Welcome to The Southern African Times Interviews where we discuss the journey towards success with African entrepreneurs, policy makers, artists and more. We take a deep dive into the individual’s account of how they got to where they are and how they intend to see the Africa they want to manifest after years of economic stagnation in many parts of this great continent.
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of sharing our platform in central London with Adam Molai.
By the age of ten, Adam Molai had learnt that the only way to have his own money was to engage in trading.
He grew up spending his holidays working in his father’s supermarket in Zimbabwe. It was through this experience that he learnt the fundamental principle of business: demand and supply. Selling items he bought from his father’s supermarket at a higher price in a different part of the town meant he always had money.
Years later after obtaining a degree in business from Lakehead University in Canada he returned to Zimbabwe to start the Pacific Cigarette company (formerly Savannah Tobacco). His company went on to break the monopoly that British American Tobacco had in Southern Africa. So far the Pacific Cigarette company has directly created over 250 jobs and contributed to about $100m worth of tobacco exports from Zimbabwe, Africa’s largest producer and exporter of tobacco.
In 2000, Molai started investing in other African companies through TRT Investments. Last year, he started the $2-million Jua Fund to provide African entrepreneurs with much-needed access to capital, mentoring, advice and networks.
Over the past 20 years, he has been investing in African startups and through Jua Fund, he has backed Kenya’s GrowAgric, Madagascar’s Jirogasy, Zimbabwe’s BRYT, Nigeria’s PowerStove and many others.
We hope you enjoy this episode of SAT Interviews with Farai Muvuti!