?It all started with my daughter?s duvet?, Times of Swaziland

Date: January 1, 1970
  • SHARE:

A small-scale entrepreneur recalls how she turned her creative designs into a successful business venture.
A small-scale entrepreneur recalls how she turned her creative designs into a successful business venture.

This article may be used to:
  • Explore how women are covered in the economy.
  • Highlight the how sub editing impacts on stories.
Trainer’s notes
This article, which appeared in the ‘ Business and Farming Section’ of the newspaper, looks at a growing house furnishing industry owned by a woman. The story is told through her voice. Lukhele is portrayed as determined, fearless and possessing good business management skills. The article is careful not to focus on the multiple roles of women – i.e. her work as an entrepreneur and her role as a wife, mother. Beside the reference to how her business started and her deciding to move her business from her home, the article focuses on her professional role and work.
But the article, without depth and context, superficially addresses the business success of Lukhele, and the approach taken depicts the business as a woman’s hobby, rather than as an industry which makes a contribution to the economy. The headline, ‘It all started with my daughter’s duvet’, while catchy, reinforces this message.

Missing information which would have added depth and breadth to the story includes, among other:

  • How many woman entrepreneurs are there in the country?
  • What industries have they started?
  • Are the industries owned and started by women an outgrowth of their activities and roles within the home? What non-traditional areas are women making headway in?
  • What are the obstacles to women in business?
  • Has the government instituted special measures to make the playing field level for more women to enter the economy as owners and managers of businesses?

The story also needs more voices and perspectives. Customers, as well as other women and men in business, should have been interviewed to give a diverse and more balanced perspective on how Lukhele’s business is accepted.

There are no figures in the story. The amount of her first bank loan is not given, nor is her  annual turnover. The ‘positive growth’ referred to by Lukhele when asked about her company’s performance should have been explained in terms of figures. And, there is no information on number of employees, various markets serviced and where she is now compared to the business’ beginnings.

Training exercise

Exercise one: stand in a straight line at one end of the room and role-play different members of the community such as:

  • Old woman – rural;
  • Old man – rural;
  • Young man – rural;
  • Young woman – rural;
  • Old man – urban;
  • Old woman – urban;
  • Young man – urban;
  • Young woman – urban.
As the facilitator calls out a list of questions based on education, responsibilities in the home, opportunities given, violence, etc. The different members should take one step forward for opportunities (e.g. “take one step forward if you attended secondary school,”) and a step backwards for constraints (e.g. “take one step backward if you did not go to school because there wasn’t enough money).

Look left and look right, see who is ahead and who is behind. Discuss what the exercise means in terms of opportunities available to different people in society and  some of the constraints people face.

Exercise two: Read the case study, ‘It all started with my daughter’s duvet’ and discuss the following:

1.      What made it possible for Lukhele to become a small-scale entrepreneur?
2.      Would all women have access to the same opportunity? Why or why not?
3.      How is Lukhele portrayed in the article?
4.      Is the headline appropriate? Why or why not?
5.      What information is needed to give the article context?
6.      What gender issues are not explored in the article?
Exercise three: The article has several grammatical, punctuation and other errors. Edit this piece to correct all the errors.

Download : It all started with daughters

Comment on ?It all started with my daughter?s duvet?, Times of Swaziland

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *