Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
Some people take the Government’s youth empowerment programmes as a fluke.

They are not. They are real and have created a growing cadre of successful businesspeople across the country. They are involved in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, retail, transport and many other industries and are doing well for themselves and the economy.

Cde Tinashe Shumba (42) who hails from Mberengwa signed up for one of the many Government youth empowerment programmes a few years ago.

His is the veritable from humble beginnings story having started off as a security guard in the late 1990s to become a successful businessman with investments in gold mining and processing and liquid fuels retailing.

After completing his studies at a school in Mnene Village in Mberengwa, he joined Safeguard as a security guard in the late 90s.

Cde Shumba worked at a mine in Mberengwa before registering his own claim. He now employs more that 100 people across the Midlands province.

“I started as a security guard around late 90s. I worked for Safeguard in Gokwe and Kwekwe. I then left and joined the mining sector and worked as a gold miner for a certain company in Mberengwa. But later I also registered my name for the youth empowerment programme and I benefitted and managed to register my own mining claim,” he said.

“The mine used to be owned by whites and they abandoned it at the height of land reform programme. They had tried to conceal the mining activities that were taking place there.”

In no time, Cde Shumba had registered three more claims, each employing more than 10 people.

Cde Shumba also managed to spread his mining wings through construction of gold mills and a mining lab.

“The mining lab is where our gold samples are tested. It is not only our samples but other miners can have theirs tested at the lab to see whether you are operating at a lucrative mine or not,” he said.

Having achieved so much in the mining sector, Cde Shumba then spread his wings into the petroleum industry. He has done well to contribute to transforming the face of the Midlands Province after he constructed three service stations under the banner GTS Petroleum.

Two of the service stations are in Mberengwa and the latest, which is in the final stages of construction, is in Kwekwe.

“The service stations all have almost a similar design whereby they have fuel stations, and other grocery shops, fast foods, tyre services and so on,” said Cde Shumba.

One complete service station employs about 20 workers.

The businessman said he is now looking to spreading his wings to Harare where he looks forward to constructing a service station in the near future.

He heaped praises on the Government for ensuring that youths really benefitted from the programme.

“We are really grateful to the Government for according us such opportunities as youths. Gone are the days when we used to say youths will be working in their parents’ field until you are 40. President Mnangagwa showed trust in us and we have a mandate to show him what we are capable of and above all to grow our economy,” said Cde Shumba, who is also Zanu-PF Midlands Provincial Youth Secretary for Finance.

He also warned some youths against drug abuse.

“There are so many youths in the mining sector and they make money. But I urge them to invest wisely,” Cde Shumba said.