The Woman Behind Eddies Pfugari Empire Unmasked
27 July 2020
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By A Correspondent- In the early 1960s Mildred Nhliziyo a school teacher met Edward Nyanyiwa at a church function.

This charismatic, hardworking and humble man, nicknamed ‘Mujubeki’ because he had lived in Joburg for several years, won her over with his love and respect for God.

In 1964 Edward married Mildred and together with his son Terrance from a previous relationship set out on their journey of Christian marriage and fellowship.

Ten years later, Edward Nyanyiwa was away working in South West Africa (Namibia) operating machinery in construction.

Mildred Nyanyiwa was on maternity leave from her teaching post. Her favourite subject was domestic science so she relied on her skills and love of cooking to earn an income.


She started selling tea and sadza to labourers. She was living up to her nickname ‘Pfugari’.

The word Pfugari is known to mean ‘we will feed you’. It defines ‘communal eating’ and some say it’s literal translation means ‘with this pot we will feed you till you are full’.

Mildred’s fame spread because of how she cooked and in 1974 she was interviewed by a local radio station.

The journalist who interviewed her reportedly confessed that Mildred was the talk of the town and said ‘tanzwa nemukurumbira kuti panomudzimai atanga business pano.’

Her daughter, Itai, told ZimEye that this interview was overheard by a colleague of Mr Edward Nyanyiwa’s who was on holiday from South West Africa.

On returning to work, he informed everyone there that ‘Uyu anonyebera kuti ane nhamo asi ndakanzwa mukadzi wake paradio. Ane business raanaro paMachipisa’.

Edward Nyanyiwa immediately took leave and came home and persuaded Mildred not to return to teaching but instead pursue the business as it was lucrative.

He however returned to work and left his wife operating her business. By the end of 1974, the business had grown to such an extent that Nyanyiwa saw the need to give up his job and join his wife full time, marking the couple’s turning point.


In 1980 Edward and Mildred Nyanyiwa registered their company as Eddies Pfugari Private Limited- Eddies a shortened version of Edward’s name and Pfugari his wife’s nickname.

In fact, the pfugari pots have been the logo representing the Pfugari business and were in honour of Mildred Nyanyiwa.

The business was built on takeaways and expanded into butcheries and then properties.

Nyanyiwa and his family understood that the name Pfugari represented Mildred’s interests in any business venture.

Husband and wife had equal shares and responsibilities in the family business. Mildred Nyanyiwa worked day and night with her husband for over 25 years.

A devoted and loyal wife, a business partner, a loving mother but above all, a God-fearing woman, Mildred put her trust in her husband the man with whom she had set out on the journey of Christian marriage in 1964.

The couple’s first business, a café in the backyards of Harare’s Highfield high density suburb started off modest before they expanded and got space in the central business district.

Together with her husband, the couple would cook their food in black Kango pots mainly used in households and sell it throughout the day before counting their daily returns at 11pm.

They aimed bigger and always did things differently as the duo had a vision to see their empire flourish and grow.


The Pfugaris business was an instant success and they moved into the CBD where they opened their first restaurant at Charge Office in 1978.

Business had expanded, assets amounting to millions of USD had been accumulated; everything they had originated from the Eddies Pfugari money.

The parent company, and other companies they later formed or bought were operating as ‘one economic unit’.


Tragedy struck in 2005 with the death of Mrs Mildred Nyanyiwa. She died having built the business with her husband, equal partners with equal number of shares in their business.

The year is 2016 and what has this year have to do with Mildred Nyanyiwa who is long dead.

Yes, she is dead but on the 10th January 2016, Mr Stern Mufara was appointed as executor dative to the estate of the late Mrs Mildred T. Nyanyiwa DR 2895/15. The beneficiaries of this estate are Mr Stephen Nyanyiwa, Mrs Naume Makumbe, Miss Henrietta Nyanyiwa and Mrs Itai Collier.

Mr Edward Nyanyiwa later passed on in February 2019 with Mr Clever Mandizvidza appointed executor dative to the late Edward Nyanyiwa’s estate DR 471/19.

Beneficiaries of this estate are the two customary wives he married after the death of Mildred; Hazel Nyanyiwa and Nancy Nyanyiwa (niece to his first wife, Mildred) and his 5 children: Edward Nyanyiwa (Jnr), Stephen Nyanyiwa, Naume Makumbe, Henrietta Nyanyiwa and Itai Collier.

Unfortunately, Terrance had died in 1997.

Mildred’s beneficiaries await the distribution of her estate which is entwined with that of her husband.

Edrward and Mildred Pfugari had set out on their journey 50/50. Will their wishes be fulfilled and will the estate be distributed accordingly?