“NO PLACE LIKE HOME”

Mzingaye Moyo is a 36 year old man who lives in Makwe village, ward 8 in Gwanda district. Moyo is a married man with two (2) children. When Mzingaye finished his high school studies, he could not proceed to tertiary education because of financial constraints his parents were facing. As a result he took up gold panning as means to earn a living. That did not go well with him because he would go for a long time without getting anything thus it wasn’t a sustainable livelihood. At the age of 25 he joined up with his age mates and went to neighbouring South Africa in search of a better living and employment opportunities. Mr Moyo narrated to the team that life in South Africa was far different from what he expected based on the stories of good living and none-stop parties that he heard from his relatives who live and work in South Africa. He struggled for years to get a job because he was an illegal immigrant. When he finally got a job, he worked as a truck off-loader and supermarket cleaner, a job that required no qualification at all. In 2015 Mzingaye decided to visit home and was shocked at the progress his community member had made under self-help groups. He really got interested in learning more about this development initiative. Upon learning that an organisation called Hand in Hand Zimbabwe was offering business development training for free without any joining fee what so-ever, and looking at the different enterprises group members were running, he made up his mind to come back home. Mzingaye then moved back home from South Africa late 2016.

Mzingaye joined Hand in Hand in January 2017. He is part of Thokozani Self Help Group, a 20 member group whose members contribute $40 per month which attracts an interest of 20%. When Mzingaye joined Thokozani, he had identified a business opportunity in the local shops. He pointed out that he had seen a vacant shop that was for rental and wanted to rent it. He borrowed eight hundred United States dollars ($800) and rented the shop. At the end of that month, he was able to repay the loan back to his group in full and remain with a profit. After receiving training on marketing, Mzingaye conducted a consumer preference survey to understand customer needs so that he could penetrate the market and increase sales. He pointed out that he was very grateful to hand in hand for training because findings from his survey revealed that a large number of community members used to receive remittances from South Africa and as a result had developed a preference for those products and these products were not available in the local shops. In February 2017, he made his first trip to Musina in South Africa and bought goods for resale which were preferred by his community. That month, his sales shot up significantly.

Mr Moyo told the Hand in Hand team that he also studied his competitors and noticed none of them were selling hard ware products and motor spares. His village is a mining village and thus has many vehicles but motor vehicle owners had to travel to Gwanda town to buy motor spares. As a result, he decided to turn his shop into a one stop shop which has a variety of product ranging from bicycle spare, motor vehicles service kits, hard ware products casual clothing, school uniforms, houseware goods and consumables. This made his shop very popular in the community. He further went on and embraced plastic money after realising that some customers had mobile money not hard cash. He applied for a mobile money operator licence and obtained it in March 2017. He now accepts mobile money payments.

 

Mzingaye Moyo standing in the motor spares and bicycle spares corner inside his shop

Mzingaye narrated and said “he works this hard because he got really tired of living at the heart of poverty when he tried his lucky in neighbouring South Africa”. He is determined to work hard because he wants create wealth for his family so that they don’t suffer like he did. In July 2017, Mzingaye identified yet onether business opportunity. He realised that the village primary and secondary schools were getting typing, printing and photocopying services from Gwanda town, 70 km from their ward. He therefore bought a laptop and there in one printer and setup the equipment inside his shop in August 2017. He now offer typing, scanning, photocopying and printing services inside the shop.

 

    

Mzingaye with his new laptop and printer 

Mr Moyo makes an average profit of $700 per month. He told the team that he is really happy that he came back home and joined Hand in Hand because he now felt poverty free. He gladly told the team that there is no place like home because here, he can freely participate in all developmental activities and improve his life. He is really grateful to hand in hand for the training and mentorship that they offered him.  He pointed out that although he has made good progress, he will only be satisfied when he stops renting a shop and runs business from his own building. Plans are underway to apply and purchase a business stand of his own so that he cuts rental expenses. He has visited Gwanda Rural District council twice this year to enquire about stands and no new allocations have been made so-far.