Matsiliso Nare

Matsiliso Nare

Date: March 31, 2016
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Matsiliso Nare – Bobirwa

I am a 42 year old lady originally from Zimbabwe and was married to a Motswana man. What I remember most about the Gender Links training that I have attended was the first time we were taught about businesses. It made me realise that no matter how small or big your business is still very important to care for it and take it seriously.

I started attending the workshops organised by Gender Links in 2013 and I attended from the I stories to the phase 3 workshop. I have learnt how to budget properly for example as I make fat cakes to sell I make sure that I make just enough so there are no left overs at the end of the day. I found all the sessions to be very useful to me during the training. Even though the lessons were very useful my main concern was that I did not have a good house to make use of the training and start my own business of making and selling different types of bread. I ended up stopping the business. I then started selling airtime, pop-corn and vegetables which I grew in my yard. As I am a dreamer I have joined a local women’s club were we save P200.00 each month so that I can build my small bakery.

Before this training I was very angry at my husband who abused me and our children and then betrayed us. I spent most of the time in tears and I went to the police time and again. Currently I am working at a cousin’s tuck shop preparing fat cakes. When I knock off I go to my place and sell vegetables and airtime at the same time caring for my children as they are school going. The training helped me very much because at first I was not able to save profit and buy more stock needed to grow the business. I would misuse money without even knowing how much I used. I am expecting my 1st instalment of P1000 from the saving so I can start buying materials for my bakery. I also went to the council to seek help but since I am a Motswana by marriage they can only assist if my citizenship is approved.

I experienced violence from my husband and I am still experiencing it from his parents. He is currently in prison, he has written to say that I can sell some of the livestock we have to make ends meet but his parents refuse. I think the reason I am not experiencing violence now is because he is behind bars. He abused my daughter sexually and then moved to stay with his girlfriend and never cared about us and how we survived. It surfaced that indeed he had been abusing our daughters sexually as the other one ended up falling pregnant and when the DNA was done it showed that he was the father to my child and also my grandchild. I am very happy that he is out of our lives even though his relatives are angry at us.

The lessons given by Gender Links have helped me to start my small business and with that I am able to care for the children without asking for help from anyone. What pleases more is that my children are very happy and safe. I was exemplary in my community in that when I had problems I was able to seek help. I know give advice to women experiencing abuse I direct them to relevant service providers. I have also made peace with those people who hated me for telling the truth about my husband’s wrong doings.

I am now able to save some money and also provide for my family. I learnt that it is important to market my business and also to be able to buy only the stock that I need for a particular period of time and not to overstock. In future I am going to build my small bakery and in 2030

I wish to see myself having many bakeries in the village and also in neighbouring villages. I want to buy a car and also support the less privileged.