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Chakare becomes own man against all odds


Poverty has always been the major hindrance to success for many people, so much that it is the few that succeed in its face that deserve mention.


That could be the case of one Simba Chakare who against all odds has succeeded to become his own man when the bulk of his peers remain in the doldrums.

Popular on the local music scene as Bodyslam, he is the man behind Bobyslam Records a ghetto recording label that has empowered several youths into becoming household names.

But there is more to the Highfield bred fellow who apart from his huge successes remains a humble man.

“When I finished my Ordinary Level I went straight to work where I was being mentored by my uncle Hillary Chabvuta in shipping and clearing. I worked as a clearing clerk for 10 years before I started my own company,” said Chakare.

“During my time as a clerk, I was clerk during the day and DJ by night and many of my peers failed to understand how I looked to be so comfortable with the meagre finances. But sometimes I would play at three different clubs. I would even walk on foot passing through some of the dangerous spots. The key for me was that I followed each and every piece of advice that my uncle gave me.

“Many were shocked to see me managing to make certain developments that were beyond their reach because to them I was just a DJ and hatred also came in, but I did not stop.”

Chakare who last week opened the doors to his own clothing shop at the Main Post Office in Harare where he sells his own clothing line Bodyslam.

The apparel under the label is already doing well in the United Kingdom and South Africa among other countries and Chakare says his dream is to get into unchartered territory.

He said he is determined to do all it takes so that his label gets the recognition that others in the world are getting.

“I have invested a lot of time and money into this and I would love to see it flourish. We want to market this brand so that we go to Russia, Nigerian and any other country where people are fashion conscious. We are not stopping. We are coming there. We are going there even in rural areas we want to see scotch carts branded Bodyslam the same way we branded our bicycles Fubu and Sean Jean,” said Chakare.

“What I just long for as an entrepreneur is where government works out a way for business people like me to access loans because we have already made all the necessary set up. We do not have the funding. If the economy starts functioning well then maybe we can reach our destination faster and more easily.

“This shop is just a start. I admire Denford Chiro of the label Boys Dzetonaz, Cynthia Bizure of Jan Jam Men’s Wear and Spencer Madziya of The House of Sphinx. These are young people who are doing well and I get inspiration from them. My hope is we synergise so that we can all grow together because this is not competition but just business.”

Chakare said his best support comes from Highfield, the community in which he grew up in that has a people with respect and love for him.
He said he now enjoys a warmly relationship with the whole community and assists a number of school children in paying their tuition fees as well as at funerals and parties where he makes pledges of different sizes.

Growing up under the care of his grandmother who later passed on in 2001, Chakare lost his mother in 1995 when he was just 15 ex periences that have taught him the importance of giving to the community.

“Every charitable activity that I am involved in is a Bodyslam project and I want the community to feel proud to have produced a man like me,” he said.

Chakare works with partner Tinashe Mashita in his Hillgate Shipping and Clearing.

Now boasting of a fleet of trucks that he ships clients’ goods around the country Chakare said he owes his wife Eddar Chinogurei a great deal of respect.

“At one time I remember we would have sadza and eggs as a special dinner because life was tough but she has never left my side. That is one reason for which I make sure whatever I do I take care of my wife and three daughters first. I am not flamboyant out there but one needs to come to my house and see the reason why. My family is very special to me,” he said.

“I also need to mention King Alfred, Boss Ronnie, and Tendai Mutoro for the encouragement. Being a DJ on a changing scene I have had to be innovative and they have helped me do that with logistical assistance and a lot other for gigs in the United Kingdom.”

Seeing the need to have a professional touch to his newly formed business Simba went back to school and acquired several qualifications in Clearing and Shipping and Customs and Excise policies.

Bodyslam Records also hosts several shows in the region that include a forthcoming tour of South Africa which takes Chakare, Shinsoman and his team to Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg between February 26 and March 2.

Working together with Zimdancehall producer PTK, they came up with
the label Bodyslam Records which gave birth to the popular riddim Bodyslam riddim.

Bodyslam International is also responsible for several local artistes’ like Soul Jah Love, Seh Calaz, Stunner, Killah T and many others.Chakare was born on October 6 1980 and went to Kuwangira Primary and Kwayedza High Schools where he won several accolades a soccer player.

“My love sport has not died. I used to have a team that I sponsored and I am friends with a lot of soccer players. It is a way of keeping in touch with the community,” he said

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