ZAMBIA'S NUMBER 1 UNIVERSAL PLATFORM

CELEBRATING SHALVAH  MUTINTA CHILUFYA – ”Thee Peculiar Christian”

Shalvah Chilufya is a powerful woman of influence that wears many hats with a spirit of excellence.

She is a servant of God, a young and vibrant serial entrepreneur , real estate mogul and property developer. She is married to Thomas Chilufya and together they own Peculiar Consortium that is the umbrella company for the Peculiar brand. Shalvah is the co-founder of a nonprofit international organisation called Peculiar Foundation and is also about to launch a cosmetic line.

HypeMag took time to catch up with the mover and shaker who calls herself- “Thee Peculiar Christian”.

 

HM…. It’s an absolute honour to chat with you and get to know you better. Let’s start with your personal story, your upbringing. How was life growing up?

SC…. Thank you for the opportunity of sharing my story. I was born in Ndola, Zambia and my family was very wealthy at the time. My father passed away in 1998 and we experienced property grabbing. We went from living luxuriously to a life of hardship and struggles. Mom decided we move to Lusaka. My 2 siblings, my mother and I had to adjust from living in a 4 bedroom house to a 1 bedroom apartment.

HM….That’s quite a heartbreaking story. How did you as a family manage to overcome after the death of your Dad.?

SC…. It wasn’t easy. Mom gave her life to Christ and led us – her children – to Him too. She encouraged us to look to Jesus as Our Father and not on the fact that we were orphans. As a result, we witnessed how God can use anything and anyone to bring success. I was not prayerful at the time and still partied a lot but I knew that I was peculiar and had a calling from God at a tender age. I went to Roma Girls Secondary school and later got a Diploma in Marketing. I was unable to pursue my studies further at the time because it was best to educate my immediate brother whom I helped with fees and he got a degree with Honors and later an MBA. He then went on to sponsor our youngest brother at university ,who now has a Bachelor’s degree in marketing . Both are doing great in their respective careers. God has given us beauty for ashes and my life has evolved through pain and triumph.

HM…. How did you meet your husband ?

SC….. I met my husband when I was 11 years old but only started dating when I turned 19. Then 4 months into the relationship, he proposed. We have been together for 13 years and married for 11 beautiful years. We don’t have any biological children yet but we have a God given daughter.

HM…. Tell us about the process that saw you adopt or as you put it.. receive a child from God?

SC……  I must say its been a mystery.  We met her when she was 12 years old. For some divine reason, she was so drawn to us and us to her. That was the beginning of our beautiful story to parenthood. Today she is 18 years old, a university student,  and ministers to  young women in Southern Africa.

HM….What an incredible journey into motherhood!

Let’s talk about what you do for a living. You are a property developer and manufacturer of construction materials. What or who inspired you to get into this industry?

SC…. Actually my Mom birthed the entrepreneurial spirit in me when she registered a company on my behalf. I was 16 at the time. Together we started working on the interiors and exteriors of properties ; something that she has continued to do .When my husband and I moved to South Africa, we worked in the private sector and we also established our company, Peculiar Consortium under which the Peculiar brand runs.

Five years ago, we had a vision to build a boutique hotel. After being swindled twice, my husband and I managed to acquire land in Livingstone, Zambia. We realized that building a project such as this , was a chance for us to diversify into the real estate market.We embarked on a journey to not only produce construction material but also become a prime developer on the African continent. We are licensed distributors of construction machinery; blocks and pavers making machines, and corrugated roof making machines, to name a few.

HM…. 2020 was a curve ball for many across the world. What challenges did your company face as the covid-19 pandemic unfolded?

SC…. As a business that is mainly into import and export of goods, shipping costs and border closures greatly affected us for nearly 2 years. We are still recovering from the pandemic but like every other business we have learnt the art of resilience .Some of our materials come from our partners in China  and just when we had set up our production plant, we were hit by the global shutdown. We couldn’t do anything but God saw us through that season. I used the time to educate myself on the industry as well as our business by taking some courses in the relevant fields.

June 2021- February 2022- Academy For Women Entrepreneurs/Dreambuilder program-Arizona State University

June 2021 -December 2021-Africa Civic Engagement Academy-University of Georgia

May 2022- July 2022 – Real Estate- Champions School of Real Estate Texas

We became fully operational in Livingstone Zambia in  2021.

HM….. Being a married couple that is running businesses together can get complicated. How are you able to find a balance between family life and the office?

SC…. We had to reach an agreement to separate work from emotions by incorporating micro managing skills. Thomas is good at managing and logistics whilst I deal with the administration, marketing, communications and project implementation of all our entities. We identified each other’s strengths, that helped us position ourselves and share responsibilities. We don’t let work affect our home. We do our best to separate the two. We really believe in family time and ensuring all is well on all fronts. We are a team.

