By Takemore Mazuruse
The name Cossy Rules has over the years become a formidable brand and for the majority of people who follow the Kadoma-born businessman, community leader and arts promoter; the name is synonymous with big money business deals, pomp and the razzmatazz of the music industry.
Born Cosmas Dhaka, Cossy Rules or simply Boss Cossy as he is affectionately known, has carved a niche in the local business and creative industry and has capped it with some remarkable community development work as a local councillor in Kadoma’s ward 11 (Waverly) and in other parts of the gold mining town.
The name Cossy Rules though apt and synonymous with his milestones and brand is, however, misleading as it implies he is a power-hungry and influence motivated.
He, however, intimated to Standard Style on how he got the name Cossy Rules highlighting that he is a simple and easy going guy who is driven by a desire to make a difference in people’s lives.
“Cossy Rules is a name I got during my primary school days at Waverly,” he said.
“I was appointed class monitor and we would get instructions to jot down names of noise makers.
“However, the teacher would be shocked that I would never present any list. My argument was that according to my principles, a student should be responsible enough to avoid making noise.
“Those to me were Cossy principles and the teacher and fellow students then changed the term to Cossy Rules and the name stuck to this day.”
In essence, Cossy Rules is about life principles which according to the affable businessman should border on respect for others, empathy and regard for the less privileged and a desire to make a difference in other people’s lives.
“Cossy Rules or principles is my guiding light in this journey of life and I always make sure that I spare a thought for the less privileged and fellow community members in one way or the other,” Cossy Rules said.
“I have not worked for anyone a single day in my life and I remain a self made entrepreneur who is driven by a desire to beat poverty and empower others on my way to the top.
“Maybe that care for others is what has somehow limited my potential because I am not a self-centered entrepreneur.”
A proud family man whose structured business investments are centred on bequeathing a rich legacy for his kids, Cossy Rules is so given to charity and corporate social investment that the local community had to cajole him into politics, hence his role as ward 11 councillor in Kadoma.
“When fame came knocking on my doors, I never took it as an opportunity to show-off and spite others. For me this was just God being gracious to me,” he said.
“For that reason, I have always been a charitable person and for the past 11 years I celebrate my birthday at Jairos Jiri in Kadoma where I make generous donations.
“I also use my trucks for refuse collection to augment efforts by the local council and we have coordinated various community development projects including setting up Cossy Rules football team.”
Cossy Rules has a soft spot for the local music industry and has supported many upcoming and established musicians over the years. he has a soft spot for the late Tongai Moyo and Zora singer Leonard Zhakata.
“My love for local music is not a coincidence and I am happy to be playing my part in assisting upcoming and established musicians to realise their artistic dreams,” said Cossy Rules.
“It is, however, Tongai Moyo who popularised the name Cossy Rules. We would frequent his shows with the 30 men strong Cossy Rules team in our branded regalia and Tongai would shout the name Cossy Rules on end and even went on to chant it in his studio recordings. That’s how the name became viral.”
The businessman would also make sure to doll out cash at Dhewa’s shows and at one time he recalls giving out US$3 000 at one of the musician’s events.
“I have always felt musicians and artistes are not appreciated enough for all their creativity, hence I always made sure to support their shows and giving out cash on stage to motivate them,” Cossy Rules said.
“At one time I gave Tongai about US$3 000 on stage and the next morning he called to say I could come get the money because he thought it was just show-off, but I reaffirmed that it was my gift to him. Even on his deathbed, Tongai’s last text message confirmed the high regard and love he had for me.”
The Kadoma businessman, who boasts of interests in furniture sales, mining, real state, transport and commodity broking said Leonard Zhakata’s music shaped his life.
“I lost my parents at an early age hence I never had an opportunity to get life counsel from my father,” Cossy Rules said.
“Zhakata’s music became my guiding light in life and when I became someone in life, I sought an audience with him to appreciate his art and to this day we have remained brothers.
“I pray today’s generation produces such quality and meaningful music which cuts across generations.”
Cossy Rules runs a business complex, which services local entrepreneurs and rents out offices space in Waverly, an undertaking he believes is developing the local economy.
“Cossy Rules Complex is a dream that started when I was in primary school at Waverly,” he said.
“I would pass that open space on my way to school and always dreamt to own the land and build something for my community.
“Years on, God honoured my dream and I am happy to say I have built a complex that houses my office and other local businesses.”
Cossy Rules has invested in a tarred road to his Ward 11 in Waverly and also plans to construct some flats in Kadoma so that he helps ease the accommodation needs.
“When I was called upon to become the councillor, I invested in tarring the road that branches from the main road to Bulawayo after the bus terminus into Waverly so that we demonstrate the desire for good infrastructure. My trucks also ferry refuse and gravel and we fill up potholes in our ward,” he said.
“My plan is to also invest in affordable flats not just in my ward but across Kadoma to make life easier for the less privileged.”
With Covid-19 making life unbearable for the less privileged, Cossy Rules has started a corporate social investment initiative in Ward 11 where they identify the less-privileged and buy some groceries for them regardless of political affiliation.
“Food security has also become a major challenge particularly given the Covid-19 situation,” he said.
“As a community leader, I have also taken it upon myself to feed the less privileged members of my community.
“We are, therefore, buying monthly groceries for identified community members and this has got nothing to do with political affiliation. As long you are a deserving beneficiary, you get your share.”
The community builder has also invested in education and has over the years paid school fees for less-privileged and brilliant children at Waverly Primary School and also donated some stationery.
“Education has got the power to break the poverty cycle and I have paid school fees for 20 school kids from Grade 1 to 7 every year at Waverly Primary School for the past seven years,” he said.
“We have also made generous stationery donations to the school and we are always exploring ways to empower and support the learners.”
Cossy Rules believes in the potential of every citizen and he is also helping local youths in mining given his experience in the sector.
“Kadoma is a mining town and some of the youths with dreams to venture in this industry lack the capital and equipment to venture into the trade,” he said.
“We, therefore, try to empower them by availing some of the mining equipment we hire out to give them a launchpad and the results have been amazing.”
The sure footed businessman’s dream is to grow his empire beyond Kadoma in a way that contributes to the national economy and he said he is motivated by a desire to kick out poverty.
“Growing up as an orphan exposed me to life challenges which is why I never opted to work for anyone. All my life I have always been an entrepreneur,” he said.
“My dream is to invest in business ventures across Zimbabwe and I hope to play my part in growing the Zimbabwean economy that way.”
With Covid-19 continuing to limit the potential of many, the arts loving entrepreneur who is also furthering his studies with a local university urged Zimbabweans to remain resilient and to comply with set regulations so that they beat the pandemic.