“Rather than standing or speaking for the youth we need to stand with them speaking for themselves. We don’t need a political movement for youths… [we need to] build environments and policies for our collective future.” — Sandra Meucci
Standing for and with the youth is the young and ambitious Marvellous Anesu Nyongoro, a 23-year old accounting student at Midlands State University (MSU).Marvelous is the sole founder and director of The Housing Hub, an organization that offers a platform for students to digitally locate off-campus accommodation close to their university.
They offer property owners and students a way to escape the hassle of accommodation and tenant search.
On average, Zimbabwe has over 150, 000 tertiary students, yet institutions have the capacity to accommodate just 30% of that figure. As a result, over 90, 000 students have to opt for off-campus accommodation.
Marvellous founded The Housing Hub to reduce such high numbers. The Housing Hub is a service provider platform that uses smart technology to enable tertiary students in Zimbabwe to book and make payments for off-campus accommodation online. The company employs students as agents, allowing them to earn income through commission thereby contributing to SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
By offering a service that is customized and tailored for students by students they’ve developed a student-oriented ecosystem that caters to their accommodation pains. Through grants, bootstrapping and generating revenue from its platform, The Housing Hub has been able to grow quite substantially and quickly, with over 20 active agents, and over 350 houses listed on their website.
The Housing Hub has truly tapped into an exciting niche. The company has been able to pitch at numerous competitions and in 2019, Nyongoro was selected as a top 20 finalist for the 2019 Anzisha Prize competition. Marvelous’s rise to fame in the youth entrepreneurial realm has been nothing short of spectacular, with a heavy presence on numerous platforms and collaborating with some well-established organizations in and out of Zimbabwe. One might find his name fitting as it has been a marvel to witness his growth.
This phenomenal journey did not start off all smooth, however. To get going, Marvellous had to fight and is still battling with the stigma associated with youths’ business as they are not often taken seriously. He struggled to register his organization at the young age of 19 due to the disapproval and complications that arise with being a youth. To tackle this problem he decided to let his actions speak for him with the firm belief that the proof is in the pudding.
When asked how the Youth Connekt journey has been like for him, Marvelous had this to say:
“The journey has been phenomenal. Youth Connekt has allowed us to grow our network through events and collaborating with many other start-ups, organizations and young people. Through Youth Connekt I was also able to acquire a mentor. I was privileged enough to be picked as a top 30 finalist and with that the mentorship and incubation has allowed us to prevent multiple errors that would have occurred without guidance. I urge you if you want to apply, stop thinking and just do it, you will not regret it.”
To get in touch with The Housing Hub and get yourself a room visit their website here
To stay up to date with their latest news be sure to follow their social pages below:
How best do you think the Housing Hub should expand into other cities in Zimbabwe?