Faith Panashe Zvorufura

Times have changed with the current global pandemic Covid-19. The way work and move around is different. From social distancing to wearing masks and by the look of things it is going to be like this for a while. Instead of wondering about what to do, we need to adapt to the “new normal.”

Many of us have suddenly been forced to adjust to a ‘new normal’, parents home-schooling their children, families or roommates suddenly isolating in cramped quarters, donning a mask when leaving the house, and wiping down groceries after a stress-filled visit to the store.

We have to look at this by putting in perspective that to win the war against COVID-19 we need to make sacrifices and develop a coping mind-set. It’s a lot to take in at the moment but Psychologist Dr. Robert Leahy lays out a few things you can do to stay sane.

Give yourself a break

One of the most important things you can do is accept that a new reality should come with a different level of expectations. For example, you’re not going to perfectly juggle remote work with home schooling and child care. Lower your standards so much that if you fall down, it’s a step up.

Be kind and practice acceptance

For those frustrated by the new limitations on everyday life during quarantine and the ‘new normal’, Dr. Leahy also suggests resetting expectations and identifying what you can do rather than focusing on what you can’t.

When hunkered down in close quarters with a lot of stress a “protocol of politeness,” is recommended, particularly when it comes to your partner or significant other. This is not the time to air every frustration. “Treat your partner like a total stranger you want to please. Try to be thoughtful, polite, compassionate, and rewarding. A compliment and a ‘thank you’ can go a long way.”

View life as a narrative

Looking at life as a series of chapters in a book can provide a sense of control and agency in what can feel like a helpless situation. If you look at life as a series of chapters, this chapter is objectively a hard one. But we can adjust our expectations and write a story about how we cope with this chapter to make it as good as it can be.

Chapters also have an end, which can help you from feeling engulfed in the moment. This isn’t the chapter we’ll always be in, and not all chapters have to be wonderful.

Most importantly stay safe, stay home.

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Month ends can so draining. From bills to chasing payments that may never come, setting goals for the new month and looking back to what you did not achieve in the previous month…one could just give up on life.

This leads many of us to feel down, for obvious reasons. However life has to go on and here is what you can do to get through the next month.


In this trying economy it almost sounds impossible but try to save a little something to keep you going through the first week after month end.


If your rentals are due and payment has not come through at work communicate with your landlord prior so they do not come knocking at your door every night. You also do not want to be sneaking around the yard, hiding from him/her.

Commit to a budget

Compile a comprehensive household budget and stick to it. Minimise unrealistic demands and expectations. Plan healthy meals for you and your family, including lunchboxes for school and work. This helps avoid overspending on takeaways.

Quit bad habits

Stop smoking and cut down on your alcohol intake. Not only will you save a lot every month, you will also avoid paying sin tax. No matter what, don’t stop saving. Stay committed to your long-term goals and take advantage of tax-free savings options.

Don’t live to impress

Don’t put yourself under pressure by trying to keep up with the Kardashians. Live and dress according to your means and not according to your friends’ lifestyles. (They may also be in deep debt behind the scenes).

Learn to say no

Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into buying things you don’t need and can’t afford.

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I vividly remember the first day I donated blood in High School. I had just turned 16 and was slightly above 50kgs. I was so excited, till this day I do not know why I was so happy.

I also passed out on the day because I went to bask in the sun right after. Well it was winter and freezing cold.

However, I have been consistent ever since with my 15th donation due already. Back then I always thought the person that gets my blood benefited the most but recently learnt that donating blood is also good for the donor.

It is helpful for the vital organs, and it reduces risk for chronic diseases such as cancer and stroke.

Here are more reasons on why you should donate blood:

  • Reduce risk of heart attacks and liver ailment.

The risk of heart and liver related problem is caused by the iron overload in the body. Donating blood helps in maintaining the iron level in the body and thus reduce those risk.

  • Lower the risk of cancer

Cancer is the most feared and deadly disease. Blood donation helps in lowering the risk of cancer. By donating blood regularly the iron level in the blood is balanced and the risk of cancer-related to the liver, lungs, and intestine gets lower.

  • New blood cells

Once we donate blood, the body tries to restore the blood loss. This helps in the production of the new blood cells and maintain good health.

  • Reduced risk of hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis is a disease that occurs due to increase in the absorption of iron by the body. Blood donation helps in reducing iron overload in the body and prevent Hemochromatosis.

  • Maintain Weight

It is recommended to donate blood for those who are overweight. Regularly donating blood helps in weight loss and burn fat up to 650 calories.

  • Helps prevent premature ageing.

While donating blood, you not only lose weight but it also helps in reducing stress. Stress is one of the reasons that triggers premature ageing. Blood donation helps in reducing stress on your mind and body. Also, keeps the skin tight and wrinkle-free.

