Sharpe: The high school dropout changing Harare’s skyline

WestProp Holdings chief executive officer Ken Sharpe hands over his Zimbabwe Institute of Management Businessman of the Year Award to Lincoln Masiyanyama, the owner of Nakiso Boreholes in Harare on Friday. Masiyanyama was the runner-up in the Young Leader of the Year Award category.

SOME describe him as a high school dropout. Others views him positively as a young man who chose to pursue his dream.

Very often, young men and women are forced to follow the academic route when their passion is elsewhere and in the end are deemed failures because they will have pursued the wrong life paths.

At 17, Kenneth Raydon Sharpe chose to pursue his passion and dream by abandoning school.

He is now selling hope for a brighter Harare and Zimbabwe “to make our precincts 24-hour cities where life reverberates around the clock”.

A multi-tasker and team player with the sole determination to succeed, the property mogul has always had a dream — to be a millionaire and make a difference in society and in communities he does not even live in.

He is now a household name in the real estate business and also one of the top public speakers with facts and figures on his fingertips.

In his late 40s Sharpe birthed a dream during his three-year study at Harvard University — a dream that is slowly coming to reality.

The one billion brick vision by 2050 WestProp Holdings is pursuing was acknowledged as visionary and worthy of emulation by President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a recent ground-breaking ceremony at Millennium Heights, where 1 000 luxury apartments are under construction at the live, work, shop and play themed estate.

“I urge other entities in the sector to also set targets on the type of investments, with clear timelines for completion, as we move towards achieving the national targets of growing our housing and real estate stock,” Mnangagwa said.

Sharpe, the midwife, is busy baby minding and grooming his dream into practice at Pomona City, Millennium Park and soon at the Hills Golf Estate.

Recently, he mastered the guts to invite the Presidency to one of WestProp’s developments to showcase and motivate others into achieving greatness for Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa praised the businessman for his determination and eloquence in describing his vision and roadmap.

“The target set by WestProp Holdings to reach a billion bricks by 2050 is, indeed, a huge statement of intent by the company. This symbolises their commitment to play their part in building our motherland, Zimbabwe, in line with our national philosophy ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo’.

“Well done for this bold and decisive stance,” Mnangagwa said.

Sharpe did not disappoint as he sold his vision.

“We continue to move towards achieving our one billion brick vision by 2050. I’m not just using words that I came up with for my final assignment at Harvard Business School during the three-year degree study. This is actually our corporate strategy statement that each person at WestProp breathes and lives by everyday,” he said.

Having visited over 400 world cities, Sharpe said his ambition was “to bring the beauty we see elsewhere back home”.

“The dream is to see Harare’s skyline compete with what we see in places like Dubai, London and Singapore,” he said.

His story inspires the youth to follow their dreams and to do so with passionate conviction and boundless enthusiasm.

On Friday, the property mogul lived up to his billing of inspiring the youths by passing on his Zimbabwe Institute of Management Businessman of the Year award to Lincoln Masiyanyama,  the owner of Nakiso Boreholes.

Sharpe said he was inspired by the youthful businessman who started as a vendor and bus conductor, graduating to a courier and eventually an owner of a borehole company employing over 80 people.

“I would like my friend Lincoln to hang this award in his office so that  he gets inspired to win the same award one day. The young people of our country give me hope and he is part of that better future,” Sharpe said.

Masiyanyama was the runner-up in the Young Leader of the Year award category.

Related Topics