Zimbabwe: *Masciline

Zimbabwe: *Masciline

Date: May 17, 2016
  • SHARE:

I could have walked away and left my marriage had I not been dependent on him for everything. Gender Links (GL) in 2014 made me realise that a person needs financial freedom to earn respect from their partners and those surrounding them. After my road crossed with that of GL, I acquired new skills that helped me to start a good business. I resolved to take my last born son for a confectionery course and within a space of two months we started renting a small bakery shop. We specialised in cream puffs and hot buns. We realised high sales because people were not so familiar with cream puffs. It was a nice product that had a different taste and appearance so much that people were so keen to have a bite. I was the only one making cream puffs in our small town and the demand grew bigger and the sphere of influence expanded to the surrounding towns.

My name is Masciline* attended all the phases of the training and I acquired relevant business skills. The most useful thing I realised was that speaking out will help many people who are suffering from the similar problems. The training gave me confidence after I successfully identified the areas of my life where I was lacking. I worked very hard to improve and become a better person. I learnt that it was very crucial to bury the past and move on with life.

I was married to Thomas Moyo who was a South African by origin. We had six children together but the circumstances surrounding our marriage were unpleasant. Moyo raped me when I was only 14 years old. My father was a catholic priest at the time and he did everything he could to keep the issue under wraps. Despite my unwillingness to marry Moyo it was arranged that I elope to his family. I was young and knew nothing about marriage. I delivered my first baby at the age of 15. Moyo was so promiscuous and he later died of HIV/AIDS leaving me and our fifth child infected. It has always been a bitter pill to swallow and I resented him over the years because of what he did to me.

GL helped me to escape from my past by taking my brains off the past experiences and placed them on entrepreneurship. My target market was mainly day care centres and vendors. Initially we were able to bake 30 dozens of cream puffs and buns but the demand became overwhelmingly great so much that we ended up employing three more stuff. Every morning there would be a long queue of vendors and buyers from pre-schools to buy our products. I ended up disappointing other customers whom we ended up returning without anything as everything would have been sold out. It meant that we were failing to meet the demand but before I knew it, the owner of the building increased rent on the bakery and it became exorbitant for us. After doing our financial transactions I realised that we were not making any profit. We saw no reason in keeping the bakery operational. The unit price of the product could not go up as this was the standard price for such products all over town.

We closed the bakery shop in June 2014 with the hope of continuing with the business from home but it has since proved to be difficult. The job needs space and the right type of equipment. Many of our customers were not happy about the shift and kept enquiring when we will be back into business. However, I am so grateful to GL who made me what I am today. I managed to complete the construction of our house which was under construction for many years since the death of my late husband. A lot of changes took place in my life during the time the business was operational. My health became much better as it took my mind off troubling things. I ate and lived healthy and my skin looked nourished unlike in the past when I used to spend the whole day wallowing in my thoughts.

Despite these misgivings I encountered in my project I have not lost focus and I still have the energy to try again. Baking is what I do best and my bigger plans are to get money in form of a loan and build a bakery. At the moment I am perfecting my business plan so that I can approach the bank for a loan while I have employed someone to sell vegetables at the market in town. I will use my house as collateral for the loan I need. I am confident that I can make it because GL instilled confidence in me and I am ready to take on the world.