By Marshall Bwanya
Multi-talented comedian Carl Joshua Ncube has articulated that the inspiration behind pursuing the hyped Ekaya business project was to promote rural tourism and empower the rural folks.
“The Ekaya project started initially because I am one of those Zimbabweans without a rural home.
“As we travelled around the country shooting documentaries we realised just how much the rural lifestyle in Zimbabwe of living off grid in tiny homes consuming eco friendly super foods is actually a trend globally.
“This project is there to empower communities with knowledge I have acquired in my professional life and travels in the form of business enterprises. For example people in the rural areas will be able to build extra rooms to rent out to tourists who will book via our app,” he said.
Ncube who is the founder and CEO of Ekaya stressed that the rural development startup was centred on four key areas Build, Invest, Donate and Stay which make up the acronym BIDS.
According to Ncube, Ekaya is inspired from the Ndebele word Ekhaya which means home, place of origin or final resting place.
The comedian-cum businessman said he envisaged Ekaya as a think-tank empowering marginalized rural folks with innovative ideas that would benefit future generations to come.
“We definitely are thinking proof of innovative concepts in Zimbabwe and broadening our horizons beyond our borders.
“We see ourselves as a ThinkTank creating greener, smarter villages. Celebrating our roots, living well in the present and building an amazing future for generations to come,” he said.
Ncube stressed the future of Zimbabwean Tourism was rural and there was a lot of untapped potential which could be easily realized with adequate investment.
The comedian and his team developed an app called ekaya or Airbnb which rural folks can easily access and make informed decisions on giving visitors a feel of life in their homesteads.
Ekaya has so far penetrated the rural communities in Victoria Falls and is set to expand in other rural areas across Zimbabwe in the near future. Nehanda Radio