Zimbabwe: Patricia Zunga

Zimbabwe: Patricia Zunga

Date: November 9, 2016
  • SHARE:

When I hear the name Gender Links (GL) what comes into my mind is the memory of how I came out of a phase of ignorance. I now know that the responsibility of uplifting my life is with me and I have the capability too. I am now able to do business with high chances of success.

I started the training programme in October 2013, managing to attend all the courses which I deemed quite useful to me as I did not know about entrepreneurship before. I now know what an entrepreneur is. Business opportunities are not just open for men but also for women. We were taught how to build a strong business and how to make it resistant to risks posed by the environment. I learnt that it is important to employ people who are competent. The training taught me to keep records of my business. The challenges I faced during the programme were from people who became jealous of me. At first people used to think that the programme was not relevant. When I was chosen to attend the summit, a lot of people started politicising the training programme. Some would say I am being trained to be promiscuous. Our ward councillor had to call for a meeting and tell people that the training had nothing to do with politics or a political party. The perceptions of people started changing when they started seeing changes in my life.

Before the training I used to be a poor. I also used to be involved in political violence. These days I no longer get involved in political violence as I have my business to occupy me. I have ventured into decor and catering business. I have a garden of flowers at my home and I spend my time in the garden making sure the flowers are healthy and I have a good stock of them for the business. The training programme has helped me to be where I am today. I am now presentable. This has helped me to have a better status in the society. I am also taking care of the family. Chiredzi Town Council helped me by linking me to GL. Musasa Project also assisted me by providing encouragement and moral support when I was hopeless.

My husband, Nyasha* used to abuse me. He used to take and use my money on beer. He would sell some of our household property even at a loss so that he could buy beer. He would get loans for beer. We were always living in debt. He is now a changed man and the abuse has stopped. We are now relating well as husband and wife. Close relatives are also praising me for the changes in my life. I believe that economic empowerment of women can help reduce violence. This is so because the empowerment removes the dependency syndrome which often leads to economic crisis in families. Once there is economic crisis the chances of economic abuse will be high.

People used to look down upon me but the changes in my life are inspiring them. Other women are wishing that they got the chance to be trained as I was. I always encourage other women not to spend their time watching movies and gossiping but to work so that they get something to support their families. Others have also started growing flowers at their houses for decoration purposes. People take me as a good example of a courageous woman and they tell each other to copy from me. I now have confidence and I am prepared to be at the forefront of raising awareness on gender equality. I managed to participate in the sixteen days of activism. I assisted a certain woman who was a widow. She had come back to her late parents’ house and her brother refused to let her stay. I advised her to go and seek legal assistance and she got it and is now staying at her parents’ house.

I will keep and treat with value the knowledge I have acquired from the training. I will also teach my own children so that they will have the same knowledge. I will also encourage my relatives to work and earn money and not to just wait for donations. My future plans involve arranging regular gatherings where I will teach others what I have learnt. By the year 2030 God permitting, I look forward to having my own equipment for decoration. I thank GL for the opportunity to learn they gave me. I wish they also go to remote areas in rural areas and train other women there.