Zimbabwe:Who Said Women Can't Do Metal Work?

femina & children
opinion By Rumbidzai Ngwenya

"Your only limitations are those you set up in your mind or permit others to set up for you," writes Og Mandino and it's true.

For a long time, there are professional limitations that society has set up for women and they have let it. But Annie Mavingire of Budiriro 2 has decided to live her life by defying the odds. She is a carpenter at Glenview 8 Complex.

Mavingire specialises in making chairs and is doing well, if not better than most of her male counterparts.

Although the chair making business is dominated by men, she could not let that stop her. In fact, it gave her the zeal to prove herself.

"I watched men making chairs and earning a living out of it and I thought to myself, 'can't I also do this'," said Mavingire.

"I then gave it a try and the results shocked me also, I was as good."

She is living proof that women are capable.

"I leant that there is nothing that women can't do; it's just in the mind. When you put your mind to something, everything is possible," she said.

Mavingire urged women to get out of their comfort zones and be counted among successful entrepreneurs, after all, Zimbabwe is open for business to both men and women.

Today, Mavingire rubs shoulders with men in the chair making business at Glen View 8 Complex and poses as one of their greatest rivals.

Just like prosperous men in the business, she wholesales her chairs to shops and individuals as far Victoria Falls. If all goes well, and she gets a loan, Mavingire plans to export her products to regional markets. She wants to have her own brand.

"I don't see anything stopping me, if I can just have enough money to boost my business. I can also see myself exporting products. I want to make a name out of this," she said.

Although she employs men in her business, she also wishes to see women joining her. Her vision is to expand her business so that she empowers other women.

In future, she hopes the chair making business will be female dominated.

Mavingire is exemplary. She is redefining the capabilities of women. Her limitations are not set by society, neither does she set any for herself.



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