Mmantho Bafana

Mmantho Bafana

Date: April 11, 2016
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Since I started the seminars conducted by Gender Links my life has changed drastically, I did not even think I will still be alive and well at this point. The counseling assisted me calm down, I learned so much about abuse and I have made it my mission to help others acquire knowledge about the abuse. I started the Gender Linksprogramme in 2014 and have attended all the 3 phases of the programme.

Of all the lessons I related better to the lessons about abuse, I was living a sad life and was abused even in front of the children. The lessons on business were also important as I learned the importance of book keeping and also saving the profits that a business makes for rainy days. The main challenge was not having start-up capital, I realised that even if you may have a good business plan if you do not have the money you may not succeed.

I started off selling refreshments at the bus rank, this business enabled me to take my children to school and sustained my family. I later asked for assistance from the Poverty Eradication programme that assisted me with a tent that I may rent out although it is a partnership I still get much profit. With the lessons I got from GL I learned that I need to be independent and not depend on anyone for assistance because I too am capable of providing for myself and my family.

I experienced abuse from partner who made my life very miserable, I took the liberty to report him and I have a case registered at the court. Ever since we started going to court I see a difference in him and he even spends time at home unlike before. He begged me to drop the charges which I refused and he has been charged P40.000 to pay to me and also to cover all the trial costs. My family was not pleased with the way my life has been including my children, some have even opted to move out of home because they think they are the reason their father is abusive towards me. I realised that when one is financially stable they are less likely to be abused unlike those who are dependent on their partners for everything.

My life has changed and I know educate others abused abuse, I teach them not to turn a blind eye on abuse and not to keep quiet when they live in abusive relationships like I did. I tell them that the more they speak out the more they will realise that they are not alone, they may share their experiences with others which may help them overcome all the abuse together as a unit.

When I asked for assistance I was given a tent, we are now awaiting for chairs and also the decorating equipment. When all this is brought life will be a lot easier, my dignity will be restored.

I learned that there are no restraints when it comes to business, I will continue to advertise my business by printing out posters and business cards. My vision is that by 2030 I may employ the youth in my area to help me out in my tent business. I hope to have purchased a few more tents that are currently trending in the market. I realised one needs to embrace the challenges in business for them to progress.