Zimbabwe: Lilian Msipa

Zimbabwe: Lilian Msipa

Date: May 17, 2016
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Enjoying the liberties that were brought by my business

I used to be a shy person but the entrepreneurship programme gave me the zeal and courage to be independent. I now have confidence in myself and I am able to work with my own hands. The interaction and networking skills I acquired during the training empowered me and the community now views me differently.

I encountered Gender Links (GL) in 2014 after I was identified by Bulawayo City Council to participate in the entrepreneurship programme. I attended all three phases of the training and my confidence which was lost due to the abuse that I experienced was restored. I was a person of low self esteem but the training changed me and I became a better person who viewed life positively. Since my first day of the training I vowed to work hard so as to better my life and stop depending on my abusive husband.

During the training I learnt how to plan for a viable business. I was equipped with business management skills, marketing and customer care. These relevant skills helped me in setting up my new business and this is how I earned my economic freedom. I stopped depending on the person who was abusing me and he also stopped the bad things he was doing in my life.

Before I met GL I was not involved in any business and the thought of owning a business never crossed my mind. My whole adult life I was focusing on the abuse that I was subjected to. I failed to do anything productive in life because my mind was not free it was always occupied by negative thoughts.

 I started experiencing Gender Based Violence the day I got married to my husband who was very stubborn. He was enjoying having multiple relationships at the expense of my happiness. His behaviour affected me a lot as he would bring women to our matrimonial home and have sex with them. I had nobody to share those horrific incidences with because my parents’ house was a no go area. My father was believed that once one got married she must never return home no matter how bad the situation might be. He made it a policy never to accept anyone back home.

My husband took advantage of this and he would even leave me for weeks and my children suffered the burden of working in the fields for us to have food on the table. The children had to work extra hard because the fields were our only source of food.

The entrepreneurship programme healed me and restored back my lost life. People from my community were surprised on how I managed to change my attitude towards life. Some benefited important lessons through observing me and they used them to improve their lives. By the year 2030 I will be a millionaire and a well respected business person in society.