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Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe

I met Nomaliso when she was a high school girl at the Bulawayo Dominican Convent. Even back then you could tell that she was highly intelligent and destined for big things. Her YouTube political commentary on her No B.S webseries was my go-to source for political discussions. She has chartered her way through the Zimbabwean agribusiness and become a household name through her work at Fresh in a Box which she is Founding Director of.

Did you ever see yourself becoming a farmer?

I had never dreamt of being a farmer, at the very least even a farm administrator. Now I cannot imagine not being a Farmer.

You’re a Mathematician, how does that help you as a farmer?

It’s more of a pain than it’s beneficial. I pay a lot of attention to details, and iterate a lot of my processes. Sometimes that frustrates my team but it’s for the better. I have mastered the science of growing a big sized cabbage at a small cost so I guess, Thank you Mr Jowa for Optimization class 🙂

How did you get into farming initially?

As fresh in a box grew, the demand for a supply chain that was consistent grew, and the farmers were not showing up as expected, the farm itself was God’s Plan. Our landlord called us and offered us the place based on the work we were doing, and we jumped on the opportunity.

What are some of the resources that taught you critical lessons about farming?

The INTERNET, everything is found on there, YouTube was a godsend because in farming you learn by seeing, and joining farmer unions helped me a lot.

What’s your typical day like in farm life?

We start the operations at 6AM, we have harvesting and order deployment, move to land preparation, some housekeeping, and later in the day we do planting.

Besides, the current heavy rains, what other factors impede the business?

Rain is most welcome in our work, but resource tracking(fertilizer, chemicals) and management is important, it’s the make or break of our farming business.

What 3 things would you say have contributed to the success of your business thus far?

I would say, paying attention to detail, learning, implementing and living my life more publicly than most would. People buy people!

To what extent would you say your personal brand has impacted the growth of your business?

To a large extent, we believe that the people we are impact our brand and product and how customers interact with it.

Where have you gotten the most support as a young farmer?

The Farmers Union Club (FYFCZ) that I am a member of has supported me the most in my journey as a young farmer.

What’s the hardest thing about farming?

The hardest part of farming is stomaching losses in the field. Farming in itself is like gambling, the hardest bit is always beating the house.

What are some of the associations that you are in specifically for farmers?

Federation of Young Farmers Club of Zimbabwe is the organisation that I am affiliated with.

Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring farmers?

If you have no intention of being in the field yourself,don’t venture into farming. Capital is everything, farming is possible with bootstrapping but it’s painful, you may quit before you finish your first season.

What can be done to improve market linkages for Zimbabwean farmers?

A disruption in how customers consume, and creating markets that are farmer-centric than they are customer-centric.

It’s 2023 next year, will we see a return of No B.S?

While I enjoy political analysis and banter, 2023 I am looking towards expanding the Fresh in a Box business across the region. That will make No B.S impossible to pull off. Soooooo No BS come 2023… LOL

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By Michelle Thanya

The word “creative” is commonly associated with painters and or musicians but the Creative Women’s Café gave life to the statement that “a woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.” Now picture a gathering of Bulawayo’s flourishing and upcoming female creatives, creativity in all its forms, all under one roof.

The workshop was held on the 18th of February and was facilitated by Thembi Terry, the workshop being the first of its kind came as a serious wake up call for these creatives because seriously, “Turn Down for What?” when there is so much to be addressed and broadcast through young creatives. Not only was this a safe space for young women across Bulawayo to share their experiences as creatives, it was also a space for learning and teaching. The panel was graced by Khaya Moyo a radio personality from a local radio station (Skyz Metro FM), Chipo Kay a lifestyle blogger and podcaster, Nobuhle Zulu the editor in chief of iNgudukazi Magazine, a women’s’ magazine and Michelle Thanya a spoken word artist and podcaster.

In a city considered the capital/hub of the arts, the panellists shared their experiences in stepping out of what they had grown up to and inventing themselves as individual creatives with their years of experience. The young women were schooled about the multiple ways in which they could brand and carry themselves around, an entirely different approach from the bland approaches by artists of old. The facilitator handled the entire workshop with ease and like a pro with use of practical case studies of artists who are killing it in the creative industry. The importance of monetizing their crafts was stressed throughout the entire programme. and proving that art is not a hobby but should be equally viewed as a profession.

The room was ablaze with attendees eager to share relatable stories with that of the panellists and find possible solutions to their problems. The first and certainly not the last session of the Creative Women’s Café gave the young women a mandate to compete on an international level with creatives in their field. Not only was this the forming of relations but the promise of collaborations to give out the best work to have ever come from Bulawayo. #BulawayoToTheWorld

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On Friday the 18th of February 2022, Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe held the first Creative Women Café at the Youth for Innovation Trust Olympiad. This meetup is under the #SheNspiration project which is funded by #eSkills4GirlsFund. 

