Zimbabwe: Ennie Bokeya

Zimbabwe: Ennie Bokeya

Date: May 17, 2016
  • SHARE:

It was during the entrepreneurship training that my joy and peace were restored. The training elevated me from the life of struggle and suffering. Gaining self-confidence was the most memorable experience I will always be grateful for the training.  The first workshop opened every door of opportunity when I narrated my ‘I’ story.

My name is Ennie Bokeya and I joined the entrepreneurship programme in 2013. Msasa Project linked me with Gender Links after I was helped in solving my marital issues by the same organisation. Attending training became a challenge because my husband would always discourage me claiming that the training was of no use to me. Exercising some of the rights I was taught helped me in overcoming the challenges I encountered. I managed to carry on with the training after he stopped restricting from attending the training.  I managed to gain a lot of experience.

Before I joined Gender Links I was involved in the business of growing and selling maize. I would work hard in the fields to have big harvests. After all the hard work I never enjoyed any profits as my husband would take away all the money and leave me and the children starving. This has since stopped after I got experience on how to account for funds. I added vegetables and beans and this has increased my profits. My business is growing through applying all the techniques I gained from training. Gender Links training has made me improve in my business, applying business management and keeping records of everything l do in my business has helped me in succeeding. The training has helped me to be where I am today.

I experienced gender based violence from my husband who used to beat me up every time and mostly for no apparent reason. He became violent every time I asked him for some money for the family’s upkeep. He continued with this behaviour until he would sometime chase me and the children from the house. I vividly remember one incident I had to look for a place to sleep with the children after he chased us away. The violence has stopped now because the programme has taught me to work hard which has now made my husband to change his ways of managing his family. He now seeks for my concern before making decisions that concern our family, the beating has stopped and he now helps me to pay school fees. I am now allowed to work which I was not allowed to do before. I want to thank Gender Links for training me to be an entrepreneur because it has made me regain my position and respect from my husband. The process of the training and my application of the skills I learnt from training have made me believe that empowering a woman economically reduces violence in our societies.

People in my community now admire me and most women are willing to learn how to start their own businesses. My progress and my new ways of managing business has motivated many women‘s lives. I have more confidence in myself and now able to help other women who are experiencing violence in their marriages. Doing this has raised my self-esteem which had been affected as a result from stress.

During the training I learnt about business management this is how l must plan for my business for example preparation for the next season of ploughing, seeds needed and my budget for everything for that season. The training also taught me good ways of communicating with my customers. This helped me in different ways for l am now able to communicate with different types of people at all levels. I give Gender Links all the credit for transforming me into a better person. In the future I am looking forward to a brighter business ahead of me. I wish to work hard and grow my business, employ some people to work for me since my business will be grown. In 2030 my plans include buying my furniture and keep on looking after my family and making sure my children attend school up to the level they wish.