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Zim woman breaks the norm in New Zealand
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Zim woman breaks the norm in New Zealand

Gisela Ngubo-Mchena

Tavonga Zvinonzwa

During the month of March every year, Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating the milestones made by women in various spheres of life.

Some realise their achievements on home soil while others make it miles away from home.

New Zealand-based Zimbabwean woman, Gisela Ngubo-Mchena, has defied the odds, and is already making her name as a registered real estate consultant in that country.

In 2020, Ngubo-Mchena became the first black African woman to pursue real estate in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, the city that she lives in.

Ngubo-Mchena’s soft spot for making a difference in other people’s lives as well as her personal experiences pushed her into the industry.

“People are the closest to my heart.

“A chance to make a difference in someone’s life is all I wanted.

“For me, that makes life meaningful,” Ngubo-Mchena told Zim Now from her New Zealand base.

“My personal experience in racial discrimination, social classification, need for resources to finance my dreams, and the need for a more solid retirement plan, nudged me into the industry.

“I did not know that I was breaking the norm, all I had was faith, determination and a smile.

“l was the first black African woman to join real estate in the city where I live”.

Zimbabwean professionals have in the past years been fleeing the country to places such as Europe, United States and South Africa among several other destinations.

And, a number of them have turned to menial jobs like caring for the elderly, gardening and house keeping.

But, Harcourts Real Estate did not regret for choosing Ngubo-Mchena as she quickly proved to them that she is worth it in the property field where one’s name matters the most.

“The most challenging was the need to get that first person who would trust an African girl who presumably has English as their third or fourth language.

“Soon enough, the heavens smiled on me, and I had my two sales within six months of my real estate licence, something that was unusual, especially for one who had no background in property…”, she said.

Ngubo-Mchena’s successes did not go unnoticed after bagging a Rising Star Award, courtesy of Harcourts Real Estate, during her first year in the property field.

She, however, said achieving that feat was not a stroll in the park as she faces a number of challenges in her line of work.

But she could not let the setbacks deter her from attaining her goals.

“The challenges that I face in my line of work are insignificant compared to the cause.

“Here and there I face racism, bullying and discrimination.

“I often try not to take it to heart as I am who I am, and I cannot change that.

“I have learnt to build a support network around me.

“This includes but not limited to family, friends, community…”, she said.

Zim Now managed to access Ngubo-Mchena’s public link to her ratings where buyers and sellers that she led through the process of acquiring and disposing their properties respectively heaped praises on her.

Ngubo-Mchena was born in Masvingo Province, one of the most populous of Zimbabwe’s provinces.

Now in her early 40s, Ngubo-Mchena attended a number of schools, which include Tongogara High School in Shurugwi before training as an electrical engineer which was not her career of passion.

A visit in 2004 to a family member who was already living in the Pacific Ocean island opened doors of opportunities which she grabbed with both hands.

After landing in New Zealand, Ngubo-Mchena pursued electrical engineering but after realising that she could not continue carrying ladders around, she switched to quality engineering and later real estate, a profession of her passion.

Ngubo-Mchena urged fellow women to be brave in all their endeavours, and not to despise themselves.

“If you have thought about it long and hard, grab that ‘perhaps’ out of your purse and give it a try.

“Be prepared to clothe yourself with strength, patience and resilience.

“Your ethnicity, accent, shape, or size do not have to limit you,” she said.

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