Zimbabwe: Vimbai Mutiunovava

Zimbabwe: Vimbai Mutiunovava

Date: May 19, 2016
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“Knowledge brought back my life”

My name is Vimbai Mutiunovava. I had a wonderful experience with Gender Links (GL) when it brought education and open up my mind. Knowledge has brought back my life and all the happiness.

I joined Gender Links entrepreneurship programme in 2013 after being introduced by my council here in Chiredzi. I attended all the phases of training which helped me to improve my life. I came to all courses without any challenges where I managed to learn mostly about entrepreneurship. The training enlightened my life and opened my mind to view life at another angle I never though. The education I got from Gender Links training was all useful to me as I did not know anything. I learnt very helpful lessons, which includes business planning, gender equality and book keeping just mentioning a few.

After l have live my whole life as a full time house wife. Gender Links my eye opener came with Knowledge and I am now running my own business. Putting into practice the lesson of business planning and market research I am proudly living the live I want. I started my broiler keeping business. The business is going on well as I am going step by step applying all the skills I acquired from training. Soon after I finish my third phase of training I ventured into cross border business. I get orders from my customers, I am mainly focusing in bringing electrical gadgets and this business is also making profits for me.

The council has assisted us as a group by introducing us to Gender Links, the organization which gave us the knowledge we are going to use forever. The same council also promised us with business and residential stand though we have been waiting for quite some time now.

I experienced gender based violence from my husband, I did not enjoy my marriage as he would physically abuse all the time. I was not allowed to go to work or to do anything that gives me my own extra cash. My husband made sure that he did almost everything to destroy my self-esteem and confidence. Violence has stopped now, my mind is now always focused to my business and some of the little mistakes I used to notice from my husband I no longer have the time for that.

In my family I had become a burden as I would go to different houses begging for food. This has made my family isolate me and they would avoid me all the time I tried to visit them. Affording to take care of myself and my family has changed the way l was being taken by my family.  I am now respected and in terms of business people in my family now come to me for advice on how to handle and make profits in business. I am enjoying helping them so that we can keep on encouraging each other in business. It is very true that economically empowering women reduces gender based violence. I have noticed that mostly violence happens when a woman is not contributing anything financially in the marriage.

The community is still in shock with my raising, every time l am asked by many people all l know about the name GL. I am inspiring many people in my community to start their business despite how small it can be. I am teaching my fellow women how to deal with gender based violence and where to look for help. I have gained confidence and this helping other people in my community.

In all the phases of training with Gender Links I benefited a quite number of lessons which will help me in my business today and in the future. I learnt how to work on getting my confidence back which l have now. I believe for one to do anything successful l must have confidence. I am going to use this confidence and I believe I can go far.

In the future, I pray that my future is holding something bright for me in business. I would like to grow my business and became a well-known business woman.   I am working hard to be able to achieve to own a residential stand and a car by 2030.