It’s Women’s Month and we’re talking to Mukuru dynamo, Mweemba Chuunka. Discover what inspires her to succeed and the great advice she’d give her younger self.
Mweemba studied accounting at school and started her career working in the accounting department of an electronic vending services provider. Attracted by the adrenaline rush of sales, she soon morphed into a formidable salesperson. She joined a mobile network operator in the mobile money department where she was put in charge of the distribution network and as well as customer growth for a five year period. Mweemba joined Mukuru in 2018 as Country Manager for Zambia. Her role is to oversee the daily operations of the company and paint Zambia Orange!
How important is the influence of family on your professional life – from parents in your formative years, to siblings, partners, etc?
Family is the backbone and inspiration for many of my ventures. They keep me grounded and motivated to always push for a legacy we can all be proud of.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
In my case, it’s more ‘what’ than ‘who’. It comes from the drive to see people’s lives transformed for the better and offering solutions that speak to that.
Did you have a mentor and what role did that person play in your life?
I have never had a conventional mentorship. Luckily, my career has been centred around networking and tapping into a vast pool of knowledge held by the people I’ve interacted with.
How do you deal with professional stress?
I love music! It has the power to cut across all differences, and it’s amazing how the right selection of beats, lyrics and rhythm can be so uplifting. I also love to dance – sometimes you just have to ‘shake it out’! A drive out in the country would be the icing on the cake.
How do you maintain a work – life balance?
There are challenges to achieving this balance. More especially now, due to the ever-changing business landscape. However, once you realise that a healthy mind is a prerequisite to success, this serves as a constant reminder to rejuvenate and achieve a sense of balance. This is usually doing the things I enjoy, like catching up with friends, travelling, dancing, and of course treating myself to a calming drink!
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Do your thing baby! Life will bring on a lot of challenges and sometimes you will be fearful, but remember challenges come with opportunities to grow, and do and learn new things. So go on and face them. You rock!!
What advice would you give to women at Mukuru?
Women are a much-needed resource. We carry a unique requisite of patience, strength and resilience to nurture the organisation. For this reason, we should always remain passionate.
What can we do as women and men to begin to deal with the scourge of women-abuse and femicide in our communities?
We need to start talking about it, and normalise conversations on the tough and uncomfortable issues that have a great impact on family, organisations and country development.