The #SheNspiration project by Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe is the only programme that has set out to adequately equip Zimbabwean female storytellers for lucrative opportunities in the creative industry. It’s for women and girls who want to get paid in an era of exposure. 

There were two sessions. The first session had panelists such as Khaya from Skyz Metro FM, Miss Kayz the blogger, Nobuhle Zulu who is the editor of iNgudukazi Magazine and Michelle Thanya who is an actress, podcaster and spoken word artist. The second session had Zoleka Mazibuko who is a feminist writer, Ashley Ganyanhewe who is a talent manager for Bulawayo’s celebs such as Asaph, Bhekiwe Dube and Mimmie Tarukwana to name a few. Thembelihle Terry-Lynne Zulu moderated the sessions. 

A total of 52 young women were in attendance to discuss their experiences in the creative industry of Bulawayo. Issues that came up included failure to monitise creative enterprises, the need for networking and that more spaces should be created for creative women to mingle and share ideas amongst each other. 

When I went to the United States for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, my mentor Robyn took me to a writing circle for women only. It was a safe network of women who critique and support each other’s creative projects. That’s why I brought this meetup to Bulawayo to see if there is a market for such a space. And yes there is,” said Thembelihle Terry-Lynne Zulu the founder of Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe. 

Some of the factors hindering women from taking advantage of the opportunities brought by ICTs include: the high cost of data, cyber bullying, digital illiteracy and not having the equipment such as laptops. These factors further exacerbate the gender digital divide. There is need to create more safe spaces for girls and women online and offline. 

Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe is a social club for women and girls countrywide. Girl Grandeur was founded in 2013 as a social club for girls and women in hopes that it would address the lack of an informal club for women to just come together and have fun and build friendships. This club was to help women to share their experiences and advise each other on their respective grievances. Since then, we have leveraged the power of new media to become digital storytellers showcasing women’s authentic stories and highlighting their plight. We believe in the power of stories to bring about the change that we want. 

#SheNspiration is on a mission to inspire and teach women and girls how take control of their own narrative, tell their own stories and make money while doing it. This is accomplished through trainings, downloadable resources and holding creative meet ups for female creatives to come together, learn and build strategic partnerships. The end goal is to birth more women-led creative enterprises while closing the digital gender gap.

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We’re finally at the end of 2021, can you believe it? We made it! Ever since the pandemic took us by storm, we’ve been dusting off the debris but I believe that 2022 will be the year of breakthrough.

More stories

As Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe, we are looking forward to bringing you more impactful projects and authentic stories from women about women. Our Contributing Editor, Loraine, has brought a new energy to the organisation that has made us more efficient and more productive. We’ve also introduced a new column called the #MarigoldSeries which will feature the best and the brightest of Zimbabwean women in their respective industries.

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A fresh website

Our website got a new look! This new look is aligned to Girl Grandeur becoming more story-centred and putting the articles written by our GG Jewels front and centre! We want to tell your stories, text us on WhatsApp if you have one to tell.

A new motto

Our motto recently changed from “If you see a need, take the lead” to “it’s safe here.” This came as a result of the growing concern from women feeling unsafe online and offline. We still encourage you to take the lead and be solution oriented in your communities. If you see something that needs addressing, you can get in touch with us and we’ll do something about it together.

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More projects

Covid-willing, we are ready to start having projects for our Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe members. If you have an idea for an event that the other members can benefit from, we are open to hearing it. After the past two years, it’s time to celebrate our victories and achievements and to aspire to more.

Advertising opportunities

Having built up our membership numbers, we are now open to advertising opportunities. You have options whether on our social media or website, we’re ready to boost your businesses. As a virtual community, we have created an online sisterhood that’s vibrant and interactive.

Stay safe. Sanitise. See you in the year Twenty-Twenty-YOU!

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Have you ever wanted to get advice but you were too afraid that you would get judged or be ridiculed for even having the issue in the first place?

That’s why we are starting the #AskGiGi webseries because every girl deserves a safe space.

In this digital landscape, minefield, we’re afraid of being screenshot or our messages getting forwarded to other people. Next thing you know your dirty laundry is all over the social media streets and everyone is in your business.

How will #AskGiGi assist us with this?

#AskGiGi is a safe platform for you to share your stories and get realistic advice from Thembi and Buhle. Personal relationships nowadays are so strained that people are scared to trust and be truly vulnerable with one another. This platform allows you to get objective, unbiased and uncompromised advice from two different young women who will give you two viewpoints on the issue.

