Constance Bangani – Zimbabwe

Constance Bangani – Zimbabwe

Date: July 1, 2015
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My name is Constance Bangani. I am the councillor for ward 16 in Chimanimani which is situated in the Eastern Highlands region of Zimbabwe. I go about my business representing the community that I live with, in council. Other people’s problems are mine as well because I believe that it is my prerogative to make sure that people’s problems are addressed. I often communicate with the local police and other stakeholders which include the traditional leaders i.e. chiefs over some of the problems that come to my attention if need be. I can now safely say that, because of my interaction with GL and my community, they are now aware and have an understanding of the 50/50 concept. In my ward I am encouraging women to vote for other women because women are the majority in Zimbabwe and yet they are under-represented. In addition I am empowering women both young and old by hiring some of them to do contractual work on projects that I am currently working on.


I first met Gender Links when they were doing their local government research in 2009. That time I met with Colleen and Susan Tolmay. Other encounters were in 2010 when I attended the Regional Summit. What an experience that was. That in itself is a story for another day but let me just say I flew for the first time. I never imagined that one day I was going to achieve such a feat. When I met with GL they gave me awareness to realise that no man is more equal than the other. We are all equal – men and women.

During the time I have spent as a politician there have been good times and bad times. No one really wants to talk about the bad times but they have been there and I am no exception. Mine though came prior to my election as councillor. The time I was vying to be a politician, people looked down upon me. They never believed that I could be a leader. I was labelled as a prostitute. However I remained steadfast. Through this I learnt that aspiring women politicians are painted with the wrong brush. This is one chapter of my life that I will never forget.

The best however, was still to come. When I was elected to be a councillor I was so elated. Opportunities became rife. I never imagined what lay in the world. This taught me that one must never give up. Though the road may be full of thorns and thistle, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. The secret is to just persevere. Against all odds, one will always succeed.

I am very grateful to GL for giving me the opportunity to transform my community. Their literature has gone a long way in achieving this. Not only that, but the various workshops have also seen me gain knowledge which is empowering. I can now talk with no fear to public at any gathering. My ability to understand the nature and behaviours of people has helped to transform not only me but the community as well. Of course I could not have done this without the help of other people like the village head, police, chiefs, other NGOs, politicians from other political parties and governmental departments who are always in constant communication with me. These people have invoked changes within the community I live in.

I believe that it is my role to make a difference to the lives of other women because I am privileged to have been given the knowledge that I possess. It is my endeavour that other women also get to know what I know. As for the men, I also believe that it is my responsibility to make a difference in their lives because I believe that sharing and teaching them about the pros and cons of empowering women will lead to a change in attitudes and mind-sets. I do this strategically by approaching the village head in my community. In all this I hope that in future elections there is no fighting as we are one family.

In conclusion I would like to say that thank you GL for the love that you have shown. I am grateful. To Zimbabwe I say “Let us be one family, one nation and let us unite for a better and brighter future.À




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