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Martha Mazengera – a story of Hope, Perseverance and Empowerment – The Zimbabwe Mail

Martha Mazengera

Zimbabwe Women Empowered in Business (ZIWEB) empowers women in Zimbabwe with the opportunity to start and sustainably run their own business by becoming sub-distributors for Nestlé East and Southern Africa (ESAR)

November 2022

If rising above adversity was a person, then that description would best fit 56-year-old Martha Mazengera who when life threw curveballs at her, she found it in her to find ways to make sure she took care of her family.

When Martha Mazengera’s husband passed away, she found herself as the breadwinner to her 4 children who were all still at school. The now grandmother of 3, who describes herself as a hardworking woman who never believed in hand-me-downs, had to find ways in which to keep a roof over her family, put food on the table and ensure her children went through their tertiary education.

Martha heard about a pilot project aimed at empowering women and did not hesitate to join as she saw this as a steppingstone to success. In 2015 she became a member of ZIWEB – Zimbabwe Women Empowered in Business – a Nestlé ESAR initiative seeking to empower women in Zimbabwe with the opportunity to start and sustainably run their own businesses. The women become sub-distributors for Nestlé’s range of products such as NESTLÉ CREMORA, NESTLÉ CEREVITA and NESTLÉ CERELAC.

Martha received training on critical aspects of business management such as entrepreneurship skills, financial, selling, product knowledge and customer care skills. She also received her ‘start-up capital’ from Nestlé in the form of products for selling.

Armed with the necessary skills and product, the 56-year-old Martha sought to work hard for herself and her family as all her children were still dependent on her financially. Through savings made from her sales, she saw through her children’s tertiary education which was now being paid for in foreign currency. She has managed to renovate her home and buy  new property.

Martha’s journey has not been without its own challenges – “the Covid-19 pandemic really hit me and the other ladies hard. A lot of small stores in the neighbourhood we used to supply were demolished and we didn’t have many customers to supply. Despite the demolitions, I managed to soldier on as regular customers would call me and I would deliver with limited movements due to COVID-19 regulations. These challenges were however managed, through her working relationship with Nestlé, who assisted me with a letter that would permit movement and help reach my customers”.

What started off as a mission to provide food for her family has grown into a family business as Martha has recruited two of her children to distribute if she is not available so as not to disappoint customers. Her wish is to grow from being a sub-distributor to a micro distributor getting products direct from Nestlé.

For Martha and the other 250 women under ZIWEB, the program has impacted their lives as they found ways to create to success as women entrepreneurs who are able to take care of their families and live a life they could have only ever dreamt of.

For more information  and to watch Martha’s story visit




Nestlé East and Southern African Region (ESAR)
Rosalie Ambrose
Tel: +27 79 526 8518
Email: Rosalie.ambrose@za.Nestlé.com

Issued by Total Media behalf of Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region
Delyse Gimani
Digital Media Associate
Tel: +263 783 223 696

About Nestlé 
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 187 countries around the world, and its 291,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2,000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favourites like Ricoffy. Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health, and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.

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Chisora to use £2m Fury pay-day to keep kids in private school and away from his old dangerous neighbourhood – The Zimbabwe Mail

LONDON: DEREK CHISORA will use his £2million Tyson Fury windfall to keep his daughters in private school and away from his old dangerous neighbourhood.

The 38-year-old heavyweight moved to North London from Zimbabwe aged 16 and changed his life around at the same Finchley ABC gym that later moulded Anthony Joshua into an Olympic legend.

The Brexit-supporting Boris Johnson fan now lives on leafy Hampstead Heath and dines in the capital’s favourite restaurants – after giving up alcohol and the party-boy lifestyle five years ago.

But his most important extravagance is putting Angelina and Harare through top schools and he is well aware of the tragic story of Danny Williams – who is still risking his life in dangerous bouts aged 49 – to keep his girls in education.

He said: “I am here because I like the nice things in life.

“Sometimes I have to drive through my old neighbourhood and I think, f**k that, I don’t want to come back to this s***hole.

“That keeps me hungry and motivated. It’s always financial because you never really make enough money to survive.

“The economy goes up and down, some investments go bad, you have to appreciate it.

“Kids are in private school and that’s expensive. You get used to the lifestyle, which is great.

“Every parent wants to put their kids through private schools.

