Zimbabwe: Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu

Date: July 12, 2018
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Umama Mpofu li tower light le Umguza”

I am the current Member of Parliament for Umguza RDC. I started off as a Councillor for Victoria fall town before she move to being a Councillor in Umguza and the Council Chairperson for Umguza RDC for the period that ended in 2013. I led council and during my term we saw the local authority getting various performance accolades for Best Local Authority in Service Delivery and in Roads Maintenance. My council then became the overall winner in Best performing Council for 2012. I have also held various posts prior to my election into MP status thereby displaying my level of capacitation as a woman.

I have been directly involved in many projects in my community through public participation, policy level participation and decision making positions that have advocated against gendered violence towards women.

I have worked with various Council starting from the time our country gained independence. During my earlier career days in the 1980s it was hard to get recognition for my work yet alone appreciated as a woman leader. I had to strive for excellence in order to be head by her peers. I have had to work twice as hard, improving my marks academically so that I was always abreast of any situation. My journey was tough to get where I am today and implement changes in my community and country at large.

Championing change has been a key aspect of ensuring women empowerment within the two Local Authorities she administers. Most of the gardening I do has been self-taught and I have shared my skills and knowledge with other women. I make dried vegetables for sale and sell fresh vegetables from the excess of my garden. I do this because I do not want to worry about whether my family is eating fresh vegetables or not. As part of the feminist agenda, I also believe that as women we need to own our own harvesting projects as a form of securing political leverage and social security.

Championing gender has made a huge change in my life. The progress that I have achieved on a personal level and transformation taking place in terms of thinking capacity, attitudes and behavioral change towards other people. I continue to provide capacity building training for women Councillors within Umguza RDC through their 50/50 campaign where I have shared with them my political journey, the challenges I encountered and the way I managed to overcome them.

I have learnt that when you donate or try and capacitate women or anyone you also need to train them on entrepreneurship skills so that their projects are able to sustain them even when you have left.