Kunyanda Thapelo

Kunyanda Thapelo

Date: April 5, 2016
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I am a lady aged 43 years and am from Kasane. In 2013 I met Gender Links were I learnt about a lot of things such as saving money and using the money to start up a business. I had never in my life thought of myself as having the potential to become a business woman.

As we continued with the trainings I gathered strength to go and borrow money from the local money lenders that are owned by the community. I was able to secure P500 which I used to travel to Zambia and purchase fabrics which I in turn sold in Kasane. I continued selling the fabrics and saving money. I added shoes to the items that I was selling. I was especially motivated by the lessons on pricing as they have helped me to put proper prices to allow me to make profit.

I attended all Gender Links trainings where I learnt on the importance of registering your business and operating legally. I also learnt a lot about abuse and where I can go to report if I am being abused and also how to move on after experiencing abuse as I am doing now by selling fabrics and shoes. The lesson have really boosted my self-confidence I am now able to go wherever I need to go and seek assistance. Even if council has not helped me, the information I got helped me identify places I can go for funding.

I realised that I was being abused as I was staying with a man who did not want to support me and the children. I am now able to stand on my own and support my children without a man in my life. I give them love and all that they need. My life has changed for the better even as I wait for council to help me grow my business I continue with the existing one. I also continue to encourage others not to give up and stand on their own and not allow any man to abuse them. I am so proud of myself because I manage to go to community gathering, offices and around the village marketing my products and this has worked well for me.

In 2030 I want to have hired people to continue the fabric business while I open a sorghum grinding (milling factory) business. Chobe is one of the largest sorghum producers in the country but we get refined sorghum from other areas as we have no place to grind in Chobe. I want to create jobs for the less fortunate like I was before I met GL so that they too can be able to care for their families.