How will I submit my story anonymously?

Technology is an amazing thing! Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe has a CuriousCat account which allows you to post things anonymously. You don’t even have to create an account, that’s how anonymous it is. You simply click the link and submit your story/question and it will be shared into our CuriousCat inbox.

You can test CuriousCat here: https://curiouscat.me/GirlGrandeurZw?t=1582618123

What if my story is stupid?

There’s no such thing as a stupid story. If a situation has you stressed out and all out of sorts then it’s not stupid. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us and we want to hear it.  The one thing we have noticed is that there is nothing new under the sun. You aren’t the only one going through something and someone else can relate to your story.

The reason why we decided to have this show is so that everyone has a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. A problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes a problem can stress you out and you feel trapped because you can’t talk to anyone about it. This leads to loneliness and other mental health issues. We want to start talking about these taboo things and bring them into the light where they can’t haunt us anymore.

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Do not be afraid to show the world who you are, you are capable of numerous things; do not be narrow-minded about your purpose in life. You are the future, just choose your greatest desire and make something of it. There is a reason why the use of the word “impossible” has decreased over the last 50 years; we are making the “impossible” possible. Let not anyone look down upon you, do not take heed to the words they say, they will not empower you.

You are more than just a female human being. There is more to life than waiting for your period or for your breasts to form and your hips to grow. There is so much more to the household than just the kitchen and the laundry room. Why are focusing on the aspects of your physical being which is natural? It comes naturally; fret not what the outcome will be. Focus on your emotional, spiritual and mental state. It is time to make something of you. If only you knew that you can run the show too, you are the producer to your own blockbuster. You can be a role model, a friend, a sister, a teacher and a wife too.  It all begins with you.

Let not these stereotypes get in your head, you cannot become them, you are there to prove them all wrong. I praise you Girl Child/Woman. Most people are ignorant to the actual importance of you. They think that you are just there to satisfy the needs of the man and children. They think all you know are pots and pans, raising the children that you did not have alone.

That is only a fraction of your true abilities. There is a long list of opportunities for you. Ignorance is not your identity. Girl Child/Woman are you listening? Do you understand your worth? Do you know that the Men rely on you? Do you know that you could spread your wings and fly? You are a complete circle, you have no corners neither do you have an end. Your cycle goes on and on, you are eternal. You are not the semi circles that the squares think you are, you are complete.

Let no man tell you, you are beneath him. Let no man treat you like you are. Let no man take credit for your innovative ideas. Let no man play with your heart and feelings, you are not a violin. No one should strum the strings to your soul and play off-key. Your soul is a symphony that can only be orchestrated by the one who understands and praises your work.

This is your world, this is your playground…society should not dictate how you are to behave. If you can sing, sing your melody to the concert hall. If you can cook, feed millions. If you can seal the deal, build your empire. If you can think rationally, be the judge of the court. If you can design, bring your project to life.

Remember that you matter. You are the past, the present and the future. You are not the pathetic being you hear those against you say. You are the beginning of it all. I look up to you Girl Child/Woman; I respect you, most importantly… I AM ONE OF YOU.

“It took me a while to develop my voice and now that I have it, I am NOT going to be silent.” –unknown

Yours Truly

One of You

By Simphie Thoughts

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My beloved Nessa

Your smile and laughter are truth to God’s existence

Your unwavering fire for life burns so bright inside of you

Your thirst and hunger for success is the kind that will move mountains

The purity of your heart is a testament that humanity still lives

And yet tonight I saw your insecurities through your eyes

I felt your anger and rage rush through your veins and the palms of your hands

I heard the fear in your voice as you told me how he made you feel unwanted

I sensed your doubt, as you asked me if you would ever be good enough for him, for them

And this is my love letter to you Nessa

You are loved and treasured

Not by all

But by the few you have privileged to feel your fire and hear your carefree laughter

You are gold

The rare kind that will be found on the golden crowns worn in heaven

You are brave and choose to match on even up until the end of the war

Yes, you are broken but don’t need any mending.

You are a radiant beauty

The kind that God boasts about

You are grace

Overflowing from untapped rivers

You are strength the kind that has never been seen

And when you feel yourself drowning in the pool of anxiety and insecurities

Feel yourself grasping for straws in tight claustrophobic places

where you are too full of life to fit into

Remind yourself,

Gently

That you are loved and more than enough

Just as your creator made you

So if no man has taken the time to write a love letter to you

I’m here to remind you

That you don’t need a love letter from him, from them,

My letter is always second best to the first

That God wrote to you. x

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Life will knock you down as many as it can when given the opportunity, taking you through trials you don’t expect to come out of , through sadness, failures and disappointments but what matters is how one picks themselves up and starts again.

