‘Businesses have to adapt or die’


EX-ARMY boss, Kenneth Mhlophe believes that businesses have to adapt or die.


The businessman was recently named the 2015 Megafest Entrepreneur of the Year for his efforts in driving private security company, Nokel (Pvt) Limited, which he formed in 2001.


To date, the company has spread its wings across the southern region.

“The major opportunity for private security in our economy is the increase in informal business in all the facets of production, mining and services. This means the market prefers the ones who are able to adapt or change fast and Nokel has shifted its attention towards this market in the whole of the southern region,” Mhlophe said this week.

He said due to the high increase in security threats and robberies at most supermarkets, companies, schools and private residences, the need to provide a secure environment had gained more prominence.

“The over-emphasis by the police to have every business secured with security personnel, armed personnel, cameras, closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) and having a secured banking (armoured cash-in-transit service) has also made the business of private security popular as a way to minimise risk of theft or robbery,” Mhlophe said.

He said business in the security sector was tough at the moment due to the slowdown in economic activity.

Mhlophe said there was a mushrooming of illegal security companies who do not pay taxes and charge extremely low prices in a bid to snatch contracts from established businesses.

He said there should be fair treatment for all companies by the government when it comes to the tendering process.
“We have many government and parastatal tenders, but other security companies have gone for more than 10 years without getting any government tender. Let’s share the national cake equally because you find out that one company has been getting these tenders for the past 10 years at the expense of others,” Mhlophe said.
The ex-military man said since some of Nokel clients were expanding into other regions beyond Bulawayo, this provided an excellent opportunity to expand “with our clients and use the opportunity to explore existing or new markets in those targeted towns”.

Nokel specialises in the provision of security services. It has its headquarters in Bulawayo and has branches in Gweru, Kwekwe, Gwanda, Zvishavane, Victoria Falls, Chegutu, Tsholotsho and Beitbridge. Other branches, according to Mhlophe, will be opened as required.

“We provide employment to locals in those branches. As we grow as a company, we have managed to team up with a South African company, ATS, to add to our services sophisticated electronic surveillance systems. This, although it’s still in infancy, will make the company grow in technology,” he said.

The company credits its success in the past years to listening to its clients’ concerns and objectives to create customised security packages, knowing what the client does not know (security expertise to the client),training security guards carefully, consistently monitoring and reviewing the quality of security service to its clients to ensure quality adherence to changing times in security matters.

Mhlophe is a retired colonel in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) where he spent 28 years working in different capacities, ranks and different peacekeeping missions in Zimbabwe and some parts of Africa. He was attested into the army in 1980 at the age of 24.

At the time of his retirement, Mhlophe was the chief instructor logistics at the ZNA Staff College.

On retiring from the army he had been involved in both local and international security appointments at one time being the director of logistics for Sadc forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He founded Nokel in 2001, and it provides services to mines, manufacturing industries, warehouse companies, banks, property management consultants, hotels, fast foods companies, farms and residential properties, among others.
In 2015 he started a cleaning services company, Little Tip Investments.


  1. Thats true the cake is never shared equaly but when the year end you are suprised when they are asking for pleges to host their year end christmas party. They should check with their data base and ask those they gave business

    • Muhlope taura chokwadi kuti wakajoina former army and left not a colonel. We see you in Masvingo opposite post office and active in politics MuDhoSvo just like Major Kudzai Mbudzi with Crush security and Captain Zvarivadza with Cobra Security

  2. Musoja uyu anoziva here kuti in the past 10 yrs there is no businessperson of the year from the Manufacturing Sector. Vanongopanana ivo vechiguard. Ndiyo economy yacho here. Tipeiwo maserious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. “Adapt to underpaying so-called employees” is no innovation. but exploitation of man by man retired Musoja, which is no accolade at all!!

  4. Though the company is not popular, the ex- soldier deserves a pat on the back for he started his own company unlike other natives who only wait to grab other people’s companies.

  5. ………..‘Businesses have to adapt or die’………… there is nothing new about this. Any commercial text book and pure logic will reinforce the same message.

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