A small-scale miner from Insiza District’s Shangani has opened an upmarket highway restaurant and takeaway, while he is also building a butchery and supermarket in the town, where he is regarded as a gold mogul.
Bekithemba Nkomo, popularly known in the town as Lambisto opened the restaurant — Ko Lambisto in December last year.
Nkomo who at just the age of 34 and openly brags about his success, owns 12 luxurious cars, which include a Range Rover, Ford Ranger, BMW Z4, Toyota Hilux, Camry, Nissan Liberty, Sunny Audi A 3, two baby Toyota Quantums, which he uses to ferry his workers and a kombi.
In an interview with Sunday Life recently, Nkomo boldly said: “If you are not into gold mining then you are doomed. Youth should venture into this if they want to become wealthy.”
The finely built and painted restaurant boasts of the capacity to cater for about 50 people at a time. The neatly ceramic tiled and gloss ceiling establishment has four huge plasma screens that are connected to DStv. The restaurant also offers a sumptuous traditional and European menu.
“I employed 10 people who are well-versed in this line of business. They are on rotation, where they have day and night shifts,” said Nkomo.
He said he acquired the stand in 2016 and quickly built the restaurant, which cost him a whopping
$56 000 in total. Nkomo said he wanted his restaurant to be a one- stop shop and wanted to offer competition to other players.
“I am building a butchery and I will be supplying my own meat. I am also building another restaurant as well which will be opened hopefully in the next month or two,” he said.
He explained how he acquired his wealth through gold mining.
“I was born into this mining business and have been doing this all my life. My father used to work at the mines and I too followed in his footsteps. I have claims that have for the past few years been benefiting not only me but my workers and the community,” he said.
Nkomo said he owns mining machinery which is less costly in terms of production.
“I thought about this mining venture extensively and just went all out. I decided to invest in machinery, which includes generators, hammer mills, compressors, pumps and tankers. This I know that can also bring me money at any time even when I am not mining,” he said.
Nkomo sells his gold at Fidelity Printers and refiners.
“I not only invested in mining but in farming as well. I have countless livestock back at my rural home,” he said.
Nkomo said he was building a 14-roomed house at his rural home in Inyathi and wanted to buy a house in Bulawayo by the end of the year.
“I want to buy a house in the suburbs by the end of the year. I am also building a huge house at my rural home,” he said.
Nkomo was born in Inyathi and relocated to Shangani in 2004, where he said he only struck gold between 2015 and 2017.
“Like I said I have been in this business for years but I only managed to be what I am today recently,” said Nkomo.
He added that the only disadvantage was the rain season.
“The rain season disturbs business but if you invest in something else you can never go broke,” he said.
“I am married and have five children. I want the best for them, as I didn’t have it easy when I was growing up.”
Social and community responsibility
Nkomo sponsors a social soccer team — Shangani Stars.
“I hardly travel and the only time I get to relax is when I watch sports. That is why I sponsor our local team. I also assist schools such as Shangani Secondary School and other needy people from our community,” he said.
“I love showing off what I have acquired, it’s a thing that’s just in me. Whenever I buy a car I make sure that I get all my cars and drivers and have a convoy around town to show off my new baby. I just enjoy doing it,” he said.