WOMEN in Matabeleland North province have been urged to use natural resources found in their areas, to be innovative, empower themselves and shun the dependency syndrome.
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
This was said on Saturday at the Provincial Agricultural Trade Exhibition Show in Hwange where many women showcased their livestock, crops and craft products.
The best exhibitor, Lucy Ncube (76) who is living with disability and focuses on growing small grains and livestock breeding at her homestead in Mabale Village, Dete — walked away with a 2 000-litre water tank and a variety of small grain seeds.
She encouraged women in the province to be inspired and do more.
“Ladies, it is possible to do this. A man is not an answer to your problems. You must look for projects that can sustain you in your areas so that you are able to feed your children, take them to school and buy them clothes. Time to wait for men to look after your family is over and success knows no limits. I am old and disabled, I cannot walk but I always walk away with these merits at such events. We want women who will challenge themselves and me too to do better,” Ncube said.
Another exhibitor from Dongamuzi village in Lupane said it was her first time to showcase her craft work and aimed at scooping gold next year.
“I heard about the show and I decided to register my name. I enjoy doing craft work where I make baskets, vases and sitting mats. To me, it is a hobby and such events help us get inspiration from what others are doing. I sold my baskets here while some made orders in bulk. I can fend for my children. My husband died some years ago and through craft, I have been able to send my children to school and give them food,” Otilia Mpala said.
Another added: “Some women in my village (Menyezwa) and around Lupane did not manage to register on time due to financial challenges, but they too focus on craft and beekeeping.
They sell honey along Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Highway. No one is funding us, but we sustain ourselves through the vast natural resources found in our villages.”
Guest of honour Siphathisiwe Nkomo from Makomo Resources mining company said she was impressed with how women in the province had shown determination in entrepreneurial skills.
She encouraged them to grow small grain seed in bulk for export markets.
The event’s chairman Hebert Sansole urged the exhibitors to build permanent structures to attract more participants.
The numbers at this year rose to above 50 from 37 last year.