Zethu Mbambo – Swaziland

Zethu Mbambo – Swaziland

Date: November 29, 2015
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Zethu was introduced to Gender Links by a friend. “At first I thought it was going to be like any other workshop I had previously attended until we were asked to relate the kind of abuse we had been through.” She was shocked as to what gender based violence has to do with entrepreneurship or starting a business. “I soon learnt that the past has an impact on how someone conducts him or herself in future”. It answered the questions as to why she was easily discouraged when faced with challenges, not just in business but in life generally. She then realised that her past has affected her life immensely. Mbambo is also thankful for the faith she has in Christ as it has helped her stay sober and focused in life. “I am also thankful for my family’s support which made me feel like I belong,” she said.

After the first session at the workshop, she realised that she had fallen into great depression and this made her go for counselling. What the other women shared during the group work helped her understand that she was not going through difficulties alone, but someone out there faced the same predicament as her, or worse. When the business session started she was more focused and had a positive outlook on where her life was going and she was motivated to go back into the business scene. “I learnt the pride of owning a business and was empowered to start afresh,” Zethu confirmed.

Zethu is the third born in a family of five and was raised by a single parent (mother) who became everything to her. Due to the absence of her father she became independent at an early stage in her life. There were times when her mother would leave her and her siblings with relatives because she had to go and further her studies overseas. She developed a defense mechanism because she had to look after her siblings. “I grew up with the mindset that if I wanted something I had to fend for myself,” she asserted. Her mother regarded her as a strong person and her siblings looked up to her.

Zethu went through ups and downs in business, at one point she partnered with other people who cheated her and she ended up losing everything. At another time she was humiliated by people she trusted who falsely accused her. “That was the hardest thing I had to go through because I was not given a platform to defend myself”. Mbambo went through that emotional abuse unaware that it was happening. After such an experience her ego was bruised and she developed a negative perception about life. She was easily discouraged. Such experience teaches one to forgive and not hold grudges. In most cases these problems stay untouched and people end up not getting assistance.

She was one of the women chosen to represent her town in the 2014 national summit held in Swaziland under the “Business startup” category. “This has boosted my self-confidence and I have gone back to what I loved doing, farming,” Zethu has started a button mushroom farming business in Siteki. Her biggest dream is to be one of the biggest suppliers of button mushrooms in Swaziland. With the right financial backing, she can achieve her dream. “I wish Gender Links could help us secure financial aid”. Their backing can motivate the entrepreneurship participants to not only dream about starting the businesses, but put their plans into action. Another thing is that if Gender Links do these follow ups, financial institutions might consider their loan requests. She said her business would bring jobs to a lot of people in her area and they will also gain knowledge in business know how. Zethu wants to train other women interested in this trade because it is mainly dominated by foreign companies. Her business will not only benefit people from her home area but the country at large. It will create job opportunities for mainly women who will assist in harvesting and packing.

She is also involved in a youth empowerment project. Zethu has started a non-governmental organisation to help young people in her home area. They help young people socially, spiritually and academically and with regard to wellness. The objective of the organisation is to provide a platform for the youth to express themselves, without being judged and to assist them or mentor them in the right direction. It aims at helping them reach their full potential and fulfil their God-given purpose.


One thought on “Zethu Mbambo – Swaziland”

lukhelesipho says:

Hi Zethu I want to start a mushrooms farming in mpumalanga,now I’m looking for mentor to join me.can you assist

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