Occupation: Entrepreneur and business owner.Age: 42
Nigel Chanakira founded the financial services firm Kingdom (now Kingdom Meikles Africa) in 1994 in his late 20s.
Notwithstanding the intense political and social turmoil that has characterised Zimbabwe for the past decade, building a business that is now one of the largest listed groups by market capitalisation on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), with a secondary listing in London, is an immense achievement.
In the space of 15 years, Mr Chanakira has transformed a small, four-man money broking operation into one of the largest financial services groups in Zimbabwe, with operations in Botswana and Malawi. The company is still growing. In late 2007, Kingdom concluded the largest merger ever undertaken on the ZSE. It formed Kingdom Meikles Africa through the merger of hotel chain Meikles Africa, the Tanganda Tea Company and textile firm Cotton Printers.
Mr Chanakira was appointed the inaugural group chief executive of the new company, which was subsequently voted the top quoted company on the ZSE in 2007. Among the litany of awards that he has accumulated, stand-out achievements include the Zimbabwe Institute of Management’s Manager of the Year in 2000, Zimbabwe’s Entrepreneur of the Decade and the University of Zimbabwe’s Alumni of the year, both in 2003.
Mr Chanakira also sits on numerous boards, including the chair of business consultancies the Success Motivation Institute (Africa) and Velociti Solutions (South Africa), as well as on the board of the Christian Community Partnership Trust, a coalition of businesses that combine their resources to have greater impact on the communities in which they operate.
Mr Chanakira is a shining example of a success story to emerge from a troubled country. He has managed to build a flourishing business in exceptional circumstances.