Meet Zimbabwe’s Best Banker – Dr Lance Mambondiani

And he is a lawyer too..

Dr Lance Mambondiani , CEO of BancABC, had an interview with Emperors of Success during which he revealed that he has held 5 Zimbabwe Banks CEO positions, all of them by invitation.

Key Points from the interview:

  1. Dr Mambondiyani was born on 16 February 1974 in Dangamvura, at Mutare General Hospital, and was raised by a single mother and his grandmother.
  2. His Grandmother had a stall at Sakubva vegetable market.
  3. His family was poor and his mother was assisted to pay his school fees by relatives. She also used to go to South Africa to sell wares.
  4. His Father and mother separated when he was very young and he passed away when Dr Mambondiani was at university.
  5. He says one of his biggest regrets is that he did not have a close relationship with his father and did not know him well.
  6. From Garde 1 to 7 he was not a good student.
  7. From form 1, he attended a boarding school outside Kwekwe, just before Gokwe called Rio Tinto Zhombe. He set a goal for himself to be the best student in the region. He worked so hard he collapsed after preparing for his English exam for 48 hours straight without sleeping. He wrote the exam from a hospital bed and came out the best student in that exam.
  8. At A” Level, he passed 4 subjects and came out with 18 points.
  9. He was also an ‘assistant Librarian’ to Mrs Juma. He knew all the books at the library and their location.
  10. The financial situation at home was so bad that he spent 3 school holidays at school working at teachers houses and preparing for exams while others were with their families.
  11. His English Teacher was Mrs. Ncube who played a big part in his life, among other teachers.
  12. He had a girlfriend at Rio Tinto Zhombe school and she was the best student in their class. She was later transferred to Chaplin High and married someone else.
  13. He studied Law at the University of Zimbabwe because he had so many points at A Levels.
  14. He always wore a suit at the university ( one was yellow, custom made).
  15.  Dr Alex Magaisa was in his UZ class, Pettinah Gapa, Brian Kagoro was a couple of years ahead, Tawanda Hotora ( Amnesty International) was a friend.
  16. He was an intern for Advocate Adrian De Bourbon, at one of the best law firms in Zimbabwe.
  17. After which he became a legal assistant for the late David Zamchiya for about 2 years.
  18. He says he realised that law was not the career for him and decided to do something else.
  19. He applied for a legal assistant position with Tawanda Nyambirai at NMB in the Corporate Finance Department.
  20. That’s when he fell in love with Banking.
  21. He was in the personal wealth management department for 2 years.
  22. He met Nigel Chanikira during this time.
  23. After a few years Chanakira asked him to come and head Kingdom Private Banking.
  24. He also held the CEO position at TN Asset Management for one year wile waiting to go to the UK for his doctorate.
  25. He was given a scholarship by the British Council and went to the UK for 11 years.
  26. He says being in the diaspora opened up his mind because your aspirations becomes bigger. You realize Zimbabwe is so small. You also realize that there are more ways of doing what we have been doing.
  27. On BancABC, Dr Mambondiani said he joined the bank after being invited to join. He says he believes the bank has incredible potential because it is all over Southern Africa and is contributing to economic growth.
  28. BancABC is currently operating in 7 African countries.
  29. Senditoo is in the process of integrating with all BancABC branches.
  30. Dr Mambondiani says the bank wants to support more entreprenuers like Takwana of Chicken Hut.
  31. He met his wife at church before he left for the UK and they have 2 kids ( 8 year old daughter and his son is going to St Johns).
  32. Danny Marandure, Leslie Javangwe, Lazarus Muchenje, Chipo Mutasa are his friends.
  33. He says we don’t grow an economy by selling something that someone else has built.
  34. Dr Mambondiani says he wants to make a bigger contribution to the country.

Other Points

  • He does not believe leadership is a position. He is not a politician and does not desire to be one.
  • A lot of people chose to confine themselves because of their backgrounds. However, he believes that anyone can be anything they chose to be.
  • We have failed as a generation to look at the future because of our current challenges.
  • Dr Lance Mambondiani says he lives by the principle that if he cant outsmart you, he will outwork you.
  • He says he has held five CEO positions, but has never applied for any of these. He has simply been an accidental CEO.