As she stood at her mother’s bedside, watching her lay on that hospital bed Nicole did not expect to be where she was with her mother that faithful day and although she stood there watching helplessly knowing in her heart that her life was never going to be the same again as she witnessed her mother take in her last breath and close her eyes what is made to be eternity. The tears rolled down her cheeks as she knew that it would be the last time she spoke, hugged or kissed her mother. Nicole felt it was end of her life at 9 years old she lost the most important person in her life, “she lost all hope”. Nicole was now forced to go and stay with her aunt who was not ready for the responsibility of taking care of an orphaned child but because no other family members wanted that responsibility, her aunt was intern forced to take her under her care.

As Nicola was growing up life was not an easy road for her, going to school for her was just another day (when she could go to school) as she was popular but all for the wrong reasons, now that she had given up on life because it was unbearable staying with her aunt who ill-treated her and always reminded her of how she would never be worth anything in life, with all hope lost and not one person to turn too Nicole remembered her mother and the verse she used to always read her as a young girl, which was from the book of PSALMS 121 “THE LORD IS YOUR HELPER AND KEEPER NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION IS” this made her stronger and she never gave up. She picked up the pieces of her life and when she old enough she managed to get a job and she was able to move out of her aunt’s house and sent herself to collage with the help of GOD and always expecting happiness and joy in her life. Although she went through hard times growing Nicole always is grateful for that cause it made her stronger.

“If you expect and accept the bad in this life you will never see the light after the end of the tunnel, but if you expect and accept the good then you will always see the light after the tunnel.”

This story about Nicole is something a lot of orphaned children experience, some even worse but at the end of the day one should know that the LORD looks after his children and that this life we live today has its own expectations but if you have great expectations and you believe in yourself and that you worth much more, no matter how difficult your situation is, you will always rise above it, by never giving up and surrounding yourself with people who uplift and encourage you at all times.

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As I struggled to come up with the first devotional, God dropped in my spirit, the issue of emotions. I have allowed my emotions to rule me, and have lost so much…when I could’ve swallowed my pride or just avoided a certain issue but I had to be right even on the expense of my friends or past relationships. We are emotional beings as females and we sometimes allow our emotions to control us and determine how we treat our families, clients, classmates, peers and basically everyone around us.

It is actually a norm to have a “fit” over absolutely something so small coz the world has branded us the “emotional, weaker” sex. The Bible says that we must not lean on our own understanding and not be tossed to and fro by the doctrines of this world, but build our characters upon the solid rock of Jesus Christ. It is so easy to be so consumed with what we feel that we lose friendships and relationships that took years to build only to be destroyed because we were so angry we could not control our words or actions.

We have seen many business people or respected leaders lose their reputations all because of the lack of control of their emotions, one moment of weakness that ruined their careers, families and businesses. Sometimes our emotions can be a raging storm threatening to sink us in the depths of despair and pain, and no matter who we call on to or seek advice from it’s like no one understands us. We get no relief, no sense of peace at all, but there is one person who understands us and is able to calm the storms in our lives- Jesus Christ. The world has given us different solutions to deal and harness our emotions but they are all temporary measures for permanent situations. The pain may end or subside but the effects, the scars left from them are lasting, and it is only The Creator who can mend our hearts and minds.

Let us determine today that no matter who or what offends us, hurts us or irritates us that we will not allow it to rob us of our joy and peace of mind. We have precious little time on earth and it must be spent wisely so why not spend it in joy. Hurts will come, offences will come but we must not let the sun go down on us while we are angry. For God has given us a Helper, the holy spirit, who is there to remind us that God has given us “peace not as the world gives” John14:26-27, and He has promised “to comfort us on all sides”  Psalm 71:20-21

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Prostitutes are no longer just the women on the street after hours. Between transactional sex and lobola, JLo owes us an apology for that, “my love don’t cost a thing” song. Transactional sex is closely linked to cross-generational sex which is one of the leading attributions of the HIV spreading.

My heart bleeds and my blood boils when school girls in uniform are smiling ear to ear riding shortgun in a kombi. From woman to woman, don’t let them ride a body that’s yours to get rides on a car that
aint his. For young women its usually company cars in the place of kombies. We have all heard the stories about hunger, poverty, fees, and I personally am yet to hear a story worthy of me jeopardising my health and forfeiting my dignity.

The hardest hit are tertiary students who are considered fringe benefits by lecturers and easy targets for married men looking for a thrill. The transaction here is simple, a man going through a mid-life crisis desperately trying to salvage his youth convinces a young woman to concede her youth for groceries, rent and all sorts of material things. Ladies, please don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary situation.

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