Our History

The late Roger Boka was a genuine reflection of the spirit of entrepreneurship. The third born in a family of nine children born to Phoebe and Martin Boka, he went on to become a husband and father of seven. As the son of a carpenter in white-ruled Rhodesia, he always won the ‘top student’ award at school. Later, in black-ruled Zimbabwe, this helped him build a business empire encompassing interests in real estate, publishing, banking, mining and tobacco marketing.

To himself and to many others, his rise to prominence embodied the rare realization of the potential among Zimbabwe’s mostly poor black majority to break the white minority’s hold on the nation’s business and wealth.

Establishment of Business Entities

When Boka Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd was born in early 1979, few gave the fledging company much chance of survival. It not only survived, but prospered, increasing its workforce tenfold. Like other Indigenous Zimbabwean businesses, the group has over the years supported Government’s call to promote developmental projects and to stand up and be counted alongside white counterparts thereby expanding into many branches of commerce and industry. Despite UMB’s collapse in 1998, his bank offered loans to indigenous Zimbabweans at favourable terms, challenging multinational banks against discrimination against black entrepreneurs who lacked collateral, whilst alerting the country to the In Du Plum Rule. Following his death in 1999, his companies were placed under Judicial Management.  The Group companies have survived collapse, judicial encumbrance and a ten year recession.

Some of his milestones include:

  • 1980 Construction of Boka Furniture Factory in Waterfalls.
  • 1981 Successful (Z$) Multi-Million Zimbabwe dollar NRZ Tender for the supply of train seats.
  • 1982 Ministry of Education supply of educational materials and school furniture.
  • 1984 Manufacture & importation of cosmetics, fashion jewellery, assembly of watches and commencement of photographic business.
  • 1985 Launch of publishing and distribution entity Boka Book Sales.
  • 1985 Purchase of Boka House in Forbes Avenue in Harare
  • 1985 Construction of Boka Commercial Centre in the Bulawayo CBD
  • 1986 Construction of Boka Shopping Complex, Dangamvura Mutare
  • 1986 Entry into tobacco trade as first Black Merchant
  • 1987 Entry into mining sector
  • 1991 Establishment of first Local Zimbabwean’s gold buying Centre.
  • 1993 Z$78 million gold mining joint venture in Chegutu at Boka Mine Gadzema with a leading Russian company
  • 1994 Appointed to Tobacco Marketing Board, participating in the process of amending legislation so as to encourage participation of Indigenous persons to the tobacco industry
  • Purchase of Islip House in Harare
  • 1994 Establishment of United Merchant Bank
  • 1994 Construction of Boka Tobacco Floors, originally thought to be the largest tobacco trading facility in the world.
  • 1998 Commencement of tobacco growing and roll out of input scheme to small holder farmers in Chiendambuya village
  • 2013 Posthumously awarded as one of the Most Influential Entreprenuers Pre-Independence at Empretec’s 20th awards


Contact us

13km peg Masvingo Rd Waterfalls
P.O. Box 2215, Harare

Telephone: (+263) 8677613405/6/7.