1.Tell us a little about yourself,and New Zealand.
And projects you are working on in New Zealand.
My full name is Getrude Ruwadzano Munyaradzi Matshe and I was born in Zimbabwe; I am 44 years old; married and the mother of three amazing children who are now aged 22,20 and 14. I come from a family of 5 with one older sister and three younger brothers. I grew up in Africa and had an opportunity to travel to London, and Norway when I was 19 years old; this fueled my passion to travel and see the world. I have since lived the UK, Norway, South Africa and now New Zealand as well as travel to Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonisia, Dubai, Ireland, Fiji, Rarotonga, France, Italy, Austria, Kenya, Mexico, Canada and USA.
I have two books in print “Born on the Continent – Ubuntu and It’s all about what happens that matters” as well as several Ebooks – “Beyond the continent – Ubuntu; Speaking from the Heart; Writing from the Heart; The Property Squillionaire; How to Grow a Money Tree, Living the Secret; The Power of Give and The Tribe”
While living in New Zealand My main project at the moment is the Africa Alive Education Foundation which is my work in Africa where I sponsor 360 children affected by Aids.
Most of these kids have lost either one parent or both and I raise money to pay for their school fees, food, medication and clothing.
2. Inspirational speaker and a well-known African storyteller, poet, artist and published author.Does a lot of your inspiration come from your homeland and New Zealand.
Definately yes, my grand mother was an amazing Africa Story teller who could mesmerise you with words alone and I learnt from her the craft and art of storytelling and a lot of Africa writers have inspired me to find ways to express myself through words
3.We see a lot of programs set up to help Africa! has it help? some times it seems not to be working.Does the funds go to the people who need it?
Unfortunately most AID organisations have failed to deliver in Africa; a lot of people donate towards various causes but the money given does not get to Africa as its given. A lot of money is wasted in administration and advertising costs and this has created donor fatigue because Africa now seems like one big black hole and nothing much is changing.
Secondly; the way the aid is given disenfranchises people and doesn’t empower people because what is needed is to give people a hand out of poverty by showing them a way out of poverty and not a handout. What we need in Africa are skills and ideas for people to generate money for themselves; not to give them free bags of corn which runs out in a month or two. We need to give people seed so they grow their own food; we need to teach people how to fish; knowledge is power and is the only way we will break the cycle of poverty in Africa.
4.Share with us a little about your story trip to New Zealand
In 2001; I was headed for New York; a few weeks before September 11 and missed a flight because of a small typographic error on my daughters visa; we were sent back to Zimbabwe and failed to come up with the $6 million dollars the USA embassy wanted before they would correct an error that they had made. We lost our entire lifesavings and were stuck but in our war torn country. I ended up in New Zealand in November 2001 because one of my cousins saw my mispelt name “Getrude Matshe” on the hotmail address book one day and sent me an email advising that we go to New Zealand; so as an act of faith we sold a house we owned in South Africa and moved to New Zealand in November 2001 and life has been magical from the day we arrived on this beautiful Island.
5.Simzisani Creations, a talent agency serving the film and advertising industry, how is it working with Hollywood?
We cater mainly for productions and films made in Australasia and supply ethic minority people for film and advertising agencies; it has been an amazing experience because it all started with the filming of King Kong in New Zealand. We have since been involved with Hollywood movies such as Avatar and also movie pilots with directors such as Denzel Washington when he was filming in New Zealand.
6. Walk on the Wild Side Tours tourists to Zimbabwe. I would love to go to Zimbabwe,I think so many people think the same way,what draws people to Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe is an amazing country and the main attraction for most people is the wildlife; you can get so upclose to nature in Zimbabwe like nowhere else in the world. Walk on the wildside tours aims to attract symbiotic tourists, people who are not just coming to Africa to see the sights but are coming to leave a piece of themsleves with us; their knowledge and skills and expertise. We are a tourism company with a difference because as a nonprofit all of our profit goes to sponsor childrens education and needs and 70% of the children we serve have been affected by HIV or AIDS.
7. Africa Alive Education Foundation
8.You are doing so much, How is your team set up? How do you market your business?
My medical recruiting business – Medical Recruiters of New Zealand is a virtual business which I can run from anywhere in the world because its internet based. All of my 8 agents are are either in New Zealand, UK, South Africa or Australia. We work using the internet.
My Non profit is run by dedicated volunteers, people who give up their time to support the cause to bring an end to AIDS by educating children
I use the internet creatively to promote my businesses and social media is currently the best tool for marketing and promotion.
9.Do you collect a customer list,how do you use your list?
Yes definately; I believe every networking contact I make can help in promoting my businesses in some way and I value these contacts tremendously. I have different lists for each business entity and I can cross promote to all my lists depending on what promotional or advertising campaign I am running in New Zealand.
10.Final comment:What’s on your “Bucket List?” Top 5 things
you’d still like to do?
1. Write, direct and produce an Oscar award winning screenplay
2. See an end to AIDS in this lifetime and be a part in ensuring that everychild is born and lives AIDS free
3. Visit Egypt and see the Pyramids as well as tour South America
4. Dance at my children’s weddings and see my grandchildren
5. Spend the rest of my life traveling and seeing the world