Zimbabwe – Sithokozile Moyo

Date: September 6, 2018
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“The tale of how GBV was exposed to the fire of the baking furnace.”

Sithokozile Moyo explained how she suffered violence in the hands of her ex-husband. Her experiences of Gender Based Violence (GBV) destroyed her self esteem and rendered her an unproductive person. Today, she is grateful to the fact that Gender Links (GL) helped her to reclaim her life. 

Moyo vividly recalls how she started baking cookies in her house using her two plate stove to eke a living. The cookies she was baking were sold on the streets or at school entrances. Moyo was being pushed by the desire to reclaim her life which was wasted by her abusive ex-husband. 

Her struggle to reclaim her life coincided with the GL’s Entrepreneurship programme and she was recruited to participate in the programme. Since her first interaction with GL in 2014 she continued working hard to develop her cookies baking business. This was made easier because she was now applying the skills she attained during the entrepreneurship training programme.  

“The knowledge I acquired from GL was so useful and it helped me to invade new business territories.” Moyo attended all the entrepreneurship trainings and she was equipped with the knowledge that assisted her to be where she is today. She boasted that she was trained on how to manage a business and how to develop a business plan. GL trainings made her to open a savings bank account so as to manage her finances properly. 

One day, Moyo made a decision to take a giant step and approached a local bakery and submitted a business partnership proposal. The owner of the bakery was satisfied with Moyo’s skills and they entered into a partnership agreement.  

“As my baking business was growing I won tenders to supply big supermarkets and the situation exposed me to be a victim of abuse perpetrated by the managers of those supermarkets I was supplying. I fought back using the knowledge I got from GL and I conquered. The abuses stopped and they no longer affect my business. I managed to add new products to my business that is, cakes, biscuits and buns,” said Moyo.  

The financial empowerment created for Moyo a platform where she can stand tall and share her knowledge with members of her community. She is now an inspiration to most of the women who have witnessed the abuse that she went through in the hands of her ex-husband.  

“I always advise women and girls not to dependent on men for survival but to educate themselves and work hard to better their lives,” said Moyo 

The lessons that Moyo learnt gave her the leverage to associate with different people from diverse backgrounds. She is no longer that woman who used to spend most of her time indoors while hiding from the public. She is now effectively participating in community activities. Her friends are now using her as a hub of business ideas and they frequent her home looking for new business ideas.  

“The entrepreneurship program has played a crucial role in my life individually and in my family also. I am now able to support my family and can now give advice to people on how to handle different situations in life. The program has upgraded and uplifted me from being someone of less value in a society to be a role model,” said Moyo.