HM….. What is the main objective or vision of the Peculiar Consortium?

SC….. Our vision is to transform the African real estate market by creating luxurious and innovative residential and commercial properties in urban/ rural spaces in order to attract socio-economic boosts in the specific environments they are built.

Our brand aims to build a legacy that will impact generations through our excellent craftsmanship. Hence our company  slogan ”Experience Our Difference ”

HM….. What is your competitive advantage in this industry? And how have you managed to stay relevant in the market?

SC….I believe that God is our advantage and He has far exceeded our expectations according to Ephesians 3:20. As a businesswoman I have learnt to be willing to take risks and many times I  have seen the return on investment. I travel a lot and seeing vast infrastructure developments across the world gives me an added advantage because I draw creative ideas from that and implement them – with a little twist. To always be spirit led and have faith no matter the circumstances also plays a very important role.

I have learnt to not only dream but live out my dreams.

HM…. You are also the co-founder of Peculiar Foundation that does a lot of philanthropic work. Could you please tell us more about what it does?

SC… Peculiar Foundation is a nonprofit international organisation that empowers, enlightens, encourages, helps and gives hope to those in need as well as preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is based in Zambia and has also extended it’s reach to less privileged communities in South Africa, China, Botswana, Namibia, Guyana and the USA , having done a number of outreach programs in these countries.

In the year 2019 ,we were privileged to have lead programs in the Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital in Houston Texas.

That same year we ran 30 days of service to the homeless in Houston Texas and New York City.

In 2020 we embarked on a outreach program in women’s month – celebrating women in Pretoria South Africa – by handing out sanitary packages to 100 ladies working on the streets as well as those in homeless shelters.

We donate to a number of orphanages around Zambia and help a number of people around the world through our initiatives.

We are currently raising awareness of the Vision 2030 agenda , to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), through cultivation of community involvement.

HM… That is very heartwarming to hear that you are working with communities, not only in Zambia but across the world too. What other projects is the Peculiar Foundation currently running?

SC…. Our latest series of projects fall under an arm called Peculiar Initiatives and aims to partner with rural communities ; to build health care facilities and community learning centres. Our vision is to build 10 of these facilities across Sub-Saharan Africa, with the flagship being in Livingstone, Zambia.

Then we also have an ongoing campaign to feed 1000 families in the impoverished areas of Southern and Lusaka provinces of Zambia. Each family will receive a 25kg bag of mealie meal.

We will do a media launch soon and invite companies to partner with us. We have solely funded all our own projects and this will be the first time that we crowdfund an initiative.  Through this campaign we are spreading love through our actions and the theme actually is…. “LOVE IN ACTION “.

HM…. I love that you are practicing what you preach. Not only are you empowering women but you are also making them look beautiful . How did you venture into that?

SC… My mother created a skincare range in the comfort of her kitchen about 27 years ago, As we began to grow older she usually called the income from that  our every day perishable stash (bread,fruit etc). They were never branded and therefore I decided to add a cosmetic company to our brand that could house both of our babies.I have always loved skincare and cosmetics  hence the birth of Peculiar Cosmetics  that is soon to be launched on the global market.It will include a lipstick collection, 4D tear- proof mascara, lipglosses, serums , foundations and of course our amazing organic skincare range.

HM…. You truly are a peculiar woman. What words of inspiration would you like to give to those reading your story and perhaps would like to follow in your footsteps?

SC…. Run with the vision God has given you. Whether you are a man or a woman..get up and allow God to use your pain to position you for His glory. It doesn’t matter where you are in life ; it matters where you are going. There are no impossibilities; only possibilities. You are the greatest prophet of your life. I am adamant about wealth creation because money gives you audibility. Remember, find God first and then allow yourself to dream.Jesus Chirst is our advantage.

Hardships and tough situations mould us to be better people. Do not despise them, instead learn from them. Someone out there needs a change  in their lives, you are that change. You are that difference and be that difference. We were created for impact.

You are God’s Masterpiece. I call that being Peculiar. Say it with me  I AM PECULIAR!

HM…. There we have it. We celebrate Shalvah Mutinta Chilufya..” Thee Peculiar Christian”

Please look out for the media launch of Operation Love In Action – Feeding 1000 Families in Zambia; as well as the official launch of Peculiar Cosmetics.

You can also connect with Thee Peculiar Christian on:

INSTAGRAM: theepeculiarchristianofficial

FACEBOOK: Thee Peculiar Christian

YOUTUBE: Thee Peculiar Christian

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