At 46, the father of one has achieved what has taken many people double the time to accomplish, in the community development and charitable work circles. Despite mounting pressure at work, the successful businessman somehow manages to strike an amicable equilibrium between his professional and charitable work.
Rod, as he is affectionately called by all people that know him, is the founder and Managing Director of Alternative Energy Consultancy (AEC), a company that specialises in the promotion and distribution of environmentally friendly energy sources such as solar and green fuels.
Born to a family of philanthropists in Harare, Rod began the long journey to his current status and influence at Eiffel Flats Junior/Primary School. He briefly transferred to Esigodini Primary School and then to Redcliffe near Kwekwe, where he also completed his secondary education.
In 1985, he enrolled at Wits University, South Africa, where he spent five years of his industrious life, studying as an Engineer in Electronic Designing.
In 2007, Rod established his company, AEC, and instantly joined Borrowdale Brooke Rotary Club in Harare, to pursue his lifelong dream of helping communities in need and, ever since then, he has never looked back.
“I’ve always done community work; it has been in our family for as long as I can remember. My first project was when I managed to get a borehole donated to Harare’s Children Home in 2007. The joy in everyone’s face was so rewarding,” he says.
The Electronics Engineer attributes his good work to a perpetual desire to help others and the maximum satisfaction that he gets when a project sails through smoothly. Driven by these factors, he has involved AEC, in his unselfish community restoration work, in a manner that no other businessperson would think possible. He has also utilised his influence as a Rotarian to lure donors to vulnerable communities that he has identified.
Rod also acknowledged the unwavering support from his colleagues at AEC, saying they work well as individuals that need little or no supervision; thus, allowing him the chance to venture deeply into his community exertion.
“I just like the sense of satisfaction that you get from helping other people. At AEC, we have a 10- year plan that is based on the Millennium Development Goals. We use this plan as part of our Social Responsibility Programme. I have got to say that I have a strong team. I have a very active manager in Harare and Tarah Mason is managing things here in Bulawayo. They are both so dedicated hence I do not spend much time in the office,” he said.
Having secured the borehole donation in 2007, Rod became involved with the Cathleen Palmer Children’s Home, which he and his company assisted in securing a donation and subsequent installation of a solar system, to run the Home and a chicken scheme that was being managed there.
He also managed to get a bio-digester installed to recycle chicken waste into methane for lighting at the Orphanage.
After accessing a willing donor partner, Rod introduced and handed the Home over to Good Shepherd, a charity organisation that is based in the United Kingdom. Good Shepherd now runs the Cathleen Palmer on a daily basis.
The Borrowdale Brooke Rotary Club past president is currently working with ZDDT in donating and installing a solar lighting system to Nkulumane Clinic. The environmentally friendly lighting system is set to see the health institution eventually running off the national electricity grid. Up to date, he has sourced a solar lighting system for the health facility’s maternity ward, with the assistance of AEC, Borrowdale Brooke Rotary Club, Rotary eClub of London Centenary in the United Kingdom and ZDDT.
To express his ceaseless passion for helping others and the selfless work that has resulted, Rod is in a sense reciting and living the famous words of Ben Stein, who was once quoted as having said that “I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty...This is my highest and best use as a human.”