LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – While most people may find problems daunting; not so with Zambeef Non-Executive Director Enala Lyson Tembo-Mwase. The University of Zambia (UNZA) Deputy Vice Chancellor and Biologist is always eager for the opportunity to find solutions to them instead.
“What has really motivated me is my interest to look for solutions, and in this case biological solutions. And my focus has always been to look for environmentally friendly solutions,” said the professor.
Professor Mwase is an experienced biologist with close to 36 years of specialisation in animal parasites, and lecturing experience with the School of Veterinary to her name. She worked with the Ministry of Agriculture as a research scientist at the Central Veterinary Institute for five years before opting for a career in academia. She later joined the university as a lecturer moving up through the ranks to associate professor in parasitology entomology, a branch of science that studies insects, and finally deputy vice chancellor in 2013.
“As an academic you have to do teaching and research. I’ve been working on ticks and tick-borne diseases for quite a while during my progression in my career,” she said.
Family remains an important aspect of life for Professor Mwase, who is a mother of five and a grandmother to eight.
“To some extent I am a workaholic; as an academic the only way you can progress is through research, and I always had to find time to research and family; they’ve always supported me but they understood my career so they’ve been very, very supportive,” she confessed.
In her free time Professor Mwase loves to farm as a way of relaxing, commuting to her small holding when opportunity presents itself.
“I love farming; both crops and livestock. Although there is not much going on but it lightens my spirit. It’s not completely out of my way, working with Zambeef, I can see a lot of areas that are really talking to my interest in life,” she said when asked about how this tied in with her appointment to Zambeef’s board.
“I see Zambeef as an entity that is going to grow even more than it has done. I’m quite excited actually to be on the board because I’m sure from my angle as an academician, as a researcher, I’m sure we’ll be able to see some new ideas that will set the Zambeef progression even higher,” she noted.
“Zambeef for a long time has been a source of meat for my home; when you go to Zambeef you’d get almost everything you want; the actual beef, sausages, milk; It’s a name that is known in the home,” said Professor Mwase.
She further jested on how most children would ask if she was going to Zambeef every time she set out to buy meat in bulk.
“We don’t have many places where you can get meat in bulk at a reasonable price,” she noted.
The environment is very close to the Professor’s heart and believes very much in safeguarding the natural environment.
“I am a biologist with a bias to ecology and the environment so normally I look at things from an environmentally friendly kind of approach and I know Zambeef is very interested in the social and environmental aspects of running business so I believe in that area,” she added.
Professor Mwase pointed to Zambeef’s business model as one of the reasons for its success noting that the company has done very well in helping drive the country’s agriculture agenda forward by demonstrating and that it is possible to make it work.
“Zambeef, as a local company, has brought confidence in a lot of people. It is quite amazing how it has really grown. From the time we knew it was associated with beef and then later on we started hearing about Mastepork, Zam Chick and the leather industry also coming in. And I’m sure there’s still more room for expansion so that has really impressed me a lot and it’s like there’s no going backwards but forward and I’m sure there will be more products coming on board,” said excitedly.
Professor Mwase shares Zambeef’s philosophy of hard work stating that ‘there’s nothing that can beat hard work because without hard work you can never get anything done both at a personal level, community, family, society and the nation.”
“Hard work goes hand in hand with time management. Sometimes you’ll look like you’re neglecting your family but you’d like to get things done so that at the end of the day everybody enjoys the fruit of the work,” she added.
“Zambeef right now is the number one food producer in terms of proteins in this country. I take Zambeef as being the best in Zambia and it’s going to be the best in the region not long from now,” she concluded.
About Zambeef Products Plc
Zambeef Products Plc is the largest integrated agribusiness and food processing company in Zambia and one of the largest in the region.
The group is principally involved in the production, processing, distribution and retailing of beef, chicken, pork, milk, dairy products, eggs, stockfeed and flour. The group also has large row cropping operations (principally maize, soya beans and wheat), planting 16,500 hectares in summer and 8,000 hectares in winter. The group is also expanding its West Africa operations in Nigeria and Ghana.
The company slaughters around 70,000 beef cattle, 6.75million chickens and 70,000 pigs per annum, while also processing 16 million litres of milk, producing 150,000 tons of stockfeed, 60 million eggs, 78,000 pairs of shoes and processes 97,500 hides in its tannery per year.
It has 177 retail outlets throughout Zambia and West Africa.
Zambeef employs over 6,000 people with a total of K307 million paid in remuneration and benefits in the last year, and contributed K144m to Government in taxes and duties.
More information is available at www.zambeefplc.com
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