It is OK to be YOU – my story

Eglet Mtengwa Nyabvure is a Telecommunications and Electronics Engineer by profession with over 15 years experience. She is also an entrepreneur at heart and loves good fashion and looking good. She believes that one must be true to themselves to be able to attain their full potential and purpose

I am the founder of Pfeka, Zimbabwean Shona language for WEAR, it is a brand which brings together African accents to any material, new and or used (recycle) – custom made to suit unique tastes and desires for diverse individuals. The company’s mission has been focused on making available customised African accent fashion; fashion tailored specifically according to an individual’s taste. Pfeka has as well as readily made pieces, which are Pfeka’s in house designs ready to be purchased. With the world becoming global village, the need to carry an identity, a culture, an interest  and have that visible in a lifestyle is becoming vital in most people’s lives. Through our brand, one can have a wardrobe of meaningful clothing and reduce the rate at which clothes are being disposed. The personal touch and the uniqueness of our clothes will make it hard for the owner to easily dispose as it will be fashionable and unique. We also make new clothes from old clothes, so when an item which is valuable to the owner has become boring and dull, we revamp it with some Pfeka touch and thus add more life to it (recycle it). Having grown up in a family of 5 girls, passing down of clothes to the younger one was a way of living and as much as you would be excited to get the “new item” sometimes it would have been worn out.   So instead of throwing it away, we would revamp it and make a new piece out of it, either by turning a torn T-shirt into a crop top or a sleeveless top or a pair of trousers into shorts for example.

We have continued with the tradition until today even as adults and with our kids. Our kids can enjoy wearing quality clothing as we know it will still be passed down to their cousins.

Pfeka is also a distributor of Ruby Lynn makeup products range which is specially for women of colour.

I am also a Co-founder of AVSOL International, a Zimbabwe based Audio Visual and ICT company based in Harare, Zimbabwe. At AVSOL we offer technology solutions and accessories for such spaces like board/meeting rooms, conference centres, training/classrooms, churches, hotels etc.  

I was offered options which left me wowed

How I became is quite an interesting story. For advanced level I studied pure Arts for the simple reason that I was guaranteed to get higher grades, which was perceived by the community at the time to be more important than what you would be after doing your studies. When it was time to choose the programme to study at university, I was offered options which left me wowed.  Why? I was going to go into a career direction which I absolutely had no interest in . Even though I was a bit sceptical, discouraged and even advised to change the programme, I decided I would give it a try. I have always loved opening gadgets to see the wiring and the functionality of the gadgets. Deep down I knew I would enjoy working in Engineering but because it was not popular with females, I had to work hard to convince myself that I could be that person to make a difference in that industry.  It was a bold move as I had to do an extra year of Advanced Level Maths and Physical sciences to get admitted as one of the 3 girls in a class of 25. This pushed me one year behind my peers. However, I was so determined to change my life and I grabbed the challenge of being one of the few women in the industry. Somehow, I was no longer bothered. Instead I gave it my all and it has been quite fun.

Rock heels, wear red lipsticks and still be an engineer

I was fortunate to live with my aunt who was working for a telecommunications company at the time.  She gave me information and guidance on studying a 3-year programme as a Telecommunications Engineer at a Post and Telecommunications  college. When I studied engineering, it was mainly dominated by men. It was not a woman’s trade. This was challenging as I always felt the need to fit in and be like the men even in the way I dressed and carry myself .  This however taught me to be the best in what I did. It taught me to stay true to myself as well as to the people around me. There was absolutely no need for me to be a tomboy to become an engineer. I  could rock heels, wear red lipsticks and still be an engineer. People needed to know me and appreciate me for who I am. This is something I carry up to today and would encourage others to do as well. I am happy to see more and more girls and women venturing into ICT and Engineering, industries which were once men dominated.

Your hard work does not get appreciated

I remember as a young lady technician on one of my very first work experiences being told that they would want their system to be touched by a “real technician” referring to a man. Almost always I had to prove myself before being accepted and even though at times it was frustrating, it taught me to enjoy the challenges and work above the norm.  Above all, I had to learn to be confident in my own work. We were and are still told to “work hard and let your work speak for you”.  Unfortunately, your hard work does not get appreciated and rewarded from the onset. It is just the way it is.  Uncomfortable as self-praise may be, you might have to speak about how awesome you are in your work, how good you are as a person.  Should you receive compliments, do not to shy away from accepting and enjoying them. This is also something I had to learn from working with men.

I am proud to have worked hands-on with screw drivers, grown to technical troubleshooting and  sales support, remote maintenance and troubleshooting, my latest being a lead design engineer, a position I worked with multi-million-euro projects advising and offering the different technologies in AV, IT and Lighting systems to be considered in the Super Yacht industry. I must say my career as an Engineer progressed in the right direction.  My determination to work hard, embracing myself as a woman – a woman of colour, wife and mother, all paved great opportunities for me.

Since May this year, 2018, I took another bold move.  I quit my job and started turning my passion which had nothing to do with engineering into a business.   This is when Pfeka was birthed. I then started doing consultancy work in Technology solutions, making use of the experience I had gained during my professional life.  Knowledge is power, whatever you learn and the experiences gained can not be taken away from you. It is yours for keeps.  I am now using my experience as my cash cow, at the same time building on my passion.

The move from Engineering to Fashion, which by the way some people find odd, was the most rewarding thing I did for myself and my family.

I do thank God for a supporting husband and family who believed in what I could become. With the  fast evolution of technology, fashion and technology are no longer worlds apart and I am happy I can be both worlds. Fashion and looking good is my passion.   However, creativity and the experiences of working as a minority in the Engineering field brought out the desire to bring out a brand. My identity, culture and interest are shown in my designs. The brand is unique, colourful yet it blends with the western corporate world and creates uniqueness through the wardrobe. The Pfeka online platform brings out the creative flair in us as well as our clients, by giving them the possibility to be part of making of their own designs.  Most of the people know what they want but is not easy to find off the shelf the design that suits their taste, thus Pfeka will bridge this gap.

Why choose Pfeka?

We do a lot of consultative sales, we listen to our clients, make a good research on them so we understand their needs and offer what they would really want to buy and keep. The personal touch and uniqueness on each of our products and above all the high quality we offer give our clients a need to buy and come back again.

Above all we meet deadlines and are thorough and fun to work with.

Here are the tips I have learn throughout my journey:

  • I am happy to share and reinforce to be true to self.
  • Think clearly without listening to the noise outside.
  • Everyone has an opinion about the next person’s life, of course some should be considered.
  • The one with the keys to their success and happiness, is SELF.

Be courageous, take bold moves, some may really bring you a step back but mostly, if you believe in you, have the passion and be determined to succeed – it will catapult you to greater heights.

About the Author

Eglet Mtengwa Nyabvure is married to Taku and have two beautiful blessings, Nokutenda Talecia and Enour Taku Jr.

She is a Telecommunications and Electronics Engineer by profession with over 15 years experience. She is also an entrepreneur at heart and loves good fashion and looking good. 

She believes that one must be true to themselves to be able to attain their full potential and purpose.

 

Website: www.pfeka.com

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