Joseph Mtshumayeli

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Joseph Mtshumayeli was one of a new dynamic breed of men who, in the 1950s set out to satisfy the need for sophisticated services in the countryman as enjoyed by those in the urban areas.


As a young man he borrowed £20 from his father and set up as a tailor – repairing torn khaki shirts and shorts and making little dresses for schoolgirls. After the war he opened his own store near the Botswana border, where he was able to cater for nomadic Botswana herdsmen as well as for his own community, and in 1959 he bought his first bus. Obtaining a permit to operate a passenger service was more difficult than he had foreseen, so when it was granted at last he called his bus service Pelandaba – “the trouble is over“.

In 1964 Mr. Mtshumayeli opened the Pelandaba Store and Hotel in the village of Kezi. His business interests continued to grow and he operated a fleet of 13 buses and employed a fleet manager and a staff of inspectors as well as drivers, conductors, book-keepers, store managers and assistants.[1]


  1. [1], Window on Rhodesia, The Jewel of Africa - A People’s Progress, Accessed: 15 July, 2020