Kuda Hove, CEO of Lewa & Co, is making strong strides in building back a better future, and she is planning to take a lot of women with her in the process.
Lewa & Co is a subsidiary of LewaLevu Trading, a female owned business established in 2014 in Victoria Falls. The word “Lewa” is of fijian origin, meaning strong woman, which compliments the organisations philosophy of women coming together and making a collective effort towards a shared vision.
Originally set-up as a company focused on branding, marketing and event hosting, Kuda through Lewa &Co, became the Zimbabwe Country Representative for Wines of South Africa, and in 2018 was involved in the successful event coordination of the Wines of South Africa Grand Tasting Zimbabwe in Victoria Falls. In 2020, as the COVID pandemic hit, and the impact became evident, Kuda’s business took a huge knock and she recognised a need to diversify and adapt for survival.
Dynamic, creative and with a deep passion for interior design and decor, Kuda never imagined herself in the field of construction. However, having begun project managing the development of her own property and home, Kuda quickly began to grasp the various roles and concepts involved in construction. With the large amount of development taking place in and around Victoria Falls, and a lot of people showing interest in the home she was developing, Kuda saw an opportunity to lift Lewa & Co out of adversity, and adapt it to focus forward on establishing a professional team to carry out development projects. She roped in her sister Chipo Mudavanhu to assist with the business as Operations Manager, and they have not looked back since. From concept, construction and through to finalisation, including project management and interior design, in just one year Lewa & Co have gained significant recognition within the Industry and already have taken on several new developments.
“My dream is to build up other women as the company grows and gains traction. Already we have found some incredibly talented women in the field who are joining forces with us on our projects – from women brick-layers, painters, and structural engineers – we hope to encourage and build up capacity for more women to rise up in the field of construction and project management, particularly in these hard times” says Kuda. In addition to carrying out projects from start to finish, Lewa & Co is also in the process of opening a showroom for interior fixtures and fittings.
Globally it is estimated that women comprise of less than 15% of jobs in the field of construction. With Gender Equality and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure being two of the seventeen UNDP key sustainability goals, Lewa & Co is certainly working hand-in-hand with strategies that look to reduce inequality and spur economic growth within the region and we look forward to following their success as they continue to collaborate in building back a better future for their organisation, for women in construction, and for the sustainable development of Victoria Falls.