Mlinga’s Dream a Reality

 

Tafara Mlinga is a 32-year-old man from Ifafa Village 1 in Chirumhanzu, who has fought his way out of poverty through the Motivated Entrepreneurial Youth (MEY) project and has done exceedingly well for himself and his family.

The father of three works with his wife on their small plot to produce enough food for the whole family. Over the past few months, Mr Malinga has used the skills and resources he received from the MEY project to help his family afford three (3) meals a day at a time when other people in the country are struggling to put food on the table. In addition to being self-sustainable, the Mlinga homestead supplements its income by selling maize to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in Mvuma.

 

Mr Mlinga is a member of a Star Club called kupfuma Ishungu, which is loosely translated to mean that wealth comes through hard-work and dedication. Members of the club contribute a monthly premium of $3 per individual towards a savings fund. When Mr Mlinga thought of converting his garden into a viable enterprise, he borrowed $50.50 from the Club to buy vegetables and tomato seedlings. With the help of his brother Tichakunda, he was able to expand his garden and made use of poles and branches as a hedge to prevent goats and cattle from breaking into his plot and destroy the crops. The garden is strategically located in a wet land area and Mr Mlinga does not incur huge expenses when watering his plants.  Mr Malinga begun his project in June this year and has since then been earning an average monthly income of $280 from his business. He indicated that he sells vegetable bundles from $0.50- $2.00, tomatoes from $0.50 to $7.00 a bucket to members of his community, who are his main market source.

 

The Voice of Tafara Mlinga

“I used to have a garden before, but only worked on it as a hobby and never thought I could make a sustainable living from it. After my brother Mr Tichakunda Mlinga introduced me to Hand in Hand (HiH) model my life and that of my family has greatly changed for the better and am grateful for this life-changing opportunity presented by HiH in partnership with MASO.

From the entrepreneurial training he has received, Mr Mlinga mainly appreciated module 3 on Opportunity Identification, which made him realise a hidden opportunity to run his garden as an enterprise. Most people in his community are neither into horticulture nor taking advantage of the wetlands where his garden is located.

“In June this year, when most people in the country were involving themselves in politics, I slowly converted my idea into a money-making venture by supplying a variety of vegetables, which are on demand and in short supply in my community.

“My main challenge at the moment is to meet the ever increasing demand for my horticultural products as some days am failing to satisfy my customers’ needs.

“I am living my dream, doing something that I am passionate about while at the same time earning a decent living,” he said.

Mr Mlinga indicated that he appreciates the motivation trainings he has received as they have helped to boost his confidence and self-esteem.

“I used to look down on myself and never once in my life did I ever thought that I would achieve anything meaningful. But after I went through the trainings, I came to realise that I am very valuable and have the capacity to go for my dreams. Since then, my life has never been the same.

“I am now looking forward – with confidence – to a better tomorrow not only for me but for my family as well,” he said.