“Some parents manage to do it at the start but, when things get difficult, they have to take them out and put them in a state school.

“Every parent wants to give their kids the best and the best start in life.”

The 18st hulk famously scoots around London in a tiny and cost-cutting SmartCar while most his colleagues brag and post online their Lamborghinis and Ferraris.

Having survived a childhood scare with measles and a gun attack when he first arrived in England as a wayward teen, Del Boy has learned to enjoy experiences more than material things and he certainly doesn’t bother showing them off.

“Everyone likes nice stuff,” he said. “Most people get money and go and buy flashy cars or watches.

“But other people just like to enjoy life and prefer holidays and experiences more than the most expensive things.

“I just enjoy the things that I like. I drive my SmartCar and enjoy keeping the girls happy.

“I treat myself everyday and if I want a nice watch or car then I buy it.

“I don’t deprive myself of anything and I don’t save up for stuff.”

Fury has already beaten Chisora twice, in 2011 and 2014, and some concerned fans have been calling for the African to retire ever since he reached his 30s and started suffering the bulk of his 12 losses.

But the evergreen brawler insists Britain is too hung up on defeats and forcing fighters into retirement prematurely.

“It’s okay if you lose,” he said.

“It’s okay if you go through a divorce and you go back again.

“There’s nothing greater in life than living. It’s the best thing ever.

“For us, to have gone through all the preparation and you think you have trained hard enough, and you meet somebody who has trained hard enough as well and he wins, yes, you’re going to be upset, but you come out again and move on.

“People have an agenda of getting upset; ‘Why did he do this, why did he do that?’

“No, don’t get upset, just enjoy it.”


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Scholarships help students change Africa – UM News

Key Points:

  • Two-thirds of the students at Africa University receive financial aid or scholarships, according toJim Salley, president and CEO of Africa University (Tennessee) Inc.
  • Africa University’s 30th anniversary marked the beginning of the African endowment for scholarships. The original goal of $100,000 was surpassed. Salley called that achievement “the ultimate empowerment story.”
  • An endowed scholarship fund requires a minimum gift of $10,000, and a fully funded endowment is $130,000. 

Berthia Mugwagwa, 20, knew exactly which university she wanted to attend to make her dream of running a large farm come true.

“Africa University has the best agricultural university in Africa,” she said. “I told my mom it was my only option.” Mugwagwa is enrolled in the College of Health, Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

Family finances were difficult. Her father is disabled, so one of his younger brothers agreed to pay her school fees.

In an interview during the recent celebration of United Methodist-related Africa University’s 30th anniversary, Mugwagwa tearfully said her uncle died at his job in South Africa just a few days before.

“I was crying. I thought I would have to drop out,” she said. School officials assured her they would find someone to sponsor her with a scholarship.

“I am so grateful,” she said. “My school fees are a lot, and my mom would not be able to pay.”

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Africa University provides financial aid or scholarships to two-thirds of the students, said Jim Salley, president and chief executive officer of Africa University (Tennessee) Inc., one of three entities that run Africa University in Zimbabwe. He is also associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement.

A primary objective of Africa University is to educate leaders for the continent, Salley said.

“Of the more than 11,000 alumni, more than 90 percent are in leadership roles on the continent of Africa,” he added. Alumni come from 32 countries.

After the Sunday worship service on Oct. 23, Mugwagwa and a group of scholarship recipients spoke to visitors and donors from the U.S. who came to celebrate the milestone for the university in Mutare, Zimbabwe. 

One donor, the Rev. Jennifer Jue, is pastor of Brookside and Trinity United Methodist churches in Jackson, Michigan. She brought another $10,000 donation for an endowed scholarship she established in 2007 for a female theology student.

“The students I talked to mentioned the importance, impact and uniqueness of Africa University to bring together persons from different countries throughout Africa,” Jue said.

She was inspired to set up an endowed scholarship fund after she heard the Rev. Beauty Maenzanise, then dean of Theology at Africa University, give a presentation on the school.

“I wanted to begin an endowed scholarship at Africa University because I believe that Africa University provides quality higher education that equips and empowers leaders of many different countries of Africa,” Jue said. “Ethical leaders have the potential to bring peace and justice to their countries, government and institutions.”

