Namibia: Standing up for myself

Namibia: Standing up for myself

Date: November 18, 2015
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Omusati, Namibia, 19 November, 2015: I was born in Eengongo Village Omusati region and am a mother of two children. I received training on entrepreneurship from Gender Links in 2014. I became aware of Gender Links through the Ministry of Health. I was happy to learn that this organisation empowers local women. I attended all three workshops and made sure I didn’t miss any of the training from Gender Links.

Important things that I learnt included how to record my expenses and sales for the business in order to know how much I spend and make each month. I learnt how to develop a business plan. Now I think I can help others to develop a business plan.

I remember the abuse that went through but after I got the training I can stand by myself, I can speak out when I am not happy, I can defend myself. I learnt that women also need to be respected just like men as equal partners.

Before the training my business was not doing well but after training it started to pick up. Now my business has expanded and I am now selling more product then before. I am confident that I can sell any goods because I am well trained. Gender Link has helped me. I am getting more income than before and I can buy food for the house. My husband sees that if he did not buy bread for the children, that I can buy for them.

Even though the business is doing fine, there are still some challenges that I face. I still have not been able to find the right place to run my business and to sell my products, but that is not end of the world. , I am trying were I can to get more income so that I can afford a place. Now I get more respect from people in our area because I am a business woman. They think I am more important than before.

Since the training I am not suffering abuse because my husband drinks a little bit now and no longer abuses alcohol. He opened an account for the children and even when he needs some money he can withdraw and buy food. For now I do not have any employees, only my children help me when I need help but they are looking for jobs. I am planning to recruit at least two people to help me, in case I am sick so that my business will not close down.

I believe women can do better when it comes to business and want women who are suffering to stand up and start working for themselves by getting into business, so that men will respect them. In the future I am planning to buy a bakkie so that I can transport people from my village to town and to buy new stock because it is very far from village to town.

I would like to thank our council, even though I didn’t get a plot, because the council led Gender Links to train us on business skills. They should continue to bring more development to town. By vision 2030 I want to become a well-known business women in Namibia, I also want to become a musician for spiritual songs by singing with a keyboard and making good videos for the nation. I can then help at different events such as funerals, confirmations and baptisms.
With help of God everything will be better for me.

(Anna Angala is a participant in the GL Empowering Women, Ending Violence programme in Namibia. This article is part of a special Gender Links News Service Series for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day).


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