  • Speeds up healing process

The body tries to adjust to the loss of red blood the cells we donate blood, these adjustments also help in accelerating the wound healing process.

  • Free Medical checkup

Every donor goes through a routine checkup prior to donation. Body temperature is checked along with blood pressure, hemoglobin and pulse. Blood is tested for 13 infectious disease like HIV, West Nile Virus, hepatitis B and C and Syphilis. It gives you a cost free quick look into your health.

  • Live a longer life

The people who involve in the altruistic work have proven to live a longer life. Blood donation is altruistic works so it not only save lives of other but also helps you live longer and healthier.

  • Psychological Upliftment

Beside all the healthy benefits that we obtain by donating blood, we also get the powerful benefit psychologically by helping the one in need.

  • Save lives

Every time we donate one pint of blood it helps save three lives, so if we donate four times in a year we end up saving 12 lives. We don’t have to be a superhero to save someone, a simple act of donating blood can also save lives.

The 14th of June is World Blood Donor Day, it is not too late to save a life.


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Celebrations on May 25th, crowned as Africa Day, recite the annual commemorations of Africa’s independence, freedom and liberation strife from colonial imperialists.

Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) continues to remind the African Union that there is still work to be done by way of leading, guiding, defending and coordinating the African Union’s efforts on gender equality.

Women constitute more than half the world’s population, yet their participation in electoral and governance processes where decisions regarding their lives are made and remain peripheral in many countries.

Women and girls have been leading and continue to lead at the front-lines calling for reform, regime change, renewed and lawful democracy in a number of nations within the Greater Horn of Africa. African women’s role in political participation can no longer be minimized to casting votes and mere quota systems.

It must be reiterated that true democracy is effective when women are allowed to fully participate in political activities right from formulating their agenda, to claiming and taking their seat at the table of negotiation and policy-making in view of the lived realities of masses of women and in the interest of achieving gender equality.

Women’s representation in political decision making has been on the rise globally however the increase has been stubbornly slow, barely 1% in 2018 compared with the previous year. In 2018 the number of women ministers worldwide reached an all-time high at 20.7% (812 out of 3922).

In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of women seated in parliament grew in 2018, with a regional average share at 23.7%, according to the just-released 2019 edition of the biennial Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Map of Women in Politics.

Ethiopia saw the largest increase in women’s political representation in the executive branch, from 10% women ministers in 2017 to 47.6% in 2019.

On ministerial positions, the report highlights another striking gain more women in Africa are now in charge of portfolios traditionally held by men than in 2017. There are 30% more women ministers of defense, 52.9% more women ministers of finance, and 13.6% more women ministers of foreign affairs.

Among the top African countries with a high percentage of women in ministerial positions are Rwanda (51.9%), South Africa (48.6%), Ethiopia (47.6%), Seychelles (45.5%), Uganda (36.7%) and Mali (34.4%).

The lowest percentage in Africa was in Morocco (5.6%), which has only one female minister in a cabinet of 18. Other countries with fewer than 10% women ministers include Nigeria (8%), Mauritius (8.7%) and Sudan (9.5%).

Of the 210 parliamentary seats in Zimbabwe, only 26 are held by women

Two main obstacles prevent women from participating fully in political life, according to UN Women. These are:

  • Structural barriers, whereby discriminatory laws and institutions still limit women’s ability to run for office, and
  • Capacity gaps, which occur when women are less likely than men to have the education, contacts and resources needed to become effective leaders.

The number of women in politics is not proportionate to the population of women and as highlighted by the statistics above – reaching a point where women are adequately represented in politics is taking a long time… however, change is change, the rate could be slow but that is way better than no change at all.


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Each year on the second Sunday of May we celebrate Mother’s Day sharing love and appreciating the hard work women mothers go through in raising kids and their families.

It is a special day celebrated worldwide. It is believed that Mother’s Day was first celebrated in the US. A woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother because her mother expressed a desire and had asked her to hold a memorial after her death.

Thus, three years after her mother’s death on May 10, 1908, Jarvis held a memorial ceremony to honour her mother and all mothers at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church.

Since then it has been a date every child marks on their calendar never to forget. From the day a child is born, she works hard to make sure that her child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities. She gives her best to make you a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job.

This has been a difficult year with people having to settle for less to celebrate special events like Mother’s Day but it’s the thought that counts.

This is a day almost everyone would want to spend with their dearly beloved mother or at least do something meaningful for her but with this global pandemic not everyone has been able to do so.

People are not only locked down in their homes but their pockets too. However this did not stop others from showing their mothers love though restaurants are closed down.

Meanwhile, majority took to social media expressing the heartfelt love and appreciation to their moms.


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Have you been struggling to budget or save? Do you wind up every year with nothing but clearly have been working hard?

This has been my struggle since I started working. Our economy is not the best of economies right now which makes it difficult to budget or save but I always wondered how others did it.

