You Must Know Them: Sherree Gladys Shereni

Identities Media Holdings

Nyari Mashayamombe – Editor in Chief

In this interview Identities Media (IM) caught up with Sheree Gladys Shereni (SGS) to learn about her life as market place leader. We are excited to bring this story to you. Sit back, Relax and Enjoy!

IM: Tell us about yourself.

SGS: I was born Sherree Gladys Mufandaedza. I am a seasoned, well-exposed and accomplished market place leader with over 3 decades of experience in both the private and public sectors across the entire African continent and in Euarasia.

Sheree Gladys Shereni

In my corporate life, I have worked as a senior executive and member of the executive committee of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA)’s international division, leading its public sector and communications activities across east, west and southern Africa. (CCBA is The Coca-Cola Company’ s largest bottling partner in Africa).

I was also public affairs and communications director in The Coca-Cola Company’s Central, East and West Africa business unit as well as Chairperson of its Women in Leadership Council across its 39 countries. In this role, I was instrumental in developing a model for young women that helped them not only in work-life balance matters, but also in personal career advancement within the company.

I was also programme director of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, where I was very instrumental in the formulation of its innovative community water stewardship program, now called RAIN. In the public sector and before I joined the Coca-Cola system in 2002, I was the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s chief economist, its economic expert on SADC central banking matters and advisor to one of its  former governors.  

Currently, I am a franchisee of Total Zimbabwe in the fuel sector and founder of Mikana Incorporated and Eminence Academy.

I was recognised multiple times for my accomplishments in brokering win-win outcomes between the private sector and governments across Africa.

I was also recognised by the NGO sector for innovatively contributing to numerous community investments, notably access to water for domestic and productive use, healthcare delivery and youth empowerment throughout Africa, working with nearly 20 international NGOs to direct implementation of more than 200 projects in more than 30 countries across Africa.

Locally, I have sat on the Board of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited and am currently Chairperson of the Board of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Ltd.

IM: What would you like to be remembered for?

SGS: I would like, first and foremost, to be remembered by my children for being the best mother and grandparent my children could ever wish for – especially for ingraining values of love, unity, integrity, vision, godliness with contentment and for setting them up to boldly and unapologetically succeed in life.

I would also like to be remembered for being a life-giver, go-getter, fearless, overcoming, constructively candid, an enemy of average and for being uncompromising in becoming who God created and set me at liberty to be on this earth.

Lastly, I would like to be remembered for empowering others to new levels of self-discovery and self-realisation, unlocking potential, for succeeding in the marketplace as well as being a true and authentic witness of the power, wisdom and relevance of the word of God in contemporary times and situations to the modern woman and young person. 

IM: What drives the work that you do?

SGS: Passion for what I do! I have a very strong desire to defy odds. I am a no-barriers, rule-breaker-type of personality, a ‘so says who?’ kind of person. I am unrestricted, unconfined, daring, bold yet sober and meek. It is also the liberty that I find in Christ and how God works in the affairs of man that drives me.

I desire to be the best version of me that I can ever be, I compete with myself and I draw a lot of inspiration from similar-minded achievers. The memory of my loving parents, especially the way my Dad stood by my mother, their vision, the love for my children and the power of a made-up mind, all these fire me up!

IM: What makes you wake up in the morning?

SGS: My youngest child! It is the passion to bring the best out of her, against all odds. It is also my dreams, goals and targets, as well as the desire to empower others and to make a difference for good in my community.

IM: What is your passion?

SGS: I really love to accomplish all that God put me here on earth to accomplish – and I find it all throughout His word. I never want to live life with apology. I also love to be the catalyst in someone becoming the best version of themselves.  I love watching wildlife and sport. So many life lessons I draw from there.

IM: What do you see in the near future?

SGS: For myself, I see a new and better version of myself, my vision and goals in every area of my life accomplished. The best of me is yet to be manifested! I want to rediscover the best of Sherree.

For my family I want to love on my grandkids and to teach them how to succeed in life. To be my family’s catalyst and icon of love, unity, self-respect and maximised potential.

For my community I want a greater, positive and global influence in the rebuilding of lives (especially women) and country (especially the economy).

For Business I want to make my footprint in the marketplace in my field of play, empowering myself to have capacity to, as the Bible puts it, “consider more fields to buy and vineyards to plant” so-to-speak.

For my country, I desire better public sector governance of our beautiful economy and a restoration of people’s dignity and betterment of the standard and quality of living. I want to make my contribution to my country to unlock the country’s industry and GDP potential – increasing women’s contribution in it.

IM: What are your parting words or advice?

SGS: Never live life with apology. Time waits for no-one. It’s important to redeem your time and make the best of everyday, because “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither is the bread to the wise, nor wealth to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful, BUT time and opportunity happen to EVERYONE!” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

Make the most of EVERY opportunity that comes your way. Find your own rhythm of life and make-up your mind to play it – without apology.