Zimbabwe: Gladys Usada

Zimbabwe: Gladys Usada

Date: May 17, 2016
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What a memorable experience I had with Gender Links (GL) during the entrepreneurship programme. Transformation in both personal life and in my business all happened after my encounter with GL. New ideas kept following one after another soon after a great training. I joined the entrepreneurship programme in October 2015.  After attending all the courses anew I was ‘born again’ as I am now a different person all together. Getting equipped with all the knowledge changed my lifestyle and the way I used to manage my business.

My business is now doing well, because of the way I treat my customers I learn to communicate with customers and provide them good services all the time. Before I got capacitated by GL I never used to make profit due to and mixing business with personal life. This also made me lose many customers as I would carry issues from home to my work. Training helped me to separate the two which improved my sales. The council has assisted by giving me a business stand where I am now conducting my business from. This has relieved me after a long struggle with municipal police who would always chase me from pavements.

Previously I encountered Gender Based Violence (GBV) from my husband Tommy Chauke* and his family. This made me suffer from emotionally and as result l could not think of anything productive for myself. After I was helped and equipped with confidence raising skills. I also managed to help other people in the community by sharing the same knowledge especially to young women in my community to become entrepreneurs and stop depending on their husbands’ incomes. Based on the experience I gained through the training, being economically empowered reduce violence in marriages and society. My husband has stopped abusing me as I am now providing for the family including him. The training also taught me to plan for my business. I managed to open a bank account which l am using for profit savings. It also taught us how to use business plans to get loans as capital for our business from the bank.

My trainers also taught me about basic bookkeeping skills. However, I now make sure that I have a record of every transaction that takes place in my business and I am now getting a salary without stealing from the business.  I am glad to say that my self-esteem is now high and I have gained respect from the people who know me. I no longer look down upon myself.

I want to thank God for the trainers from GL. They have taught us valuable lessons on how to manage our businesses and how to stand on our own feet. Economic independence is a very important thing for a woman, especially in these tough times. I have also made a pledge to myself that I will no longer rely on anyone to make a living. People can believe they own you if you allow them to control you financially.

I did not relax after the training but I went on to implement what I learnt. I am now earning enough profits to take good care of myself. I managed to purchase a bed, wardrobe and pay school fees for my children. I am also up-to-date with my rentals.

I also leant that women and men are just the same. We differ in terms of biology. For instance, a man cannot give birth or breast feed, whilst a woman cannot grow a beard. The trainers emphasized that our difference in biology does not prevent us from accessing equal opportunities in life.  Lastly, I would like to thank the trainers for the great work they are doing to empower women. May they continue with their empowering women experiencing GBV for they are still more in our society.