Money Transfer leader ,Zoona, has partnered with Zambian Woman of the year; Community Service Award winner Mwansa Bwale in a campaign targeted towards recognising and awarding young female entrepreneurs as well as change agents making a difference in their communities. This is under Zoona’s theme #HelpingCommunitiesThrive. The campaign was launched in August 2016, with initial focus of Lusaka. The competition is open to young females below the age of 35 with proven track record of their work.
Mwansa had this to say “We want to discover and reward female entrepreneurs in Lusaka who are helping their communities thrive. So we need the public to nominate these women entrepreneurs including change agents operating in Lusaka, ie, even someone running a self-made orphanage/organization. One of these women will be chosen weekly to get a ZMK3000 prize, to be collected from their local Zoona booth. After 3 Weeks, we will have a GRAND DRAW and the final winner will receive slightly more. To enter our competition, nominate your community hero by COMMENTING their full name in the zoona posts on my page. I will contact you for their inspirational story which I’ll post on my page for people to read . Let us spread the word and HELP COMMUNITIES THRIVE through zoona!!! Follow #IloveZoona and my page, Together let’s help the young women who are helping their communities thrive”.
The first winner was Zanji Valarie Sinkala whose track record, vision and focus is profound. Judges couldn’t help but be in Awe of the amazing works she’s doing in her community. Zoona is happy to support her cause so she can continue helping her community thrive.
Below is Zanji’s story:
“My name is Zanji Valerie Sinkala and I am a passionate advocate for women and youth empowerment. I am the founder of a non-profit organization called Ku Mwanachi, which means ‘To The Woman’ in my tribe Namwanga and signifies that all things are possible to the woman regardless of her gender and background and she can achieve all the success this world has to offer. There is a famous Chinese proverb that my mother always quotes, and it says “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” It is based on this proverb that I founded Ku Mwanachi, which aims at contributing to Women Economic Empowerment through educating low income female entrepreneurs (mainly marketeers) in business essentials in order for them to educate their children, provide health care for their families and improve their standard of living. The biggest milestone for the Ku Mwanachi initiative had been to register it in order to create credibility with different networks. Moreover, some potential investors were interested in partnering with the foundation to sponsor it’s training’s but this proved to be a challenge because we lacked the necessary documentation, therefore dragging the whole process altogether. However, it came as an amazing opportunity when I got a call from Mwansa Bwale a few days ago. I couldn’t hold back the tears of joy when she informed me that I had won the first round of the Zoona Competition.
I was overjoyed because this miracle happened at the perfect moment. Finally, I had enough money to set the required documentation in place and prepare for the foundation’s business essentials training which, in faith, had been set to take place in 3 weeks time! A week before this happened, a friend of mine recommended me for the Zoona Competition. I must say, I was a bit skeptical because I thought I didn’t stand a chance because my accomplishments paled in comparison to the formidable participants that were nominated. I surely count it a rare privilege and honor to be counted amongst these women.
I do not have so many friends on Facebook so obviously I didn’t expect to win considering that one of the conditions of winning was to have the ‘most Facebook likes’. I knew i didn’t stand a chance, so I gave up and forgot about it. However, I strongly believed that all the nominated participants were doing a great job in helping their communities so I really didn’t care so much about who won but instead hoped that whoever did would continue to help their communities thrive.
Today I am so grateful that I was chosen to be the first winner and that many ambitious female entrepreneurs my foundation is empowering will be helped immensely through this Zoona prize. It is true that when you educate a woman you educate the world, and therefore, as an organization, we have taken particular interest in the woman because she has a great deal of potential and influence. Take for example our youngest participant Harriet, a 20 year old lady who dropped out of school in Grade 9 due to lack of school fees and hence opted to start selling clothes at the market in order to raise tuition fees. Harriet has neither business training nor experience whatsoever. She confessed that she has not been able to raise the money needed for her school because business is tough lately. However, Harriet makes an average profit of k30 a day. If only she can be taught on how to prudently manage her small business, I believe she, and many other young ladies like her, can achieve their dreams of completing an education.
