Zimbabwe: Entrepreneurship training’s an answer to my prayer

Zimbabwe: Entrepreneurship training’s an answer to my prayer

Date: March 22, 2016
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My name is Rudo and I am married to Joe. We have four children but my husband and mother in-law made a slave out of me. I got married at a very tender age hence I failed to further my education and was entirely dependent on my husband for a living. It was for this reason that they deemed it fit to enslave me, my husband would command me to go to the village where his mother lived. My mother in-law, Madhuve had always felt that his son had married early before she could enjoy the benefits of parenthood from her son.

My mother in-law, would make me work and exclaim that I should work for the food her son provided for me. It was though I was on a food for work programme where nothing is handed on a silver platter. The enslaving continued until I asked my husband to get me a passport so that I could buy and sell clothes from South Africa. After getting the passport, he refused give me start-up capital. He yelled that I wanted to do cross boarder trading in order to flirt with other man and infect him with incurable diseases. All this while I regretted each time as to why I had rushed to marry instead of finishing my education because clearly there was nothing to admire in my marriage life.

I really liked and enjoyed the Gender Links Entrepreneurship Programme because it came as an answer to my prayers. Coincidentally, my brother in-law who lives in Kariba sent fish so that I could sell. Together with the money I received from GL after the workshop, I converted it to rands. The money came to a total of R2500 to which he allowed me to travel to Musina because it was my own money. It then made me realize that his refusal to let me go in the first instance had nothing to do with mistrust but everything to do with his unwillingness to sponsor the trip. Upon my return, it wasn’t difficult to dispose of the stuff as I had orders before I even traveled to South Africa. In a short space of time I retained money from people who owed me and he allowed me to go back again to buy more stuff which was unbelievable.

When I went for the second time, I bought my mother in-law a blanket and she was very pleased with me, for the first time in my marriage she had kind words to say about me. My husband on the other hand began to show some love and respect towards me which was something I had never known since my union with him. He now asks me to take care of his finances as he now believes that I won’t put it to waste. I implemented religiously everything I learnt from the entrepreneurship course so much that I decided to expand my business. From the profits I made from buying and selling I went into breeding chickens and the two businesses are running concurrently. Right now I have 100 birds which are four weeks old and this is my third batch. It is all very exciting and each time I feel very gratified towards Gender Links who made me what I am today by coming up with such an empowering intervention for women.

I keep all records of my transactions which makes my life easier when tracking debtors and ascertaining profit and loss. Everything is systematic and many have noticed the change in my life so much that I have found myself giving business advice to other aspiring business women in my community. Who would have thought that the brick that the builders rejected would become the cornerstone. I have earned a lot of respect from everybody around me, the support from my husband has been amazing, and he sells my broiler chickens at his workplace and remits every cent. I recently opened a ZB bank account where I will be keeping money for business to avoid temptation to use it unnecessarily. Failure is no longer an option for me and will never be my portion, I have all the determination to maintain my status quo no matter what may.