Zimbabwe: Sinikiwe Hove

Zimbabwe: Sinikiwe Hove

Date: May 13, 2021
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“Education is Power. I am grateful for what Gender Links did for me.  The organization gave me the training and confidence I needed to start my own business. Now I have improved my life and the lives of my Children”

“I am Sinikiwe Hove and I am an entrepreneur. I sell dishwasher and second-hand clothes. I  benefited from the entrepreneurship training programme offered by Gender Links. Gender Links has transformed my life and the life of my family. From the time I met the organization, I have never been the same. I am a survivor of Gender-Based Violence. My husband used to abuse me physically and emotionally. Eventually, he left me for another woman. I had no source of income to take care of myself and my children. I had no idea and plan of what I was going to do to sustain my family since my husband had left us.

However, with the entrepreneurial training and support I received from Gender Links and Chiredzi Town Council, I gained confidence and knowledge that allowed me to be financially independent and take care of my kids. I learnt about business management including basics on how to start a business, record keeping and networking. I started off selling green vegetables and tomatoes. I have diversified my business to selling dishwasher, toilet dip, chickens, eggs, and second-hand clothes, just to mention a few things.

Apart from being an entrepreneur, Hove is a shining example of hard work and perseverance in her community. She is a gender activist who assists women affected by gender-based violence. She is a determined woman, who has set her sights on changing the plight of women and girls in her community through raising awareness on gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Hove also received training on Gender awareness and computer skills. In previous years, she has participated in cyber dialogues during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. In 2020, she participated in crafting the Chiredzi Town Council gender-based violence action plan. Hove also advocates for the participation and empowerment of the youth and people living with disability. She has partnered Chiredzi Town Council in various activities, including the 50-50 campaigns and the 16 Days of Activism commemorations, including the commemorations for 2020. At these events, she gives testimonies of her life and how she has overcome the stigma associated with being a single parent.

“My experiences with Gender Links have changed me as an individual. At first, I did not think much about gender issues. Thanks to the knowledge and skills I received from Chiredzi Town Council and Gender Links, I have been transformed. I can participate and contribute to gender issues at council meetings, ward meetings or meeting with development partners. I usually do not like to single out people for praise in Gender Links, since everyone is hardworking. However, in this instance, I give special credit to Thandiwe Mlobane, who was a patient and considerate trainer. She impacted us with business and interpersonal skills. Even though some of us did not progress in school, she simplified everything so that everyone could understand. She was always cheerful. Not once did she lose her temper with us”.

Hove has changed her attitude, and towards her family. She has changed the way she raises her children. Household chores are now distributed equally amongst family members. Even the boys are also cooking and cleaning and doing the chores that the girls do. Everyone in the household has a shared responsibility of sustaining the family. Whilst relations with her former husband and his family have room for improvement, there is now a greater degree of respect for her since she now earns her income and is successfully taking care of the kids. They are also surprised to see her change in demeanour.

She plans to join other gender activists in their push towards 50-50 participation of women in politics. ‘Who knows, one day I may become a Councillor too” she laughs to herself. With her determination, the voice of women is being heard. Determined women like Ms Hove, with the support from organizations like Gender Links, will deliver equality for women in Chiredzi Town.