Zimbabwe: Emotionally tortured and lived under poverty

Zimbabwe: Emotionally tortured and lived under poverty

Date: March 22, 2016
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by Tropia Dlamini

The traditional system of our contemporary society perpetuated the abuse that destroyed my ability to empower myself but Gender Links (GL) transformed my socio-economic life and empowered me through the entrepreneurial skills that mended my wounds from the emotional abuse and poverty that l was going through.

My name is Tropia* l came to know about GL when l was in poverty. Watching my children stricken by poverty in every day of their life and not going to school whilst some children of their age were going was not easy. After having three children with my husband his family persuaded him to marry another wife whom they chose for him. This was a very hard situation for me because my husband married a second wife and abandoned me and my children. My husband listened to his family who never liked me from the first time they saw me. The second wife could support her family and also my husband’s family as she was in employ.

I was affected a lot as I was verbally abused and had no one to help me support my children. My husband’s family followed the traditions on that a man could have multiple wives if he wanted to. This in a way was a disadvantage to me because l was unemployed and my husband was my only source of income. When he married the second wife that’s when l realized that life was difficult because there was nowhere l could get income.

I went through a hard time and l did not know where to start from. I was accused of killing my husband when he died and regarded as a very bad person. This emotionally tortured me to an extent that l could not even talk to anyone about my problem.

I joined the entrepreneurship project in 2014. That is when my life transformed to be what it is today. The GL programme assisted me in coming up with a business plan and on what to do to make my business plan work. I attended the workshops and really learnt more on saving and the importance of opening a bank account when one has a business. I started a business of selling clothes and groceries for people in the rural areas. I have been managing my business very well and l am able to update my financial books on my own. The entrepreneurial program has taught me on how to save my money and also to support my family financially.

Before l joined the entrepreneurship program it was difficult for me to support my children and pay their school fees but the GL program has given me the skills on how to empower myself and become independent. The program has not only transformed my life economically but also has changed my life socially. The GL programs has played a pivotal role in building my confidence and am now able to talk with other women on issues concerning GBV.