I loved every minute of working at Bata. I could work from six in the morning till six at night happily. Everyday I wish I was still going to work there, even at my age!
A Life with Bata
FROM BATA SOUTH AFRICA, TO BATA ZIMBABWE TO BATA BOLIVIA
Mrs Kosacheck in Zimbabwe worked for Bata for 50 years, before retiring aged 83. When she found herself homeless after the Zimbabwean economy crashed, Bata stepped in to assist her.
‘I’ve been here so long that I have seen about ten different Managing Directors come through.’ Says Mrs Kosacheck, who began working for Bata in 1945. Born in Rhodesia (as Zimbabwe was called until 1980), Mrs Kosacheck first decided to apply for a job at Bata when her parents retired to South Africa.
‘I started in the buying department,’ said Mrs Kosacheck, “I became a secretary, then PA to the Managing Director. I worked here until I was 83, even though you are supposed to retire at sixty something. I loved my job! I could work from six in the morning till six at night happily. I got on really well with the MD’s and there was always something interesting going on.”
Commitment is a two way process
It was also through working at Bata that Kosacheck met her husband. “He was the architect who designed all the original buildings on the site,” said Mrs Kosacheck. “At first we lived together in the old huts here, and then we lived locally in town.”
When the economic crisis struck, Mrs Kosachek was once again offered a house on the Bata Zimbabwe site in Gweru. “It’s funny because this is where I started out, and now I’m back here,” explains Mrs Kosachek, with a warm smile on her face.