GWANDA – A floor polish and petroleum jelly making project has transformed lives of 17 Self-Help Group members in Garanyemba Village, Gwanda district.
Troubled by the harsh effects of unemployment and recurrent droughts in the semi-arid region, the 17 villagers decided to venture into the manufacturing industry hence forming Kusile Cobra association in February 2020.
Months down the line, the project has become an oasis of hope for villagers as their livelihoods have changed for the better.
The project’s success has mainly been through the help of Hand in Hand Zimbabwe who took the group through its six (6) months modular business training, technical skills training on floor polish, petroleum jelly making and a branding and packaging workshop.
The Hand in Hand Zimbabwe trainings complemented by the dedication of group members contributed immensely to the growth of the enterprises as they now supply their floor polish and petroleum jelly to the Garanyemba community, well-known educational institutions, clinics and businesses in Gwanda town.
A member of the venture, Zodwa Nyathi (43) said the project has enabled group members to generate adequate income to care for their families.
“I can now pay school fees for my three (3) children and I have managed to start a flea market business,” she said.
Molly Ncube a group member in charge of the production department commended Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for providing training for Self Help Group(SHG) members as she says it contributed to the production of their up to standard products.
“Our products are on-demand as they are well packaged and of good standard.
“We can sell up to 70 litres of floor polish per month and produce as much as 60 litres per day depending on orders placed.
“We sell our floor polish for ZAR35 for 500mls and ZAR70 for 1ltr while our petroleum jelly is pegged at ZAR15 for 100mls. Our biggest market is Garanyemba clinic where we supply 20ltrs per month, “she said.
To increase their income base, the group is into Internal Savings and Lendings (ISALs)) where each member contributes ZAR50 per month.
As their venture continues to grow, the group aims at being the biggest suppliers of floor polish and petroleum jelly not only in Gwanda and Zimbabwe but to the whole SADC region.