I recently had a quick catch up call with a few women based in Zimbabwe, and one of them happened to be Michelina ‘Mikey’ Chindiya, and so whilst we were talking, me being my usual self, I decided to go full journalist on her, and below is what came out of it!
Who would you say you are in your own words?
I am a young woman passionate about uplifting women and girls through fitness and finance. Building and maintaining my own health and wealth are important priorities in my life, so with everything, I learn along the way I want to share. I enjoy life and try to make the most of it. I’m not afraid to speak my mind or stand for what I believe in. I am a woman who is becoming, against all odds, I’m trying to reach the best of who I could be.
When did you decide to form a brand yourself?
About two years ago, at the beginning of 2019 when a friend approached me and suggested giving some sort of structure to the content that I had been posting online. Everything I have done since then has been very intentional towards building a brand.
In your own words, what best represents you as a person?
Driven, stubborn, persistent, hardworking, passionate.
Share some tips or pointers that should be considered, which you realized much later when starting out your career?
Always have every agreement in writing, even if it is for something as simple as a product/good/service in exchange for a post, document it all, making sure the agreement contains all the details, of what you will receive and what is expected of you. Take it seriously as a career from the jump, it really is a full-time job, your brand is your career.
Get a manager; this will help make a huge difference. They give you advice on your work and the structure and direction of your brand, and ensure that you look after your social media platforms responsibly (sometimes things can just take a second pair of eyes in the heat of the moment), they will help you manage your schedule, your projects collaborations and most importantly for me, the legal side of this industry.
Lastly, work on a brand strategy from the time you decide to build your/a brand so you have a clear structure and roadmap to work from. It makes it so much easier to navigate the industry because you have a foundation to refer to and change if need be. Rather than trying to figure things out once you have gathered momentum, it can be quite a snag in terms of your growth.
Tell us about your overall career? What made you go that path, the accolades or recognition you’ve received since then?
Well growing up I looked up to my mother and aspired to be just like her. She was an Economist by profession and worked in the Finance sector. So from quite a young age, even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to become in life, I knew I had a keen interest in finance. Lucky for me I was good with numbers, Mathematics and Accounting were my favorites at school. So on the strength of these two subjects, right after high school, I decided to pursue a BSc in Banking and Finance at the University of Essex which I graduated from 3 years later.
Soon after graduation, I landed a job with my current employer – Carrick Wealth, an offshore Wealth Management Firm. My job entails providing high-net-worth individuals with wealth solutions in the offshore market.
I started off as an assistant to one of the advisors, worked my way up, and
eventually got promoted to the role of a Wealth Specialist. So now I get to
provide holistic financial planning services to high net worth individuals and assist them by growing, protecting, and preserving their wealth in the international market. Through renowned institutions such as JP Morgan,
Investec & Credit Suisse, I’m able to make use of a large spectrum of financial disciplines, such as financial and investment advice, legal or estate planning, accounting, and tax services, and retirement planning, to manage an affluent client’s wealth.
Accolades/Achievements – In my 4 years in the financial services sector I have been invited to serve as an Economic contributor for BBC UK, BBC Africa, and Bloomberg.
At age 24 I gave an analysis of Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s Maiden Annual National Budget on BBC’s – “Focus on Africa” in a live interview.
From 2019 to the present, I have featured on BBC Africa’s “Money Daily” show on several occasions where I have discussed and analyzed the economic situation in Zimbabwe. Earlier in the year, I was quoted by financial powerhouse Bloomberg, in an article on the Zimbabwean Currency situation.
In 2018 I started presenting on a business show currently aired on YouTube
called the State of Business alongside my co-host Perry Mudzamiri. The show revolves around interviewing captains of Industry and discussing the economy, our monetary policy, and the financial sector. I have interviewed various CEO’s such as CZI President, Sifelani Jabangwe, EY Partner for Transaction Advisory, Ngoni Mudzamiri, and CEO and founder of Aviation Development John Howell.
I have been interviewed on international radio stations, the likes of SAfm and Channel Africa Radio, for insight on certain issues due to my expertise in the financial sector.
In the fitness world, I have been building an engaged audience on Instagram for 2 years now. I’ve been using this influence to promote not only the work of the brands I collaborate with but to exercise my passion for philanthropy too. In partnership with @PCP_Zimbabwe, we were able to raise awareness about period poverty in Zimbabwe – and with the help of my audience we were able to supply students of Mbare High school with period care packages
Have you made a footprint in other African countries or internationally? I am working on it!
I have been featured in Monolith Africa, which is a South African magazine and I have been an ambassador for South African brand – PrettyFit SA. In addition to that, I am currently an economic contributor for BBC Africa which is based in Kenya, as a result of my expertise in my field. So I do interviews with them whenever there is an economic issue that needs to be discussed with regards to the Zimbabwean situation.
What are your plans generally for your future?
Currently, I am studying towards becoming an ACE certified personal trainer and getting started on boot camps for women and girls, the end goal is to start a health and wealth wellness center for women in the near future.
What advice would you have for other young African Millennials?
Be ready and prepared to adapt to change. If life gives you lemons make
lemonade. Nothing will ever be straight forward and very rarely will things go as planned. Rather than sit and cry about it, wipe away your tears, get up and keep going. Find a way to make things work for you because if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that the world will not wait for anyone. Time won’t wait for you to feel ready. To adapt and evolve because the more you resist change the tougher your life becomes. We are surrounded by change and it is the one thing that has a huge impact on our lives. There is no avoiding change as it will find us, challenge us and force us to reconsider how to live our lives. If we ignore or hide away from the challenge of change, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow. When it’s all said and done, the power to adapt to change flows from your mindset. We can’t choose our feelings, but we can choose our thoughts and manage what we do with our feelings.