The Rev. Jennifer Jue (right) of the Michigan Conference talks with scholarship recipients at Africa University in October. Jue said the students talked about the unique way the university brings together people from different countries throughout Africa. Jue has started an endowed scholarship for a female student in the theology department. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert. 

The Rev. Jennifer Jue (right) of the Michigan Conference talks with scholarship recipients at Africa University in October. Jue said the students talked about the unique way the university brings together people from different countries throughout Africa. Jue has started an endowed scholarship for a female student in the theology department. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UM News.

An endowed scholarship fund requires a minimum gift of $10,000, and a fully funded endowment is $130,000. 

“The understanding is that the gift amount is never touched,” said Andra Stevens, director of communications and creative services for the Africa University Development Office. The initial gift accrues interest, and awards are made from earned interest income after three years. School fees are $5,765 annually for a year of study.

Another scholarship recipient, Belinda Numbi, 22, is in her senior year at AU. Enrolled in the College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance, she is studying in the department of business sciences.

“I am the firstborn of eight children,” she said. “I want to run a company or a business in order to support my siblings. I have a lot of responsibilities.”

Numbi added, “I have never met my sponsor. I would be so grateful to say ‘thank you.’ I pray for them. May God bless them.”

Africa University students visit following worship at the Kwang Lim Chapel. Africa University’s 28th graduating class included 712 graduates from 18 African countries. Of the more than 11,000 alumni since the first graduating class in 1994, more than 90 percent are in leadership roles on the continent of Africa, said Jim Salley, president and chief executive officer of Africa University (Tennessee) Inc. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UM News. 

Africa University students visit following worship at the Kwang Lim Chapel. Africa University’s 28th graduating class included 712 graduates from 18 African countries. Of the more than 11,000 alumni since the first graduating class in 1994, more than 90 percent are in leadership roles on the continent of Africa, said Jim Salley, president and chief executive officer of Africa University (Tennessee) Inc. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UM News.

During the anniversary celebration, Claflin University president Dwaun Warmack and his family donated $10,000 for an endowed scholarship fund. Located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Claflin University is one of the 11 historically Black schools and colleges in the U.S related to The United Methodist Church.

The 80-plus visitors that were part of a charter group from the U.S. took up a special collection during their time in Africa. They gave $6,300 in direct scholarship aid in honor of the Africa University Development Office. 

Another $3 million has been given to endow scholarships as part of the U.S.-based endowment’s celebration. 

The 30th anniversary also marked the beginning of the African endowment for scholarships, Salley said. The original goal was to raise $100,000.

“We surpassed that goal,” Salley said. “It is a dream come true.”

Several gifts came from Zimbabwe businesses, including $25,000 from CIMAS Medical Aid Society, the university’s health insurance services partner, designated for laboratory equipment.

Other Zimbabwe businesses and many individual gifts from alumni, faculty and staff donated to support the Africa-based scholarship endowment effort.

Salley called the African-based endowment “the ultimate empowerment story.”

Gilbert is a freelance writer in Nashville, Tennessee.

News media contact: Julie Dwyer, news editor, [email protected] or 615-742-5469. To read more United Methodist News, subscribe to Free Daily or Weekly Digests.

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Review: Mugabe’s Legacy by David B Moore – African Business

Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s place in history is complicated. Vilified and jailed by Ian Smith’s white-minority rogue government of Rhodesia, he became an icon for African nationalists for spearheading the armed struggle that brought about majority rule for Zimbabwe.

As prime minister and then president, he received early praise for his apparent magnanimity towards his defeated white opponents during the 1980 post-election period, and for education reforms in his early tenure.

But by the time he was removed in an army coup in 2017 after 37 years in power, Mugabe’s legacy was seriously tarnished. His rule had become despotic, with political opponents jailed, tortured and murdered, and he was castigated for permissive attitude towards grand corruption within his government.

His rule saw appalling excesses such as the Matabeleland genocide, known locally as Gukurahundi, which scholars believe accounted for at least 20,000 Ndebele deaths. There was adventurism in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Land invasions and widespread political violence in Zimbabwe deepened the country’s isolation and wrecked its economy, ensuring that few Zimbabweans rued his sudden fall from power.

In Mugabe’s Legacy: Coups, Conspiracies and the Conceits of Power, David Moore, who recently retired as professor of development studies at the University of Johannesburg, suggests that Mugabe’s early life in the Zimbabwean liberation movement offers vital keys to understanding his later rule.

