Zimbabwe: *Zowi

Zimbabwe: *Zowi

Date: May 17, 2016
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Marriage has perpetuated fear in my life and l have been discouraged about life and had no hope that l can be progressive in life but Gender Links (GL) rescued me and gave me the courage and unveiled my ability through the entrepreneurship skills. My name is Zowi* I lived in fear in my marriage and l have been degraded and dehumanized among other community members. This made me hopeless about life and shattered the hope of me being empowered strong woman in life. My husband Memo* used to threaten me for my entire life and denied me the opportunity to partake in any economic activity so as to bring income to the family. Memo used to drink beer and will go around looking for me in the whole community and this often humiliated me because everyone in the community used to talk about my marriage.

Memo* never allowed me to talk with anyone in the community because he claimed that l will be misled by other women if l talk to them. Whenever l tried to start a business he would deny me and physically abuse me in front of everyone in the community. This made me ashamed even to talk with anyone even the neighbors because everyone knew that l was physically abused by my husband. Life was never easy because l had no income at all if l wanted money l would beg from Memo* to give me at the same time he would accuse me of being lazy whilst he never wanted me to participate in any economic activity. I lived in fear of my life and there was no one to tell my story. I tried to join women who were in clubs rotating credits but he would take away all the money from me and physically abuse me.

I learnt about Gender Links through friends and they advised me to be part of the organization. I attended the first workshop from Gender Links and my life started to change. The entrepreneurship program taught me on how to start a business. I started trading maize meal from rural areas to urban areas. At first it was difficult for me to associate with the other women who are vendors in the shopping center because l was ashamed of my miserable past. I participated in all the training’s under the entrepreneurship program.

The program has assisted me to fit in the society again and l am proud of it. has empowered me socially and economically. Through applying the skills from the entrepreneurship training l am now able to save my money and l am able to pay school fees for my children and also assist other vulnerable members of the society. To me GL has been a cornerstone to my livelihood because l am now able to survive without asking money from my husband.

Through Gender Links l have been an inspiration to the society and to other women who are going through abuse in their homes. Most of the women have asked me on how l have survived through my terrible situation. I have become a testimony to many of the women in the community. I have been enlightened especially in knowing my rights and in giving me the opportunity to explore my capabilities.  In the community l have managed to share my knowledge with other women who are in the different business and also have joined different associations in the community and l have rejoined the clubs on rotating credits.

Through the entrepreneurship program l have been able to save  money and to update my financial records and also l am able to associate with different customers and at the same time l am able to advertise my business. In addition, Gender Links has played a pivotal role in making me realize that l have a better future ahead and also l have gained my confidence and pride again.

I feel honored to be part of the Gender Links program because the entrepreneurship program has given me the skills for the betterment of my life. I am now an independent woman who is an inspiration to most of the community members.