Xplorer Mufaro Maringe on making music, passion for people, and setting the stage for success
Have you seen Mufaro Maringe on stage? You might have – he’s been an artist and musician since he was 15, has graced the stages of venues and festivals across Australia, and has even supported touring national and international artists (one of his three degrees is in Jazz Voice). You might have also seen him perform in a local theater production in Brisbane. While many know him as Community Engagement Lead, Childcare & Education at Xplor, the rest of the world knows him as a multi-faceted artist and entertainer. In fact, he’s just performed his first live show with his band in three years!
Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Mufaro grew up on music and movies, mainly because his older cousins were always on the pulse of what was cool. “Because I wanted to always be around them, I had to do what they did and was exposed to a lot of music and film that just stuck with me,” he said. “So, I started having mini concerts in the kitchen… when I got my first guitar, I thought I was a rockstar, despite not being able to play a single note!” Mufaro’s older sister also loved to sing – so it’s almost inevitable that the performing arts would be a big part of his life.
After migrating with his family to Brisbane, Australia in 2005, Mufaro continued his love of performing, and eventually began working for a boutique entertainment company that helped musicians with recording, music videos, touring, and social media. Simultaneously, he also worked as a childcare educator at Catholic Early Ed Care, a network of over 130 childcare centers and one of Xplor’s Childcare & Education customers – coincidentally the same childcare center network he attended as a child. “It felt like coming home. And through the work I did there, I was able to experience first-hand how our products are truly helping people succeed. I was involved with the rollout of Xplor’s QikKids Kiosk at my center and saw with my own eyes how much time was being saved in admin – around 30 minutes a day.”
Then in 2019, he moved to Melbourne to get his master’s in creative industries, and joined Xplor, working originally in customer success before being promoted to marketing. When asked why he chose to join Xplor, Mufaro recalls two reasons: the products and the people. “After having worked in a childcare center and feeling the impact quality early learning makes on both children's and parent’s lives, I wanted to be part of the team that makes this possible,” he said.
“Working in the center I saw firsthand how much small businesses need great technology to run their day-to-day business easily. People who get involved in the early education sector do it because they’re passionate about giving children the best possible start in life and making quality care accessible for all. But all too often they get waylaid with other tasks and admin which take them away from that purpose. I had a gut-feeling that Xplor was going to be a place where I could continue to make a difference and have felt that exact way since.”
Mufaro says his goal is empowering customers to spend less time trying to figure something out so they can get back to doing what matters. He spends time connecting with customers in online community groups, finding those customers who are using Xplor’s products so well that they’re able to lend a hand to their peers. “I always make sure that I carefully support and coach our customers, to get them to a point where they feel confident enough to pay that knowledge forward,” he said. Mufaro also likes to share hot tips he learns with other Xplorers. “I think that by helping my fellow Xplorers, I’m also helping our customers succeed.”
Knowing that, it makes sense that, of Xplor’s four values, it’s creating lasting communities that Mufaro resonates with the most. “I do think a strong sense of community and belonging is key to everyone,” he said. “I certainly feel like Xplor is a company where everyone – be it Xplorers or customers – can feel like they belong and are part of a strong community.” Mufaro said this passion for community likely comes from his background in early education and music, both industries that thrive on community spirit. His experience in early education has also helped him make more empathetic contributions to customers. “It’s been great to not only understand the pain points of our customers, but to be able to advocate for them now too,” he said. “I know what our customers are trying to do and understand how to help them to achieve this with our software.”
Whether it’s through his music, customer support or community engagement, Mufaro has a genuine passion to help others. “It’s almost an obsession of mine and I will make sure that I see it through to the end,” he said. “I don’t always have the answers but will do whatever I can to get them – and then I can learn something new too!