Monica Mhoshiwa – Zimbabwe

Monica Mhoshiwa – Zimbabwe

Date: November 18, 2015
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The beginning of my rise!

“Because of Gender Links I now believe in myself and I am not scared to take risks. I now have a nose for opportunities surrounding me,” says Mhoshiwa

Monica Mhoshiwa suffered gender based violence for 13 years and she was not able to speak out about it. She endured abuse in silence until 2010, the year she decided to speak out. Speaking out was not a solution to her problem because her husband became more violent. The situation led her to lose her job because her husband harassed her at her workplace. After she was dismissed from serving as a sales person for a chicken brooding company she finally decided to apply for a divorce and this was successful.

“It was through Msasa that my path crossed with that of Gender Links. The organisation taught me about gender based violence and entrepreneurship as a way of empowering me as a survivor of abuse. I am living testimony to the fact that the programme was very useful as it brought positive change in my life. Many aspects of my life changed for the better and I began to look at myself in a positive manner. The feeling of rejection disappeared and for the first time in my life I felt that I was good on my own. The lessons about setting up a business were an eye opener for me and everything made sense to me. I did not need a man to have the kind of life that I desire,” asserted Monica Mhoshiwa.

The entrepreneurship skills she obtained saw her going into the business of buying and selling. She used the money she received as an honorarium for attending the workshop to purchase stock from South Africa. The business grew systematically because she successfully applied the knowledge she gained from GL.

In April 2014 she opened an informal trader account with a local bank in order to be able to apply for a loan and she submitted her business plan. Unfortunately, the application for the loan was rejected because her guarantors failed to meet their outstanding arrears.

“Because of GL I now believe in myself and I am not scared to take risks. I now have a nose for opportunities surrounding me,” claims Mhoshiwa. She converted her spare bedroom into a storeroom where she keeps her stock. Mhoshiwa sells her stuff from the veranda of her house because the business is still small due to the little capital injection. She is now able to keep financial records and avoid misappropriation of business funds. In the near future she has got plans to acquire a commercial stand where she can build her shop.

She also aims to breed broiler chickens as a diversification strategy if the capital comes through. People in her community seek advice from her because they have noted the remarkable difference in her life.

“I always shared the notes I got from Gender Links with several people in my community. I enjoyed doing this because it kept me focused on the bigger picture and it gave me the urge to move forward. I feel indebted to GL for affording me such an opportunity and I will never be the same person again,” says Mhoshiwa.

Before she achieved financial independence, she used to spend most of her time in hospitals as a result of stress related illnesses. She now boasts sound health. Mhoshiwa managed to acquire a driver’s license something that was made possible by the courage that was instilled in her during the entrepreneurship training.

Christina Dzingirayi witnessed the changes that took place in Mhoshiwa’s life. She said that Mhoshiwa was living in abject poverty after she separated from her abusive husband.

“She survived on credit and her children were always excluded from school. The local authority used to cut the water supply at her house due to her failure to pay. She struggled for survival for a long time until the day she told me that she had joined an organisation that trains survivors of gender based violence to be entrepreneurs. I was surprised seeing her setting up a clothing business at her house. When Mhoshiwa started her business her life changed for the better and she is now a well respected person in our community,” according to Christina Dzingirayi.

Another neighbour, Anuya Shano, thanked GL for empowering Mhoshiwa and she had this to say: “My neighbour’s life changed after she joined the programme. She is currently operating a viable business and she is now one of the outstanding women in our community. Instead of spending time gossiping about her problems we now frequent her house as both customers and advice seekers”.

“My husband used to call me “a parasite” but he is now surprised with the changes taking place in my life. I was not empowered because I had money, but the skills I acquired from GL helped me. Many people in my community are coming forward to ask how I managed to attain financial freedom,” says Mhoshiwa.

Mhoshiwa feels that it is not always good to rely on loans but it is a noble idea to use the available resources. She has plans to ensure that the useful information she has received will cascade down to many people in her community.

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