Zimbabwe: Tropia Dlamini

Zimbabwe: Tropia Dlamini

Date: May 17, 2016
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The traditional system of our contemporary society perpetuated the abuse that destroyed my ability to empower myself but Gender Links (GL) transformed my socio-economic life and empowered me through the entrepreneurial skills that mended my wounds from the emotional abuse and poverty that l was going through.

My name is Tropia l came to know about GL when l was in poverty and watching my children being stricken by poverty in every day of their life and not going to school whilst some children of their age were going was not easy. After having three children with my husband his family persuaded him to marry another wife whom they chose for him. This was a very hard situation for me because my husband married a second wife and abandoned me and my children. My husband listened to his family who never liked me from the first time they saw me. The second wife was employed and she could support her family and also my husband family. This affected me because l was verbally abused and at the same time l had no one to help me to support my children. My husband’s family followed the traditions on that a man could have multiple wives if he wanted to. This in way was a disadvantage to me because l was not employed and my husband was my only source of income. When he married the second wife that’s when l realized that life was difficult because there was nowhere l could get income.

I went through a hard time and l did not know where to start from when my husband passed away l was accused of killing him and l was regarded as a very bad person. This emotionally tortured me to an extent that l could not even talk to anyone about my problem. I first heard about GL when l first to a campaign in Msasa project.

I joined the entrepreneurship project in 2014 that is when my life was transformed to be what l am today. The GL program assisted me in coming up with a business plan and on what to do to make my business plan work.  I attended the workshops and really learnt more on saving the importance of opening a bank account when one has a business. I started a business of selling clothes and groceries for people in the rural areas. I have been managing my business very well and l am able to update my financial books on my own. The entrepreneurial program has taught me on how to save my money and also to support my family financially.

Before l joined the entrepreneurship program it was difficult for me to support my children and pay their school fees but the GL program has given me the skills on how to empower myself and become independent. The program has not only transformed my life economically but also has changed my life socially. The GL programs has played a pivotal role in  building my confidence and am now able to talk with other women on issues concerning GBV.

Through the entrepreneurship program l have managed to participate in clubs basically on rotating credits. This has played a crucial role in improving my financial status and also has made it easy for me to share with other community members on how to run a business and also save money from the business. I have gained more knowledge on issues concerning women’s rights and also about equality between men and women. I have contributed to the society positively by talking to the community at large through encouraging women on self-empowerment.

I am proud of myself especially in the achievements that l have attained in a short period of time and also about the knowledge that l have as a women who was emotionally abused and poverty stricken at the same time. G        L has uprooted me from the misery that l have been through.

I feel so honored to be part of the GL program because am now able to interact with other women who are going through the situation that l went through. I have also gained respect from the society.