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Of rich cousins and champagne lifestyles



THEY are rich, beautiful and independent.


Everything that the average man desires in life, they have – be it money or material comfort. These elegant women drive a wide range of supercars and live in luxurious houses in the leafy suburbs of the capital city, Harare.

One admirable characteristic of this clique of Zimbabwean females is how they always celebrate each other’s success and milestones.

They are sisters for life!

While each of them run their own businesses, somehow they have a way of ensuring that money circulates among them.

Together, they are popularly known as the Rich Cousins.

They normally do not let new friends into the circle. In fact, they really do not need any because all they need is found within their small community.

When one of them is going through trying times, they offer all their moral and material support.

These ladies’ business empires vary: clothing boutiques, real estate, agriculture, mining, tour and travel, among others.

But who are these women? Well, you are likely to have heard of them:  Gina Duri, Chipo, Thandie Makuyana, Riri Mum, Zodwa Mkandla, Michelle Kawome.

And consistent with the clique is how they celebrate each other’s birthdays.

Usually, they take along with them personal hairdressers on a fun trip to some resorts both locally and internationally, where they pamper themselves with expensive designer wear and fine wine, hobnobbing with well-to-do people.

And they do not make apologies about their lifestyle!

Previously, the group has thrown lavish birthday parties in Greece, Dubai, Mauritius, Durban, Zanzibar as well as in Zimbabwe’s world-famous resort, Victoria Falls.

Wherever they go, the Rich Cousins know how to shut it down with expensive champagnes, sunset cruises on a yatch as well as having fun basking in the sun.

And as the saying goes, if you cannot beat them join them. The ladies have huge appetite for finer things in life.

They go on most of overseas trips as exclusively women. And flying is a must whether it is for shopping or just touring.

Recently, one prominent member of the clique, Mkandla, opened up a bit about who the Rich Cousins are and what makes them tick.

In an interview with radio host Chamvary on Power FM’s Centre Stage, Zodwa, aka Zozo, spoke of how the women came together to form the famed group.

“Well it almost started as a joke on social media when the other group of women called themselves the poor cousins, “ she said.

“So we said we are the Rich Cousins. And yes, we want to be billionaires. The Bible says words have power and you can be what you speak. “

She said as Rich Cousins they were there for each other in times of need but were not open to new friends.

“Yes, we might fight amongst ourselves but we always come together and make sure we are there for each other. And again we make sure money revolves amongst ourselves unless the services that we want are found elsewhere. But we are not open to new friends because,” Mkandla said.

She is a successful businesswoman who owns Traverze Travel Agency, a thriving tour and travel business.

“It is not true that when you don’t have a degree you cannot achieve what I’ve achieved, no! I have a team of professionals but I have the vision and ideas of how to make the business viable.

“Yes, we all work as a team to ensure the success of business but at times when professionals tell me they cannot do the job I get on the laptop myself and see how I can I accommodate a booking from my clients.

“Remember I didn’t start with many clients I started out with one client and he referred me to the others who in turn were happy with the service so that is important,” she explained.

Asked what people should consider in starting businesses, Mkandla singled out passion as the major driving force towards success.

“I think you should know where your passion is. If you enjoy cooking, maybe you need to open a restaurant and if you are passionate about groceries open a shop and if you’re into hair start a hair and beauty shop. No business is too small but it is about passion and you are likely to make it if you follow your passion,” she said.

Besides being a hands-on person, Mkandla also described herself as “go-getter” who did not depend on men. Self-confidence, she emphasised, is important.


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