. For God so loved the world that He gave me he’s only got two sons and I think that’s something used to say all the time. When Twitter opened in 2007. I typed in, to God.