Insiza enterprising women have no time for gossip

The Chronicle

Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Head of Matabeleland South Office
Each member of Siyanqoba, an enterprising women’s group in Ward 1, Insiza District, expects to buy a cow by the end of this year.

With funds generated from their detergent manufacturing business, the band members say they are also saving so they can invest in something tangible at the end of the year.

Siyanqoba, which began as an entity focused on nutritional gardening, has since branched out to explore other business opportunities through support from the Smallholder Irrigation Revitilization Program (SIRP).

SIRP and its partners, through the Rural Poor Stimulus Fund (RPSF), help rural women improve their food security and resilience by supporting production, market access and employment.


The ultimate goal of the RPSF is to accelerate the recovery of vulnerable rural communities from the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis.

This will be achieved through target groups with the capacity, assets and overall resilience to cope with shocks.

Ms. Seluleke Mdali from Siyanqoba said SIRP had helped the group with training workshops and raw materials to make detergents.

“The soap making business has been very useful to us.

As a group, we also have a stokvel where we aggregate funds into one basket. We hope to share the money at the end of the year so that we can make tangible investments.

There are 16 of us and each of us expects to buy a cow,” Ms Mdali said.

She said that through the detergent manufacturing business, members are able to support their children.

“We can afford to buy food, school uniforms and books for our children.

In addition to the soap making business, we also engage in market gardening where we also get additional funds,” Ms. Mdali said.

Another Siyanqoba member, Ms. Olipa Paradza said she was grateful for the knowledge gained through the SIRP.

“We held workshops on farming, running a business and the importance of keeping records.

We have also been trained in making green bars, petroleum jelly, washing up liquid, washing powder and disinfectants.

After the training, we received all the raw materials needed to manufacture the products,” Ms. Paradza said.

“We are always busy and don’t have time for gossip and small talk.

We sell our products to the community and have now started poultry farming with the money we receive from our detergents.

We also make floor wax and bake plain rolls.

Covid-19 poses considerable risks to people living in rural areas, who may be particularly vulnerable to its effects, both in terms of the spread of the virus and the economic and social consequences.

Corn plots in the irrigated perimeter of Silalatshani

Ms. Sihle Sibanda of Fresh Foods, a group born out of the Silalatshani irrigation scheme in Insiza district, said the fund had brought significant gains to their business.

“As Fresh Foods, we have acquired knowledge through training, which allows us to work for our families.

We can sell our products and with the money we can take care of our children.

We manufacture laundry detergents, disinfectants and dishwashing liquids.

We also produce pine gel and bubble bath.

Sanitizers don’t sell as fast as laundry detergents and dishwashing liquids.

These are our cash cows; they bring us a lot of money.

Pine gel and bubble bath are also highly sought after,” Ms Sibanda said.

She said she no longer struggled to support her family.

“It empowers us, especially as women who in the past would not contribute financially to the family.

lemon jam

Fresh Foods has 20 members and when the group started we were producing lemon marmalade.

There is an orchard in the Silalatshani irrigation scheme. We made marmalade and sold it.

SIRP then helped us diversify into laundry but we kept the Fresh Foods name.

This is because we hope to get more space to continue producing jam and other foods.

In Silalatshani, there is usually such a surplus of produce that some end up going bad due to unavailability of markets.

To avoid this, we want to process tomatoes for example. We want to be able to produce tomato sauce, juice and jam.

We want to do it, but we haven’t found anyone who can train us on how to do it.

Even when we were producing the lemon marmalade, we couldn’t get preservatives to make it last longer,” Ms Sibanda said.

“We are part of the Silalatshani irrigation system, but we have also branched out as women to venture into other business opportunities.

Our challenge is that we don’t have our own space.

We asked to use one of the irrigation system offices.

We also have trouble with packaging.

Once we have produced our detergents, it is difficult to bring them to stores without proper packaging. »

Ms Sibanda said the Silalatshani business center provides a lucrative market for their detergents.

“There is a strong demand in the business center. Once we manufacture our products, we sell them from the business center.

We also want to continue training to deepen our knowledge,” Ms. Sibanda said. – @Yoliswa

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