At only 31 years of age, Thomas Kahari is the General Manager of Tata Motors Zimbabwe, whose mother company, Tata Motors Group (Tata Motors), is a 45 billion organisation and a leading global automobile manufacturing company with a strong global network and a marque in over 175 countries. As General Manager Thomas is at the helm of the Zimbabwean portfolio which spans across the all the different provinces- a noteworthy accomplishment.
Born in Warren Park, Harare, in a family of four, Thomas Kahari never dreamt of being where he is today. Things were hard for the family and during the years that Thomas was in A’level his father got very sick making him question his future. The thought of losing his father, the breadwinner, was a turning point in Thomas’ life and motivated him to work towards a better life for him and his family.
In 2005, his hard work paid off as he achieved 20 Points after doing four subjects for his A’Levels-something not many students can achieve at that stage- making him the best student in Harare Province and second best in the whole of Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the joy of the achievement was short lived by the passing of his father a week later shattering his dreams of attending university. As there was no scholarship available for him, Thomas went into teaching in 2006 but still had a strong desire to further his education. He then decided to use his salary to pay for the first semester of university but had no means to pay for the second semester hitting another wall in the road to his careers goals.
However, acting on the advice of a friend, Thomas decided to try overcome his limiting circumstances and applied for a new emerging scholarship- The Joshua Nkomo Scholarship(a scholarship for highly talented individuals by Higherlife Foundation) and was selected to be part of the first group of Joshualites that would receive an all paid access to advance their education. Through Higherlife Foundation Thomas was able to finish his university studies and was exposed to lifelong learning opportunities that inspired him to work even harder to be successful.
Along his journey, he met many setbacks and rejections from working at one of his dream companies, but he did not give up. He took up a job as Data Controller at Mandel Training Centre in 2011 and went on to join Ernst and Young for five years as an Audit Senior.
A man with a long-term vision to do even more and become more, Thomas joined Tata Motors in 2016 and quickly climbed the ladder to become its General Manager in less than two years.
When asked about what he attributed his success to Thomas’ answer is simple: “It is only by Grace that I am here. There are people better and smarter than me, but I am here today. I persevered.”
Thomas is a firm believer in not giving up, working hard and being willing to do what needs to be done to achieve one’s goals. “Action is a necessary part of success, and one should always know that a delay is not a denial,” stated Thomas.
As a Joshualite alumnus, Thomas had these words to say to current Joshualites, “Your scholarship is a golden opportunity. Make the most of it and work hard to make the people sponsoring you proud.”
Looking at his life journey and how he overcame many setbacks, it is transparent how Thomas Kahari is a man to reckon with. A man whose future is even brighter and a man who is only just getting started.