This October, Ku Mwanachi Foundation will conduct a training seminar on business essentials for various low income female entrepreneurs. In this training, the foundation will educate these marketeers on the importance of banking as opposed to ‘holding’, a practice widely popular among marketeers, open bank accounts for them in order for them to save money more effectively, teach them on how to prudently manage their merger resources, diversify their business, educate the women on the importance of sending their children- especially the girl child- to school and on how they can be self-reliant, thereby reducing the occurrences of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in our communities. A total of 20 women from N’gombe, Chawama, Chunga and Bauleni Compounds have been selected to participate in this seminar. Using the funds from Zoona, efforts of the training and the foundation at large have been realized at a faster rate. Thank You Zoona.”
A week later another phenomenal young entrepreneur was nominated and also awarded K3000 by Zoona. Thabo Joy Masiye. Hers was delivered in style before she was awarded the money at her community Zoona kiosk.
On Saturday 17th September Kupes Young Women’s Network held their first Conference at Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka. Thabo happened to be a member of the network so Mwansa Bwale represented Zoona at the event by surprising Thabo as the competition’s second winner. That was followed by her receiving the money at a Zoona kiosk the next day.
Below is Thabo’s story:
“My name is Thabo Joy Masiye. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bugema University Kampala, Uganda and am currently Pursuing ACCA.
I am a self-driven and highly motivated individual. I believe in one working towards their full potential. It is through my desire and determination to be that independent hardworking woman that has made me the woman I am today. A proud entrepreneur.
I am the founder of Thabo’s Trendz (Clothing line) and also Thabo’s Jewels (Jewelry line). I taught myself how to design and hand-make jewelry. The fun part about creative designing is that mistakes actually turn out to be unique designs.
I have a great passion for art and it has always been my goal to pass on this great feeling of spending every day of your life doing what you love. For this reason, I am founder of the ‘Who I am Campaign’. This is an organization aimed at empowering young people to discover their Godly given talents and make use of them.
I want to help bring out the entrepreneur in as many youths as I can reach. I want to help get rid of the typical mentality of going through school with the belief that at the end of the road someone will create a job for you. I want to help raise a new era of youths that are self-motivated and determined to live up to their dreams and not depending on another person’s efforts to create a job for them. We are all different for a reason; each one can make a difference. We need to close the gap between employment and unemployment and I am determined to do this.
When I was nominated for the Zoona Challenge, I was so humbled and honored to know that people out there appreciate my work and recognize it. I was determined to not let them and myself down, I have come a long way I make time for every opportunity that comes my way. I submitted my bio at our first Kupes Young Women’s Network Conference (Founded by Mrs. Norena Chiteba) that Mwansa Bwale (Community Ambassador at ‘I love Zoona’) announced me as the winner of the competition. I was so flattered, indeed God is a gentleman, He always opens doors for us if we let Him.
I plan to invest this money into my business which will help me generate more capital to meet the expenses of the ‘Who I am Campaign’. Since the conference, I must say, a lot of people are geared to come on board and help me make this campaign a success. It’s all about young people working for young people to create a better Zambia and world at large. We will spread the spirit of entrepreneurship mindset to as far as we can go.
Thank you Zoona for investing in me and my work to make a difference in my community and country at large. By building an entrepreneurship mindset in young people, they will be willing to discover and develop their God given talents to create employment for themselves and their families too.
Thank you again to Zoona for this great opportunity. Your investment in young entrepreneurs is surely not in vain.”
The competition continues as Zoona’s search for the 3rd community heroine through Mwansa Bwale intensifies. After the 3rd winner is identified and awarded, the public will then vote for the Final winner out of the 3 heroines and Zoona will award her K5000.
Zoona continues to help communities thrive through providing the quickest and most reliable and affordable means of sending and receiving money at minimal costs. It takes pride in supporting young entrepreneurs who are in need of perhaps some extra cash. Mwansa Bwale is excited about this partnership because of her passion in community engagement and supporting her fellow young women aspiring to make a difference in their communities. She encourages young people to create their own employment than wait for government to give them jobs.
Follow the link below to Mwansa Bwale’s official Facebook page for updates about Zoona’s helping communities thrive campaign.