It was until I came across Lyapa Mbewe, a Zambian Financial Planner. She is everything you would want to be, goals you would call it today. She has good sound advice on financial planning and saving. Below is an excerpt she did on budgeting that could help you today. It’s not too late.

Change of Habits| Bare-Bones Budget

People are creatures of habits and spending money is no exception. We shop at the same stores, eat in the same restaurants and drive the same car, because it’s comfortable. It’s also costing you more than you can handle financially.

If you won’t change your spending habits, you won’t ever get out of debt. Start with your morning habits have your breakfast at home. Go to lunch with a pre-packed lunch box, not your wallet. In the evening, watch your soccer or movies on TV, while eating a home cooked meal. You will see an immediate impact on your daily spending habits don’t have to do without. You just have to make better choices with what you do.

If you really want to pay down debt faster, you’ll need to cut your expenses as much as you can. One tool you can create and use is a “Limited Budget” With this strategy, you’ll cut your expenses as low as they can go and live on as little as possible for as long as you can.

For this time only, as you sort your debt, attempting to live in what is Called a “Bare Bones Budget😢” will help tremendously.

Step 1: Nail down your spending from previous months.

To figure out where your money is going, look at your bank statements and look back to where your money went last month. Put all of your regular expenses in common sense categories and add them up. Some potential categories can include things like food, utility bills, transportation, clothes, restaurants, and rent or mortgage. Create other categories as needed and figure out how much you’re spending in each total for the previous two months. Make sure to include debt repayment in its own category so that you know exactly how much you owe each month.

Step 2: Slash non-essential expenses.

Once you’ve categorized your spending from the previous two months, it’s time to see what you could live without. And that’s where the term “bare bones” comes into the equation.
Essential expenses are things like rent payment, utilities, and transportation costs, while non-essential expenses include new outfits for work, dinners so on. Basically, anything you could live without is a non-essential expense, so keep that in mind as you figure out how to get everything down.

Step 3: Dig a little deeper.

Remember, a bare-bones budget is supposed to be how it sounds stripped down to the essentials: shelter, food, and basic living expenses. If it hurts a little to cut so deep, it’s only because it’s supposed to.

Step 4: List your new bare-bones expenses

Once we’ve the needs vs. wants , it’s time to create a new monthly budget based only on your basic, core expenses. Everyone’s bare-bones budget will look different, but most will follow the same general outline. We all need a place to live, the utilities turned on, basic transportation, and food in the fridge, but everything else is optional. Your budget should reflect that.

A bare-bones budget will look different for everyone, but it should be devoid of any “extras” like going out to eat, Tv Subscription, unnecessary spending. While you’re living on a strict budget, you should be able to pay considerably more toward your debt.

😊Remember, bare-bones budgets are only meant to be temporary. Once you’re out of debt or a lot closer to your goal you can start adding discretionary spending back into your monthly plan.

By Lyapa Mbewe.

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For a long time now women have been advocating and encouraging each other to be comfortable in their own skin, not to feel the pressure to wear makeup because it’s all in your head, but is this true?

Recently Twitter was on fire with the #RuvhenekoChallenge where Radio Personality and TV Talk Show Host Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa was trolled over a recent picture with no makeup.

When will women catch a break? If it’s not about their weight, it’s about being wife material, acting like a lady or pleasing men. Nothing is ever perfect. A whole article was written over makeup less Ruvheneko! Is she supposed to have a face beat every time she steps out of the house?

She responded subtly which then blew out into a challenge with influencers like Misred, KVG, Sokostina and Madam Boss posting their images with no makeup too in solidarity with their own.

Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa


Women are spending so much money on foundation, eye shadows, eyeliners etc to look good. If you do not put on makeup you may be considered as someone that does not care about their appearance.

Did you know?

  • 28% of women lack confidence without it
  • 17% said they’d cancel a date if makeup was not handy
  • National average for girls to start wearing makeup is 11 years old.
  • Average makeup wearing woman spends 15-20 min
  • Both portrayed as “beautiful” in the media.
  • Tabloids use off guard pictures to show “What happens when you take off makeup”.

Over a third of women believe their significant other would not have been attracted to them if they hadn’t been wearing makeup. One in ten would never let their partner see them without a full face on.

Some women get up early so that they can put makeup on before their partner can see them. It is very disturbing that women do not feel comfortable enough to let the person they are in love with see their true appearance.

In terms of how this can change, I don’t see any solution that makes a real difference other than a shift in the general perception of women who don’t use it.

If we really want to create a fair society in practice, we need to be more welcoming of women who go to work, social events, dinners, etc. without makeup on.

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October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, impacting 2.1 million women each year, and also causes the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women. In 2018, it is estimated that 627,000 women died from breast cancer that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women.

Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe caught up with Tendayi Gwata who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and below are the excerpts of the conversation.

  • Tell Us About Yourself. Who is Tendayi Gwata?

I am a mother of an amazing 4 year old boy, an older sister to 3 siblings, a daughter and good friend. 

  • What does Tendayi do?

I am a marketing consultant working in the digital media space as well as the political space (outside of Zimbabwe). I spent part of last year as a Campaign Manager for party elections in Ghana. I have also started sewing and will soon start selling headwraps and scarves that work for everyone but in particular chemo patients and people with natural hair.

  • When were you diagnosed with breast cancer?

I was diagnosed in July of this year. It was very unexpected and I can say blindsided me.

  • How did you feel when you first received the news?

I was terrified. I kept thinking about my son and what will happen to him. It felt like being given a death sentence at the time. Although now I realise there is a lot of hope and a huge chance that I will survive. I would say the most difficult time for me so far was the time between my diagnosis and receiving a treatment plan, which was about 3 weeks. In that time I felt very lost, unsure of the future and very very afraid.

  • Tell me about your treatment process.

The oncologist gave me what is called a Treatment Plan which maps out my treatment.  I would say that this was the first time since the diagnosis that I began tpo feel positive about y condition. My treatment plan consists of 8 cycles of chemo, surgery followed by radiation.

Can you please enlighten us on how it’s still affecting you?

I am currently in the chemo stage and it hasn’t been easy. The side effects range from unbearable bone pain to hair loss to hardening veins. What makes it most challenging is that even though I am aware of the side effects to expect, I don’t which I will get and when, so I am in a constant state of expectation. I struggle with sleep, enjoying the taste of food (the chemo has had a huge impact on how things taste). I also find I get tired very quickly and can usually manage a couple of hours of activity a day then I am completely exhausted.

  • What has changed in your life?

Living with a life threatening illness has changed my perspective about everything. I am more appreciative of the small things, waking up, being able to walk around and generally just being alive.

I consider myself a very social person but due to my lowered immunity I am no longer able to be around crowds, I have to be very careful about what and where I eat. This has meant that I now stay at home a whole lot more than I have ever done.

  • Please take us through the check-up process, what really happens?

I havent really had a specific check up process as yet. For now my check ups happen at the next chemo. It usually involves a blood test to check my white cell counts and liver function to make sure that they havent been seriously affected. I have also had to see a cardiologist after my 4th chemo cycle to check my heart function. All these checks are necessary as the chemo impacts these areas, and to be able to proceed to more chemo, there is a need to confirm that all is ok.

  • What message would you like to provide women in the community?

To all the women who have been diagnosed and are going through this I would like to say that I wish you well. I hope that you have a strong support system to help you geth through this journey. That nutrition and hydration are my secret weapons to remaining on top the treatment and side effects.

To those who don’t have breast cancer, please check yourself regulary and go for your annual mammogram. Catching it early means you have a higher chance of survival, and are less likely to have such an aggressive treatment plan.

I post quite regularly on my twitter account @tendayigwata where I share my journey and things that I am learning along the way. Such has where to find information about the drugs and how you can figure out at what point will your immunity will be at it lowest between chemo cycles.

Women are encouraged to regularly get checked for breast cancer. Early detection saves lives.

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It’s one thing to feel unsafe in public but its another to fear your partner, the one supposed to be your protector.

Following the release of the Air Force of Zimbabwe Pilot who allegedly murdered his girlfriend, it really has become worrisome that women are being murdered and the killers walking Scot free.

In the same light, South Africa’s Uyinene Mrwetyana’s death which caused shock waves is another femicide case which clearly shows that women are not safe. She was raped and murdered after she had gone to the post office to inquire about a parcel 

Femicide has been used to describe killings of women by intimate partners and family members; it has also been used to describe gender-related killings in the community.

Femicide is the most extreme manifestation of violence against women and girls. While it is not a new phenomenon it is one that is drawing attention worldwide due to the alarming increase.

Roughly 66,000 women are violently killed around the world each year, accounting for approximately one fifth of intentional homicides.

Southern Africa is ranked one of the five regions in the world with the highest rates of femicide.

A national study on femicide in South Africa estimated that a woman is killed by her intimate partner every six hours.

The South African female homicide rate is six times higher than the global average. Half of all murdered women are killed by an intimate partner.

A study in Zimbabwe found that of the 42 cases of femicide involving women older than 50, most of the women had been accused of witchcraft by male relatives prior to the killing.

Research is starting to help clarify the factors that increase women’s risk of being killed, especially by intimate partners, and those associated with an increased risk that men will perpetrate femicide.

There is real need to educate the community on gender based violence, awareness-raising and advocacy could encourage cooperation among police, medical staff and other relevant agencies to collect and report on the victim–offender relationship and the motivation for the homicide.




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