Born in rural Mashonaland, the clever young schoolteacher – regarded by his own mother as something of an unlovable oddball – was just one of many leaders awakening to a life of burning injustice in colonial and apartheid Southern Africa.

The initial liberation era was riven by factionalism – sometimes determined by political philosophies, sometimes by tribal affiliations. To reach the top, Mugabe would have to impose his will on allies and enemies alike. His subsequent aggressive rise through the hierarchy of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu) showed the determination, as well as the ruthless Machiavellian streak, that would dominate the remainder of his career.

From the mid-1970s his domineering personality and willingness to use violence to purge young, radical challengers allowed Mugabe to lead the movement through the complexities of the Cold War and regional, ideological, generational, inter- and intra-party tensions. The lessons learned by Mugabe throughout his tough and brutal climb to the top stayed with him for the entirety of his political career, Moore shows.

Hero myth

As the war accelerated in ferocity towards the end of the 1970s, when the Rhodesian regime faced sustained military pressure and growing international isolation, Mugabe increasingly came to see himself as inseparable from the movement.

As one highly-critical, prominent but apolitical Zimbabwean told me, Mugabe, surrounded by sycophants, began to believe in the hero myth that had been built of himself as the “liberation fighter president”. Mugabe became convinced that Zanu was the only political party that could rule Zimbabwe – and that he was the only man to lead that party in the post-independence era.

As leader of the country – even while projecting himself internationally as an Anglophile lover of cricket with a predilection for tailored Saville Row suits – Mugabe soon began to turn the ferocity of his vision inwards. Political disputes with the Ndebele-dominated Zimbabwe African Patriotic Union and its charismatic leader Joshua Nkomo sparked the mass violence of the terrifying Gukurahundi campaign, to which the world largely turned a blind eye.

Land seizures

Indeed, it was not until the 1990s that Mugabe’s governance began to be seriously scrutinised by much of the international community. As the economy slumped and he came under pressure from radical opponents to reshape the nature of Zimbabwe’s white-dominated farming sector, Mugabe unleashed the power of the so-called “war veterans” movement, which began seizing and occupying white-owned farms, sometimes violently. It is in detailing the legacy of this disastrous move that Moore comes into his own.

Drawing on his own wealth of research into the land seizures, including his 2005 contribution to Legacies of Power: Leadership Change and Former Presidents in Africa, he shows how Zimbabwe’s economy nose-dived.

“By 2004 the ‘fast track’ land reform process arising from the ZANU (PF)’s 2000 referendum loss and close election was moving towards a new agricultural mode.

“Over 1,500 white-owned large-scale commercial farms were now 127,192 households on A1 plots with use rights and grazing land, 7,260 ‘capitalists’ with leasehold and a ‘proposed option to buy’, and a few hundred big chiefs gaining most news coverage.

“Nearly 250,000 people waited for this land while more than four million starved. Productive and commercial farmers decreased from 4,500 in 2000 to under 500 in 2004.”

Moore tells us that Zimbabwe’s wheat production fell to 170,000 tons a year in 2004, from the former 300,000 tons average. The land-reform programme presaged a wider collapse of confidence in Mugabe’s leadership and in the economic direction of his government, which had become marred by corruption and rent-seeking.

Moore quotes Rob Davies, the former South African minister of trade and industry, reporting that Zimbabwean income per head fell by 2011 to 53% of the 1996 level. If growth had remained at the 1996 rate, income would have been 97% higher.

In 1980 when Zimbabwe achieved independence, the local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, was worth twice that of the US dollar: and Moore observes that “if Zimbabwean people accepted that scale for weighing the merits of past and present then by 2005, life was 56,000 times worse than in 1980.”

Critical voices silenced

In truth, Mugabe’s presidency never recovered from the fiasco of the land reform programme. Geopolitically isolated and placed under sanctions by the US and Europe, Mugabe increasingly turned on his political opponents and allowed his allies to dominate what remained of the shrinking economy. With critical voices silenced and no space for dissenting political views, it was ultimately the military, wielded by senior allies in Zanu, that forced him from the throne.

In the continuing rule of that institution, which is struggling to return Zimbabwe to growth, continues to be shunned by Western powers and refuses to liberalise the political space, Moore shows that Mugabe’s true legacy lives on.

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