Matangaidze remembered as a generous philanthropist

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Matangaidze remembered as a generous philanthropist

Prominent Mutare businessman Joseph Sanhanga speaking on behalf of friends of the late business magnate Hlanganiso Matangaidze at his tombstone unveiling ceremony held last Saturday.

…Donated over US$43 000 towards Buffaloes Football Club

Ngoni Dapira

THE late businessman Hlanganiso Matangaidze has been remembered as a generous philanthropist who set high standards that up-to-date are hard shoes to fill.

The late Mutare based business mogul, of Matan Holdings, who was popularly and affectionately known as Matan, passed away on 29 December 2018 at the age of 55 after succumbing a long illness from renal failure and chronic diabetes.

Speaking at the late Matangaidze’s tombstone unveiling ceremony last Saturday, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Manicaland chairman and Buffaloes Football Club chairman Dr Tendai Chitowa said the late businessman during his tenure as Buffaloes FC chairman generously donated towards the club to help sustain the costly day to day operations when the team was still in the topflight league. He said in total, Matan contributed over US$43 000 which to-date is an insurmountable feat that many including him as the incumbent chairman have not matched.

Dr Tendai Chitowa (left) with Perpetual Guwila (centre) and Charlton Chimbira representing ZNCC.

“I will not talk much about the business side as it has been well said by my predecessor, so I will speak mostly about his contribution towards football in the province when we served together at Buffaloes FC. I was the secretary of the club back then and he was the chairman. He was very generous. As an army team we did not have much resources when we were promoted into the premier league in 2012. When he served as chairman he donated over US$43 000 and also gave free accommodation to players at Wise Owl Hotel during training camps in preparation for matches. Our coach also stayed for free at the hotel under a full-board facility. So, we are really honouring a man who did a lot for the community,” said Dr Chitowa.

Matangaidze who was an avid football lover served as chairman of Buffaloes FC from 2012 to 2015. Buffaloes FC was promoted into the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League in 2012 after topping the Eastern Region Division One in 2011 with an unbeaten record of 26 matches. The army side was however relegated in 2015 and up-to-date plays in the ZIFA Eastern Region Division One.

Charlton Chimbira

ZNCC Manicaland past chairman who is now the national deputy president Charlton Chimbira said Matangaidze left a rich legacy in the chamber. “When we read the chamber records Matangaidze was a sharp shooter in business. He left a big legacy. When he became the ZNCC national Businessman of the Year in 2006, he won a million dollars, Zimbabwe dollars, which present day using the exchange rate is equivalent to US$86 000. He never took a cent but donated the money to orphans which shows his level of generosity. The chamber is not only proud to be associated with the name Matangaidze, but we want to make sure the benchmarks he set will remain there and ensure that his legacy lives on so that generations to come learn,” said Chimbira.

Matangaidze remains the only Manicaland based businessman to win the ZNCC national Businessman of the Year award in 2006. His national award record was only broken in 2017 when Rusape’s Molly Mupfunya, the founding director of Milestone Group of Schools, became the first Manicaland woman recipient of the national Businesswoman of the year award in 2017. Matangaidze also left another pacesetting unbroken record as he remains the only Manicaland based businessman that served as a national ZNCC president in 2014.

ZNCC regional manageress for Manicaland and Chiredzi, Perpetual Guwila said as a chamber they gave the late Matangaidze a posthumous lifetime achievement award in 2019, which is well deserved as he had served Manicaland diligently in the business circles and left a legacy that will be cherished for years to come.

Joseph Sanhanga

Speaking on behalf of the late Matangaidze’s business friends, prominent businessman and real estate magnate Joseph Sanhanga said when Matangaidze was a bank manager in the early 1990’s, the banking sector was monopolised by whites, but he helped a lot of indigenous business people with capital to start businesses.

“During his tenure as a senior banker, Matangaidze was credited to have championed the black empowerment drive by government in the early 1990s as he facilitated loans for several indigenous  entrepreneurs from Manicaland, including me, and most of us grew to become shrewd businesspeople…I thank you the Matangaidze family for honouring our late business colleague. You have given him a special and befitting honour that attests all his good works in his lifetime,” said Sanhanga.

The wife of Zanu-PF Manicaland chairman Mike Madiro who spoke as a family friend said it was through the late Matangaidze that her husband got into business.

“My husband cde Madiro entered into the construction business with Matangaidze and they got a contract to build houses for relocated Chiadzwa villagers at Arda Transau. Life changed for us for the better and we are forever grateful for Matan’s guidance that encouraged my husband into business. We experienced some very difficult times when Madiro was in and out of politics and it was the counsel and support of Matangaidze that sustained us as a family,” said Mrs Madiro.

Tapiwa Matangaidze (right) and close family members following proceedings during the tombstone unveiling ceremony.

The family spokesperson and brother to the late Matan Holdings proprietor, Tapiwa Matangaidze said as a family they are proud of the legacy that their brother left and all he achieved and did for the family and friends throughout his illustrious career.

“Matan’s life was centred on uplifting society. He had positive contribution in all fraternities of life, supporting fellow businesspeople and people in general and sports as an avid sports fan. As we heard, his support towards Buffaloes FC was commendable and he has left an intendable mark in society. As a family we are so proud of that. We celebrate his life because he left our name in good standing and we are proud to have shared the last minutes of his life with him,” said Tapiwa.

Several family members spoke fondly about the late Matan who was described as a frank person, but loving fatherly figure in the family. Typical of memorial services, some people shed a few tears whilst others cracked a few jokes in remembrance of the late larger than life socialite who beyond doubt lived a full life.

Part of the invited guests that comprised of family and friends that attended the event.

The late Matangaidze transferred from Harare to work in Mutare in 1985, after being employed as an assistant manager at the Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCC), now known as the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ). He worked at the bank for seven years and fell in love with Manicaland Province, which became his home away from home, Shurugwi in Midlands, where he was born and raised.

It was however in 1994 that Matangaidze started his own business when he founded Matan Holdings which started off with Matan Trucking. From there up to the time of his death, his entrepreneurial shrewdness saw him grow many enterprises comprising of Green Valley Farm which produces wine, Wise Owl Hotel, Pillaton Construction among many other venture subsidiaries in the entertainment and mining sector.

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