NAME ::: Richard Zengeni COUNTRY ::: Mozambique
My name is Richard. I’m 50 years old and a business consultant and come from Mozambique. I live here in Tofo and I run this beautiful place here that we call the “Bread Shag”. Right now we are at the place that will become the “Sunset Bar” where we enjoy the green view and the blue view.
I was not really born here. I migrated here also because of the place. Originally I’m from Manika, but I came here when I was 20 years old and stayed here. Manika is in the Northern province. I grew up there with my family. My father was a priest and my mother is a nurse, so I grew up as a Christian, went to school and studied Management here in Mozambique and abroad in England, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. So I have been around a bit.
What is most important to you?
Living live, that is what is most important to me. I live day to day. If you enjoy your day than you do the right thing. This is what I try with enjoying working. If I succeed in something, if my business is successful, that is like a climax to me. But I think the biggest what I ever achieved was my diploma.
What has influenced you the most in your life?
What influenced me is my grandfather. He was a very wise man and he influenced a lot that I am who I am today. He influced me on a lot of aspects, culturally, with his knowledge – he was very wise. I grew up with him in the love of the family. All this was very important and it laid out the route that I was taking later on. He also taught me about our family history. I know our family tree for three/four hundred years back. So I know exactly where I come from. He could retell all this stories from the past.
What has been an important turning point in your life?
Life has it’s own turning points. When you change from one szenario to another you must know your past and where you want to go in the future. Then you can view things as a turning point. For instance when you are alone and then you get a family, that’s a turning point. That was a big change for me. Suddenly you have responsibilty for not only you, but also for others. That’s a turning point.
What makes you happy?
My family makes me feel happy. I have two very handsome two girls and some great boys, so they make me happy.
What are you personally proud of?
I’m proud of myself. I have as a father matured, I have a family. I do everything that I do on my own. Like this project with the bar, that makes me proud, because I do it from my own capacity, with my own hands. I’m building it all on my own. This makes me proud. It is different if you buy something or if you create and build it yourself.
What have been the biggest struggles in your life?
My biggest struggle, ya, that was the war. We had a big civil war here and to be very honest with you, it has been very destructive. I was fighting in the war. There was a lot of men butchering and it’s something that follows me. So that I why I gave all to make war come to an end. I used my voice, I spoke with the Americans, I spoke with the Germans, I spoke with everybody to let the war come to an end. I was in the battlefield, so I know exactly how people are suffering. I tried to do everything in my capacity to make it stop. The war started 1976 with the rebels and I was fighting until it’s end, so that was 16 years of war. I was involved in all kinds of things. It was something that is really disgusting. If you see human slaughtering, humans being butchered, it’s horrible. I lost family, friends, colleges.
I think today, our generation had enough. Even the war mongers also, because this war didn’t come from inside, it came from outside. The war mongers are always there. After independance it shifted support from America and this people are there, that we call the war mongers, secret service and all that, who were supporting the rebels. But finally we negotiated with them and everyone knows it’s not good. In our generation nobody wants war today.
What would you change in your life, if you could change something?
Oh, my life, I don’t think that I would change much. Today I have what I have and I’m changing my life right now with this project here, with doing things. That is good. But in the past? Maybe I could have made some other choices, who knows…
What do you wish for your own future?
A better future, that is what I wish for. That there is peace in this country. That I can take all my children to graduate and they can reach the best diplomas. Then I’ll know, I have people that are independant, that can support the