Continuous learning, growth and development sits at the heart of National Foods’ employer value proposition. This is evidenced by the fact that, as a recognised accredited training office of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ), the company trains selected candidates to qualify as Chartered Accountants (CA) through the Training Outside Public Practice (TOPP) programme, offering an alternative to the conventional auditing route TIPP (Training Inside Public Practice) to qualifying as a CA.
Presently, National Foods has twenty-two articled clerks enjoying the perfect practical workplace environment for the 3-year period in which they must attain set competencies and serve a minimum of certain training hours. Under the training supervision of their Leadership Team (members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) and the Training Officer), the trainees enjoy on-the-job training and direct mentorship.
Apart from preference being given to candidates who possess an Accounting Degree and/or other professional qualifications such as CIMA, ACCA etc., National Foods looks for behavioural traits and competencies that align with their culture and value system. National Foods is not for everyone. The company is proudly transparent, honest and upfront as far as its company values, which include being hardworking, results-driven, resilient, honest and innovative.
National Foods has a strong reputation of truly delivering on its promise. The company’s renowned ongoing learning and growth pillar of recognising and investing in skills training and career development speaks for itself. Assisting employees in advancing their professional careers not only grows and future-proofs the individual, but equips them to align with the future growth and progress of National Foods.
At National Foods, TOPP trainees are presented with the best of both worlds: a conducive manufacturing environment for on-the-job training which accelerates practical workplace experience, coupled with the financial investment and support for graduate trainees to qualify as CAs through the TOPP programme. Additionally, National Foods is recognised for its caring and supportive people who are committed to promoting talented people who excel and strive towards career advancement.
Brighton Munyangara, Finance Manager in the Flour Division, presently oversees a finance team of approximately 10 people. Brighton’s career path began with National Foods recognising him as a potential finance graduate trainee to enrol on the TOPP programme. Brighton is a perfect example of how National Foods partners with its employees throughout their career journey.
Having studied Business Studies (Finance and Banking) at the University of Zimbabwe, in the hype of the country’s inflationary period, Brighton completed his 1-year attachment as an intern at National Foods. He returned to university that year, and was thereafter afforded an opportunity to begin his 2-year graduate trainee programme as a Finance Graduate. In 2012, Brighton was appointed as an Assistant Accountant and climbed the career ladder to become a Financial Accountant within the Groceries Business Unit.
Upon National Foods introducing the TOPP programme in 2016, the company took the decision to invest in Brighton’s enrolment in 2017. He found it exceptionally difficult and dropped out, convinced that the programme was not for him. His mentor at the time, National Foods’ Financial Director Lovejoy Nyandoro, was there to coach Brighton, providing him with all the encouragement he needed. Lovejoy acknowledged and reassured him that “it was certainly hard work, but that it certainly paid off.”
In 2018, as a true mentor and with much support, Lovejoy asked Brighton to enrol in the programme again. He enrolled with the CAA (Chartered Accountant Academy), having witnessed the success of the other trainee chartered accountants. This motivated Brighton to maintain his focus, making him that much more determined to qualify. He passed CTA Level 1 and was ranked in the top 10! The following year, Brighton went on to graduate in his CTA Level 2, where he was recognised as the best student, in the completion of the Taxation Module, in the entire country. In 2020, Brighton qualified to write the ITC (Initial Test of Competence) and had to enrol to write the APC (Assessment of Professional Competence).
In the midst of the 2020 COVID pandemic, which was a difficult year for everyone, Brighton pushed through to write his final qualifying exam. Notwithstanding these challenging times, when the pass rate was at a 35% record low, Brighton qualified in 2021 as a Chartered Accountant with ICAZ (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe).
With sheer self-determination, together with the advantage of enjoying the best of both worlds which National Foods provides – 3 years of practical workplace training, coupled with the theoretical qualification background – Brighton reached the finishing line to qualify as a CA!
Brighton was awarded a promotion to the role of Management Accountant within the then Groceries Business Unit, having worked there from 2016 to 2021. July 2021 was the year that Brighton was promoted to the role of Finance Manager for National Foods’ Flour Division, where he works today.
Through Brighton’s incredible career journey, he has grown to become a role model, coach and mentor to many entry-level graduate CAs that are navigating the same road that he travelled. Brighton’s passion lies in contributing to society, through relaying his story and direction on lessons learned in accomplishing his professional career path to success. Coupled with this, he invests in marking CTA exams and lectures students at Chartered Accountants Academy (CAA) in the spirit of nurturing future Chartered Accountants.
|“I have had a good journey with National Foods and I find it difficult to think of working anywhere else. I see National Foods as my mother ship, having partnered and supported me in my career development and growth over these past years. They have invested in my professional career and have recognised me through my promotion to where I am at today.” – Brighton Munyangara, Finance Manager for National Foods Flour Division.|