Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
MR Wilson Sibanda from Southwold suburb in Bulawayo is living his dream as he believes he has achieved heights that he never thought he could reach.
Mr Sibanda (47) recalls that in 1998 he moved from his rural village in Filabusi, Insiza District, Matabeleland South in search of employment in the city.
He had completed Ordinary Level but unfortunately, he had failed to acquire five passes.
Mr Sibanda was however not discouraged as he looked for a job as a security guard.
He was then employed by one of the top security companies in the country.
For years, he toiled as a security guard and his employers, recognising his dedication to work sent him for in-house development courses leading him to lead the company’s cash-in transit deployments.
Twenty-four years later, Mr Sibanda is no longer a security guard but a businessman with interest in private security, owns a driving school and runs a thriving poultry project. He employs more than 30 people in his businesses.
“I started working at Fawcett Security in 1998 as a security guard and the company took me through various courses where as a result I was promoted to a sergeant. As sergeant I conducted managerial duties, I was supervising stations. I was posted in various towns where I was running operations and cash-in-transit,” said Mr Sibanda.
He said the experience he obtained working for the company enabled him to leave his job and set up his own company in 2006, which he named Wilson Security before it closed down in 2012 due to economic challenges.
But his mind was set on being an entrepreneur and a year later he established Focus Driving School, which is running up to date.
His passion for offering private security services saw Mr Sibanda establish a new security company, SAF Security, which has managed to spread its wings in Matabeleland South and Bulawayo.
In Matabeleland South he is providing security at some gold mines in Filabusi and Gwanda.
In Bulawayo, the company provides security to premises in both residential and industrial areas. He said his company has also managed to get contracts from some clients who previously were serviced by the so-called big companies in private security.
A Chronicle news crew visited Mr Sibanda at his offices situated in the city centre and observed that he was multi-tasking.
While attending to clients who were coming for driving lessons, he was also making calls to security guards stationed in various organisations.
“This is mainly about managing time. Yes, I’m heavily involved in all my operations as I want to make sure that all my clients are happy. During the day I mainly concentrate on the driving school business and here and there I would be trying to get more clients for the security company,” said Mr Sibanda.
“But in the evening, I shift my focus to the security business as I have more clients whom I offer night security services. Although I have someone who is responsible for night patrols, I sometimes do them myself just to ensure that my clients are happy.”
The company employs 26 guards and he said it is pleasing to know that he has also created employment for some people.
Mr Sibanda said he is also pursuing modern private security techniques and soon he might not even need to conduct patrols.
“I now have an application that tracks and manages the activities of a security guard at any station. What happens is that every officer working for my company will now have to carry a smart phone with an application which also directs them on their duties,” said Mr Sibanda.
“If they have to patrol premises every 15 minutes, the application will record that while reporting to me.
This is good because even when I see that my security guard is not responding to duties, I can then conduct physical patrols to establish if everything is in order.”
He said he also uses private recording cameras where necessary while security guards are equipped with stun guns, pepper spray and pistols and rifles.
Mr Sibanda said rifles are mainly given to security guards that are deployed to mines.
He said being honest is one of the key qualities before someone takes up a job as a security officer.
The father of three runs his business with his wife Ms Siphumule Chuma, who is an administrator in the family venture.
“She is not around today because we also have a poultry project in our home in Mawabeni. We have about 500 birds that we are rearing in our home and we supply chickens to the community and some of them we sell them here in town. We are also planning to open a private pre-school at the village and we are working on the paperwork as the community has already consented to the idea,” he said.
Mr Sibanda said he is also expanding his driving school business to Hwange, Matabeleland North.
He also employs five people at his driving school which offers Class 2 and Class 4 driving lessons.
Mr Sibanda said among his employees is an accountant.
He said he has managed to build a home both in the city as well as at the village.
The businessman said while some people may not see the opportunities that exist in the country, the environment is good for those who want to dream.
“The country is good especially when you are keen on taking advantage of existing opportunities. I have been able to start several projects because I believe Zimbabwe is very open if you want to start a business. You can approach the relevant offices and be assisted,” said Mr Sibanda. – @nqotshili.
Article Source: The Chronicle