Ghetto’s go getter

Kabelo Dipholo

Building the Proctor legacy

Coming from a family of well established entrepreneurs, corporate high flyers and leading figures in the civil service, Mavis Taboka Proctor is certainly from a good stock.

A tenacious self made entrepreneur, Proctor’s determination, vision and an unmatched familial support structure has allowed her to emerge successfully in every business she sets out to do.

With extensive experience in Sales and Marketing, acquired from years spent in retail and insurance, this street suave last born from a family of eight is currently a Director of three businesses, each revealing her passion, her relation with the Francistown community as a daughter, sister and mother.

She’s the founder of Proctor Insurance Services, Visoka Fashions, a fashion forward clothes and accessory brand, and Visoko Kitchen, a popular eatery in Minestone also known as ‘Kwa ga Mavis’.

Although born in the copper mining town of Selebi Phikwe 40 something years ago, and has Scottish and Zimbabwean roots, Proctor is a true daughter of the soil, and has Francistown running through her veins.

In this interview, The Voice reporter Kabelo Dipholo sat down with her to find out what makes her tick.

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She opens up about her family, and challenges of raising a millennial.

Q. You come from a well known family in the second capital. How would you describe yourself?

I’m a daughter, sister and a mother.

I’m family oriented that’s why all my nephews and nieces call me mummy.

Q. Take us back to your upbringing as a little girl growing up in both Selebi Phikwe and Francistown.

Most people think I was born here, but I was born in Selebi Phikwe.

My father was a police officer who had to transfer to Phikwe.

I was brought up in a family of eight, sadly we’ve lost two.

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I’ve always been surrounded by so much love, something my mother has nurtured in us from a very young age.

I don’t know any other family like the Proctors.

Everything about us is based on love.

I wish you had access to our family WhatsApp group, it’s absolutely amazing.

I was brought up in a family full of laughter, lots of food, probably the reason I eventually went into catering.

Q. The Proctors are also well known go getters. What makes this family special?

We love each other deeply.

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We support each other in everything.

I remember when my daughter Natasha was involved in an ugly Facebook incident, a lot of people were shocked when I jumped into the conversation to protect my daughter.

My siblings also did to fight in the corner of their niece and nephew.

That’s how we are as a family.

We were not going to sit back and watch one of our own being attacked by social media bullies.

People were saying we should have taken it off social media, but that’s where the fracas was, and that’s where we had to bring the heat.

We are indeed a family of hard workers.

We’re not scared of the world, because we’ve each other.

I can do anything I desire because I know my family will back me up.

Q. Wow, amazing. Talking about Natasha, she’s considered one of the youngest up coming social media influencers. How is it like to raise a daughter who’s literally living in a virtual space?

I’m a mother of two biological daughters, and a son in law.

Natasha is my last born.

While my first born is reserved, Natasha is the younger version of me.

I’ve always told her that she can do whatever she wants as long as I approve.

As long as I’m fine with it nobody else matters.

People will talk about her tattoos, but I also have somebody art.

My daughter is free to be herself and make life choices knowing very well that her mother and entire family has her back.

She and BK Proctor are not one man brands, they’ve the entire family behind them.

He’s my son.

BK is my sister’s son, who unfortunately passed on.

I stepped in to do my auntie duties and also provide motherly protection.

He’s my travel buddy.

We’ve toured the world together.

While I believe he got his business acumen from his uncle Mike Proctor, I’m convinced he got the fashion taste from me (giggles).

Q. Why have you decided to base all your businesses in Francistown?

It’s because of my mother.

She’s my life.

As a family we owe every little success we have to her.

If she was in Gaborone, I’d be in Gaborone, but now that she’s here, Francistown is my base.

Mma DC or Sinnah as she’s known is an 84 years old and is the family matriarch.

She once told me that no matter what I do in life I should never be tempted to trade in alcohol as I’d fail.

That advice has stuck with me up to this day.

I can drink alcohol but I’ll never sell it.

Q. Tell us a bit about Visoka Kitchen. When did it start operating?

I started in 2019, just before Covid struck.

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and hosting friends at my house.

I did it because I’m a good cook, and my friends enjoyed my meals.

However one day I just decided that, it has become too costly for me to be giving away food for free, and that’s when one of my friends suggested that I should open a restaurant and they’ll buy.

When I started I had no business plan, I had no funds, but just the food I had at home.

When we opened on the first Monday, we sold out and from there we never looked back.

Today I also do catering for corporates.

Q. Where does the name Proctor come from?

Our grandparents were from Scotland, and that’s where our name comes from.

My father who’s no more was from Zimbabwe.

I once had a conversation with him on why he never complained that his kids were not using his surname, and his response humbled me and my respect for him grew till this day.

He simply said my daughter you can’t even speak my language, you’re still my daughter no matter the name you’re using.

Q. What is your biggest fear in life?

Death. I’ve seen what death can do to a family.

Last year I lost my favourite sister-in- law and it broke us.

So wherever I am I pray to God to give my siblings and entire family a long life.

Q. The closure of Tati Nickle has eroded the purchasing power of Francistowners. Do you see this city ever bouncing back?

The city has bounced back.

My confidence comes from seeing a thriving informal sector.

If you go out into the streets people are selling oranges, vegetables and food.

That is a sign of a healthy city.

All that is needed is for the dealership to do more for the informal sector.

Q. What can the city leadership do?

Firstly we need more female representation particularly at Council level.

Do you know that out of 20 Councilors only four are women.

This is unacceptable.

The informal sector is mostly women, and they need a voice at the decision making table.

Q. Do you harbor any ambition of running for a political office?

Yes. I do feel that in future I might consider active politics.

Q. They say men are intimidated by women who go out to hassle for themselves. Is this true?

Well I’ve to say I’ve been very unlucky in love.

At my age I need a strong man who won’t be intimidated by my lifestyle.

I know love, I know how it feels like, so if I don’t get it then what’s the point? I’m in the last phase of my life, and at this age life is all about me, that’s why they say life begins at 40.

Thank God Its Friday, what do you have planned for this weekend?

The weekend has been reserved for the Express Yourself Fun Day at Riverside Deck, an event by BK Proctor Collections.

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