For Episode 8 I had the privilege of having a great conversation with Lungile Tshuma, founder of the Tshuma Foundation. A great guy with a passion for Zimbabwe. Born in Bulawayo, Lungi has lived in 4 different countries and built a life initially through the sport of rugby.
Through the platform of playing for the Zimbabwe U20 & Senior rugby team, 8 years ago he got a scholarship to attend Lindenwood University in the USA where he studied International Relations. More recently, however, he has pivoted into a career in business having recently finished his MBA and Washington University in St Louis.
In his own words “Sport was my first platform, then I pivoted to business”. “I wanted to elevate my skills so I could be someone of value in the business world so I decide to apply to an elite business school”.
At the core of his ambitions in both sport and business, his driving motivation has always been "to represent Zimbabweans, do well, and have an impact". His belief is that "a lot of the problems that are being solved in Zimbabwe and on the African continent are in small businesses and entrepreneur’s hands”
In going to business school his aim was to gain the skills that would equip him with the resources to help create new businesses that are innovative, solve problems that are going to make people wealthier, and expose talent to opportunities.
Like many Zimbabweans, he has had to build a life abroad. However, what stands out about Lungi is that he has intentionally chosen to use all the opportunities he has been given to pay it forward to other young Zimbabwean rugby players through the establishment of the Tshuma Foundation
“The foundation is based on the simple idea that I am where I am because the world said I was talented. But there are others that are also talented that deserve the same opportunity. The foundation is a scholarship for a talented rugby player to go to Lindenwood University. But the important thing is that it’s based on character. The recipient of the scholarship must be a good person, an ambassador, a leader and to have an impact on people around them in a positive way. Which is more important than their sporting talent.
It’s not like I’m a millionaire or I’m killing it but I have a lot of opportunities. I have more opportunities than a lot of people. And it wasn’t easy for me to get here but it could be easier… and it’s me just trying to pave the way for other talented people so that they can do the same for others. We’re trying to create a domino effect of paying it forward for Zimbabweans”