Maud was raised in Zambia, the child of Zimbabweans who had left their native country to seek opportunities elsewhere. The family’s children were all raised to be entrepreneurial and hard-working, qualities to which Maud attributes a lot of her success. After returning to Zimbabwe in the 1980’s, Maud started to work odd jobs at a young age, ensuring income for herself and the family, and finally earning herself a scholarship to study in Kenya. Upon her return, and after several roles for which she lacked real passion, Maud caught the travel bug and decided to get involved in her country’s fledging tourism industry.
Her approach was decisive and direct, something not necessarily common to women in the region, and one which earned her scorn and patronising comments from the men around her. Maud had to sacrifice a lot for the start-up capital she needed to start her own travel company franchise – even at one point living on the couch of a good Samaritan and nearly having her car repossessed. Yet she remained determined and eventually managed a franchise office which proved to be one of the most successful in the market, even being approached by foreign investors. This venture eventually failed due to contractual disagreements, but it provided Maud with a springboard to focus more on responsible tourism, with a firm focus on community-based travel. She now provides training and development services to SMEs in the travel industry as well as larger industry bodies and is proud of both her failures and successes in life – they all inform her approach and provide her with rare insight into the dynamic tourism industry.