KNOWLEDGE the liberator
Constantine Mhlanga is 59 years old, a widower and a father of 4 children. 2 of them are married while the other 2 are still under his guardianship. Mr Mhalnga leaves in ward 10 Chachacha which is 25 km south-east of the scenic Shurugwi. He was retrenched from Shangani mine and received his package during the hyper-inflation era. This did not work out well for him and he drowned back into a poor life. However if you visit Constantine house for the first time you will not believe if it is a house of a normal village man. In attending the ward meetings, that’s when he met a Hand in Hand EDF and the field officer who were giving an update as well as selling the programme to the community. He got interested and visited the EDF at her house to find more about the programme and how he will benefit from the trainings. They went and mobilised other village members and formed their group known as Budiriro self-help group which consist of 10 members, 3 males and 7 females. Before joining Hand in Hand Zimbabwe Constantine was practising farming as a norm as everyone in the village do. His yard is more than an acre and blessed with a big pool of water but all this was underutilised.
Prior to Hand in Hand Constantine had only 16 beds in the garden as this was only for subsistence. “I had lost hope in life after losing all my retrenchment package during the hyper-inflation era. I never thought of self-reliance again and was now relying everything on my children. After joining Hand in Hand the trainer taught me on opportunity identification, record keeping and marketing. I am now a well-known man in the village and rich in knowledge.”
Farming as business
After joining Hand in Hand thats when he realised he can make a living out of the resource that were at his disposal which is a big pool of water and fertile soil and that’s when he enlarged his garden and planted 50 beds. He is now earning a living out of the horticulture, he is now supplying more than 100 bundles of green vegetables per week at the local restarants each cost $0.50. “ When I look back to almost a year ago I could not even earn $5 per week and I was relying on my children for everything, but now am able”
Constantine harvesting tomatoes
Constantine has managed to do a lot from the profit that he is making from the garden and with the help from his children, he managed to construct a borehole and buy a tank in case of the big pool drying in the summer, he can water the garden all year. In addition to that he testified that he is now able to fend for his family and send the last born to school who is now going to Selusi University.
Constantine is planning to have security fence around his homestead so that he start fish farming and piggery. He further alludes that, the homestead should be electrified as soon as possible as the fish and piggery project requires a lot of water which should be pumped from the borehole.
George t baya
Next case study: THE FAMOUS SHONA PROVERB “MUSHA MUKADZI”