FOUNDER OF FITNESS TO A TEE (FITNESS TRAINER) FOUNDER OF THE ELIZABETH CHANAKIRA CANCER TRUST,MODEL AND AUTHOR
I have spent most of my life in the Diaspora.I was born and raised in Gweru till I was (13) years old.My family then migrated to Germany. Moving to Germany was scary for me as I remember being scared and terrified as a child because I did not know what to expect.I was the last born in the family and so was treated like the baby and somewhat simple and easy. Having a strict Father molded me to be the person I am today. I really felt sad leaving my home, family and friends. I had a very close relationship with my sister so I knew at least life was going to be better because I had her by my side.
School in Europe was nothing compared to Africa as I felt like the stuff I was learning was easier compared to Zimbabwe. I really did enjoy the education because I was a top achiever in my classes most times. I used to put in a lot of hard work also attend extra classes. The biggest challenge I faced having to adjust to the new environment ,language barriers and different cultures .I was young though sometimes it was easy.When I was (17) my Parents moved back to Zimbabwe and I stayed behind in United Kingdom to complete High School.
I went on to study Law at the University of Birmingham then a Masters at the University of Wolverhampton. Law was not really my passion.I could say my decision to study Law was influenced by society, what I thought would be a happy life and my Dad always wanted to be a Lawyer but he could not -so I decided to further his dream. I was so depressed and bored during those years I was studying Law.After completing my Degree I got an opportunity to practice for two (2) years.
In 2008 I relocated to Australia which was a personal decision as I went to further my Law qualification. I thought a change of scenery will help and I will get to love Law as a profession but nothing had changed.I still felt the same way.I then got a job as a Legal Editor editing statute books which contained judges decisions from court.This is when I started developing a passion for writing. I still hated Law.
When I got to Australia I was lucky to have been discovered by a Fashion designer and then subsequently by a national talent scout. The designer asked me to showcase her collection. I then got an opportunity to be the first ever African to be entered in Miss Fashion Australia Competition-a platform that several well-known Australian models and actresses have been discovered through.I worked with prominent photographers worldwide including many Zimbabwean photographers. I always allowed people to help me and took advice from other people because I know that learning is limitless. I’ve been modelling since then. And I have great people working with me people like Dartz images who took the photos in the article.
I was not enjoying Law so I finally got the courage to change into Fitness in 2012 and signed up to do a Fitness qualification. I would go to class in the evenings after work. I had always loved training since i was young I also completed a nutrition qualification.
I then started my business- Fitness To A Tee in 2013 and started off based in a gym in Melbourne. I loved training people and teaching them how to lead a healthy life and saw many of my clients transform their lives and of those around them. I was also able to help for example, women who were going through some fertility issues get healthier and conceive.
After working in a gym for 2 years I saw that even though i enjoyed the work,I was working around the clock from 6am to 9pm with a few hours break in between. This is when the thought of starting an online training business hit me alongside my existing one on one business.
In my online business I deliver exercise and nutrition plans via the client only Fitness To A Tee phone app. I love that my clients are based all around the world. Fitness To A Tee was hard to start up because I thought I might not be capable. I actually doubted my capability a lot of times.” I was not sure that people will follow me, like what I do”.
I was also questioned and criticized for changing professions from Law to Fitness, with some saying this was the most stupid decision a person can take but I did not give up. I still went ahead to set up my business. I started getting positive feedback from most of my clients and posting their before and after transformations. I also had tons of faith in my business so i did not give up.
My life has been filled with a lot of changes,ups and downs but i do not limit myself or sell myself short.
I have written a few books and in November 2019 I launched one book that is so close to my heart because i wrote this book whilst working on a Round the World cruise ship where I was a trainer for the guests on board from November 2018 to August 2019.The book titled How to Live from One Suitcase in a Year. Before I wrote this book I had already written (3) books but the cruise and the book helped me with self – discovery. I was going through so many things in my life when I wrote this book but managed to finish the book and launched it as an e-book paperback. God has been really by my side. Being an author has been really challenging in terms of investing time into it but I love that I am discovering my authentic voice the more and more I write.
I lost my Mum Elizabeth to breast cancer in 2010.She suffered with cancer for almost (7) years.She suffered for a long time and this was so difficult and hard for us as a family. The costs for her chemotherapy were really high. Being a middle class family we still struggled to keep up with the medical bills. So after she passed away, I asked myself if a middle class family like us was struggling,what about underprivileged families in Zimbabwe So I started a Cancer charity-the Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust in memory of my Mother. What we do is support underprivileged cancer patients with some medication, food hampers and also take care of their kids in School. The foundation started in 2011 and since then we have managed to help families around Zimbabwe helping about 8-10 families. This Trust has helped many and we are still doing so. I go to Zimbabwe every year to oversee this Foundation and host charity events.
It is very easy for someone to say to you never give up,but yes it is the truth you should NOT give up. Just stay focused on your goals-that is how I have survived it all.