MALAWIAN-BORN Harare-based traditional healer and herbalist, Kamwelo Banda is diversifying.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The charismatic traditional healer is no longer confining himself to healing and assisting people with spiritual matters, but is venturing into religious tourism too.
He says his services were being sought by people of all classes, races and religions who were realising the importance of traditional medicine.
Because of his huge international following, he sees a window of opportunity in religious tourism.
The spiritualist said he would bring investment to the country through his clients drawn from across the globe and assist in the economic growth of the country.
Last week, Banda met with Zimbabwe Tourism (ZTA) officials where he unveiled two Europe-based Zimbabweans Brian Shonna and Bruce Gomwe whom he said he had lured to invest back home.
The two are directors of Global Core, a multidisciplinary international company with expertise in property development, mining, aviation, agriculture and renewable energy and headquartered in Glasgow United Kingdom and has branches across the globe, including in Spain.
The company now eyes southern Africa and Zimbabwe will be one of its destinations.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of the meeting at a local hotel, Banda pledged support towards the promotion of the country’s tourism sector and vowed to bring in more potential investors to the tourism sector.
“There are a lot of people who still believe in the African tradition and recognise that traditional medicines are very effective,” he said.
“That is why we were recording a significant number of foreign visitors before the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, not only coming from southern Africa, but as far as America, Japan, China, Sweden and Australia to consult me.”
He added: “Many of these foreigners are potential investors who have the capacity to invest in our country as evidenced by these Europe-based friends of mine (Brian Shonna and Bruce Gomwe) who have expressed interest in investing here.”
“They are to meet with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority officials to discuss what form of investment they can make, but certainly they have shown great interest in investing in our country.”
Banda said apart from promoting tourism, he was also playing a vital role in the provision of primary healthcare and generating the much-needed foreign currency when his clients visit Zimbabwe.
“By bringing these foreigners, we are also promoting tourism in a way as we are contributing towards rebuilding Zimbabwe, as these visitors are bringing in foreign currency,” he said.
“Those foreigners, who come here, are booked at hotels and also spend money in our local shops and that brings business to the country.”
Shonna and Gomwe said they were happy to return home after 25 years, adding that they were impressed by infrastructural development in the country.
“The last time we were here, there were not so many buildings being built and from what we see, it appears there is a wrong impression about the country and that has to change.
“Of course, every country has its problems, but it’s not what is portrayed in international media,” Gomwe said.
“I urge local media to put the Zimbabwean story positively to the outside world so as to promote domestic tourism. We have a lot of friends who are willing to come and invest in Zimbabwe, so let the media play a big role in selling the good image of the country.”
ZTA spokesperson, Godfrey “Chief” Koti said there was a need for more tourism players especially from overseas to bring the much-needed foreign direct investment.
“This is commendable considering that one of the key areas that they want to invest in is tourism. So, as ZTA we are there to facilitate that and ensure that there is growth in the tourism sector,” he said.
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