Grantham Journal Big Interview: From poor beginnings to very busy businesswoman
A mother of three who grew up in a village in Zimbabwe is striking out on her own with a new venture. Debrah Mowlem is in the process of setting up her own care firm to help the elderly and vulnerable. Debrah has always run her own businesses and came to England in 1995. She is also a writer and has a number of international best-selling books to her name.
You say your company is unique. Can you say why?
MPC..My Personalised Care is not just a care company, it’s a corporate group that caters for the client’s whole well-being. We provide personalised care for our clients; that’s washing, dressing, medication, assistance, specialised care, end of life care, live-in care etc. Then we also provide for their wellbeing outside of care through our home support branch, MPS – My Personalised Support. MPS provides clients with cleaners, handymen, drivers, gardeners...basically we provide everything even if our client wants a plumber, we will get them a plumber, we will get them a manicurist, hairdresser, personal shopper, childcare etc. That’s how we are unique. We care for the whole well-being of our clients.
Why did you move to Grantham?
I moved from Camberley, Surrey, because I am a country girl and I felt now is the time to come ‘home’, to move to the countryside and enjoy the rolling fields I grew up in. I like a laid-back, slow paced lifestyle that small towns provide, could never live in London or any of those big cities. It also helps me to write, the quiet atmosphere, the community love, the greenery.
You have written books. Can you tell us something about them and do you intend to write more?
Yes, I am a number one international best-selling author (rated on Amazon) with a few books published and more still to come. Yes, I still write because writing to me is not a job, it’s a hobby, it’s what I do to relax. I always have a few projects on the go at a time. I’m now trying my hand at kids’ books and scripts. I am also a public speaker/coach, I speak to groups, small and big, and schools.
I wrote my first book for my kids. It is about me growing up. We were quite poor but I think the children then were better off than my kids here. I wrote the book to say don’t have any pity for me. I had a better life. My kids have taken the book around school and they love it.
Can you tell us something about your background. Where are you from?
I was born and bred and Zimbabwe in a small village about an hour from the capital city Harare and I think I had the most exciting childhood; swimming in the river, growing our own food, walking for miles to go to school, writing in the sand, making our own toys and games etc. I only came here as an adult and I have been here now for two decades. I have three girls and I have always had to work from home because of childcare. So I did a lot of personal training and I did mixed martial arts and used to compete. I am a black belt.
How would you like your company to develop?
MPC will develop as we bring our services to surrounding areas and introduce more services to our clients like providing personalised wheelchairs. We also will bring private ambulances to the area in the near future.
Do you have any ambitions, both in work and personally?
My ambitions….mmmm thats a good one. I am a person who has never been confined to one ‘job’. I have never been in the proverbial ‘box’ so to speak. I seek opportunities and I dream big. I know there is always a way to do things if you look hard enough, therefore I don’t see any fences or walls to stop me in whatever I choose to do. Is that ambitious? Maybe… I call it living life my way. I would like to build a few schools, educate communities, give a few children a chance, a way out and also help people especially women who are still scared to take the reigns to just do it and guide them on how to do it.