Tshepiso Mmeke

Tshepiso Mmeke

Date: April 4, 2016
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I am a thirty five years old woman with six children. I suffered abuse from the man with whom I had a children. I am now free because through the lessons I was able to break the relationship. Gender Links empowered me and I realised that I have been living under abuse. I remember clearly the first time I attended the workshop and we were taught about gender based violence. I went further to learn about starting up my own business and how to grow it. I also enjoyed getting in touch with people, and also learned to use a computer and created my own e- mail address.

I started attending the training’s organized by Gender Links in 2014. I attended phase 1 and 3, I was unable attend phase 2 because i had a baby. I was really saddened by the fact that I could not attend the training, as I found all the lesson very important to me. At times I had difficulties understanding English and I managed through asking questions and being patient during the lessons especially when we were learning about the cash flow. I did not have a business and never thought I could start the business. Now I have started a small business of selling sweets and chips this is all because Gender Links has taught me,  that in life I should not look down upon myself. I borrowed money from a group of ladies who lend people money for a small interest and started my business.

I realise that there has been a lot of change in my life and beside Gender Links I owe some of the change to my church and my relatives. I realised that once I was able to make my own money I regained my independence. I no longer relied on anyone to support me. I used to beg people for hand-outs and that is no longer the case. I notice that I am now able to talk to my friends freely and advise them to be part of various community projects so they can learn life skills.

I now have knowledge on various business skills I am able to market myself. I am also able to go to the area social worker to request for assistance when I am having social problems. I have particularly learnt that I should not look down upon myself. If I want to achieve something I have to fight for it and not give up easily. I have polished my business plan and intend to use it to try and get my dream business off the ground. I intend to fund raise to start my business of rearing chicken (broilers). In 2030 I want to be supplying various businesses with chicken meat.