Zimbabwe: Sikhululekile Moyo

Zimbabwe: Sikhululekile Moyo

Date: May 12, 2021
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Enter Action with boldness; If you are unsure of your action do not attempt it: Robert Greene

 “Gender Links made it possible to meet other women leaders since I assumed office as Councillor I have been to Kenya, Sweden and Zambia. I learnt about the Sustainable development goals and have imparted the information to youths in the ward”.

 Sikhululekile Moyo has been a gender equality and political activist since 1999 where she had many brushes with the law enforcement agents who could not tolerate women in opposition. She was born in Filabusi, Insiza in Matebeleland South Province. She did her primary and secondary education at St Bernards Primary and High School in Pumula Bulawayo.  Her quest for democracy in the country while also championing gender equality lead her to be elected Councillor for Ward 17 in Bulawayo in 2018, a ward which covers the high-density suburb of Pumula North as well as the peri-urban areas namely Mazwi, Robert Sinyoka and St Peters. She has been steadfast in her desire to bridge the gap between men and women in her ward and the city council. After becoming a Councillor she was elected to be the chairperson of the Future Water Supplies Committee and on several occasions, she has represented the Mayor of Bulawayo as the guest of honour, for example, receiving a donation of books to Bulawayo libraries by Book International.

Since her assumption of office as a councillor she has been to Kenya, Sweden and Zambia representing Zimbabwe (women) at different forums around the country and the world at large. She has also attended the 2020 national Gender Summit and she won an award for being a driver of change.

Championing gender and being a female councillor has significantly improved her life because she has refused to be relegated to lower positions just because she is a woman and this has earned her respect from both her female and male peers.  She refuses to be given lesser roles in her everyday life and this has also allowed her to network with different people and organizations and this has opened up avenues that have brought about changes in her personal life. Networking has enabled her to meet people who have inspired and motivated her to change.

She said,” My family now delegates me to handle sensitive family issues.” The exposure and experience she has had as a Councilor have seen her having excellent negotiating skills and has been able to solve several family challenges. She is the last born in her family of 17 i.e., 9 boys and 8 girls. Her father, who was a vendor, had two wives and she is one of the two girls in the family who managed to reach a secondary level of education. Despite that, her far family does not plan or conclude any family matter without her input. This also applies to her close friends who also ask her to help them in whatever challenges they will be facing.

Councillor Moyo has a passion for empowering the youths. She supports the works of the youth’s groups in her ward. In February 2020 she took time to disseminate information about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Forty-five youths were invited through the Pumula Youth Leadership Forum and the training was run under the theme “Maximizing youth participation on Sustainable Development Goals”. The programme was well-received by the youths who realised that it was not only the government and local authorities who should play a role towards achieving the 17 SDGs but rather everyone had a role to play especially the youth. The training through Gender Links and the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD), which equipped her with the skills and information, enabled her to assist the youth on their role towards the attainment of the SDGs by 2030.

She has also played her part in grooming and mentoring future women leaders as shown by her involvement with the Ward 17 Young women dialogue on leadership and service delivery. It is here where she also shared her concerns that the biggest challenges women leaders face includes fighting gender stereotypes and managing several roles such as primary caregiving. She urged young women leaders to take up leadership positions whenever an opportunity is presented to them.

 The Zimbabwe Youth Leadership Forum Pumula Chapter has testified that from the day when the forum was founded, Ward 17   Councillor Moyo has been there with them volunteering and supporting all their initiatives. They focus on youth advocacy, climate change and youth participation and she has been advocating for their recognition in many platforms since most of the people were viewing them as a political group until most of them finally believed in them.

The year 2020 ushered in the new Corona Virus Pandemic and on COVID-19 response, Councillor Moyo was instrumental in mobilising food for the vulnerable during the lockdown and she was in the forefront of information dissemination activities.

For more about the unstoppable woman leader and her plans please follow her on Twitter Cllr Skhue@SkhuMoyoWard17.