Zimbabwe: My humbleness has finally paid off

Date: July 4, 2019
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“Gender Links (GL) opened my eyes for I discarded the notion that there are jobs that can be done by males only and some by females only. I was taught that I can be my own boss,” gleefully said Evelyn. 

Evelyn Mashonganyika is my name and I joined GL entrepreneurship programme in 2018. I have received a number of visits from my mentor and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs officials. On their business visits both have encouraged me to properly carry out business records, advertise my products skilfully and practice the best customer care service to my clients. All their comments have heightened my business prominence. Most of my customers are quick to commend that the self-effacement I have to them is next to none. I am facing challenges in the ever increasing transport costs caused by the unstable economy being faced nationally.  

I am in the buying and selling business. I go to neighbouring countries like South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia to buy new and second hand clothes and shoes for resell. The entrepreneurship programme has assisted me in advertising, marketing and recording all my business dealings. The council offered me a vending place where I conduct my business from. I also dutifully pay what is required by the council on a monthly basis and has also registered my business.  

I remarried recently and has not faced any abuse so far. My current husband is very supportive and he even assists me at the market whenever he is free. He also contributes some money towards our business in most cases when I go to purchase some products for my business. The immediate family is sympathetic to all my business dealings. The reflection of an economically empowered woman is the reduction of gender based violence. 

My life is influencing some members of the community as I often hire someone to assist me at my market place. When I go to buy more products I engage the services of an extra co-worker to assist the full-time employee that I have. I also offer affordable prices to all my customers and this has been appreciated by the whole community. A lot of people in my community have shown interest in working with me but all I can currently give is advice. The council offers some advice to women who are eager to venture into businesses. 

The government is doing all it can to address the imbalances between men and women so as to reduce gender based violence. The perpetrators have been given jail terms that deter would be offenders. The government has also established a Women’s Bank that is trying to address the financial challenges that adventurous businesswomen routinely encounter in doing businesses.