Zimbabwe: Ketina Mukombo – Mukombo Knitters

Date: August 2, 2018
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Ketina Mukombo’s husband fell ill in 2006 and was officially diagnosed with diabetes. He went through several tests and treatments but he did not recover. In 2010 his relatives accused Ketina of her husband’s illness. They emotionally abused her. They always verbally insulted her and made her feel bad yet she was working very hard to ensure that her husband got better. Unfortunately, all her efforts were in vain as her husband succumbed to the disease in 2011 after a long stay in hospital. The responsibility of paying for the medical expenses accrued over a period of five years rested with her. She was also supposed to repay the money borrowed from friends during her husband’s illness.

Gender Links (GL) helped her to understand that she was not lonely and she could do better in life. GL counselled her and assisted her to interact with other widows who were abused women and subjected to ill-treatment by their husbands’ relatives. She joined the entrepreneurship programme offered by GL and she was grateful since she realised that it was a life time opportunity. She passionately did what was taught during the entrepreneurship workshops thus she mastered a lot of entrepreneurial skills which she later used to set up an income generating project. She has managed to put what she was taught into practice and her knitting business flourished.
As a result of the training Mukombo has started a knitting business. She has already acquired the equipment and premises needed to run her knitting business. Mukombo currently has a bank account and her business is growing. Mukombo’s main challenge with setting up her business was access to finance, however, she borrowed some money to kick start her business. She started doing her business at her home, identified the market and kept records of income and expenditure using the knowledge she gained from the training.

After the training Mukombo was able to use a computer and set up an email address. That has assisted her business very much as she can now send and receive emails from her clients and other business partners. She also harnesses the power of mobile technology to market her business through WhatsApp.