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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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It’s not a long time ago I made use of the pseudo name ‘The Lorax’ as I wrote articles on the environment. Why The Lorax one would wonder. Why did I opt for that orange and slightly annoying mystical creature? Well……. for starters I did think he was rather cute with his orange fur and I do enjoy a good animation.  Most of all though, I loved his message,

“Unless somebody cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not,” Dr Seuss

Scared The Lorax GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Lorax was that one creature that cared a whole awful lot about trees and the environment thus the famous intro, “I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees”. I just could not help being somewhat nostalgic, hence, I get to be The Lorax again and I concur that,

“He that plants trees loves others besides himself,” Thomas Fuller

Let us take note of that statement which encourages us to be selfless and soak it in. For over the years, I sense as a people we are no longer in touch with the role we ought to play in preserving the environment and what it means in its entirety. We are reminded often than not of the significance of conserving it but do we truly understand and grasp all the concepts being thrown at us? Or the whole notion has been sensationalised to a point it’s deafening.

Why conserve the environment plus will we reap the benefits of doing so in this generation? Such questions naturally pop up in one’s mind. As thus, let’s briefly explore sustainable development. It entails us preserving the current resources so that our children and children’s children can benefit from them the same way we did if not better. Through it we are automatically included in a crusade to give the future generation a better prospect where they will not long or wish for resources we enjoy today.

As a resident in the town of Bulawayo which is currently faced with water shortages. I cannot help but feel our town fathers let us down. The Matebeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) which was first conceptualised in 1912, was aimed solely to ensure that we would not experience the current water shortages. Hands down it was an incredible idea. Tragically, it never came to fruition. What was the cause for its failure? Many are quick to call out corruption and squandering of funds as the main factor. Some say it is because the project was overambitious and costly. While these are indeed the realities of the tragic story of the MZWP. The root cause for the failure of the project is in my opinion that individuals tasked with the responsibility to see it through, did not fully appreciate the need for sustainable development. They did not understand the role they had to play as our fore fathers in safeguarding natural resources. But sadly,

“The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations,” John Paul II.

So what can we then do from this moment on to right this wrong and guarantee our offspring have a future with enough resources? For as the unfortunate group we understand and relate to that the ultimate test of a man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.

The solution is in the seed of environmental stewardship. I say let us plant it and let it grow! We cannot have our future generations missing out on the beauty that comes with nature. They need to have a getaway experience to the silent wilderness, wild woods, and rocky areas and give the soul a chance to be at peace. They will need free access to clean air and safe water. This seed of environmental stewardship will make this a reality, therefore I say,


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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:

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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SheNspiration is a project that has set out to impart digital storytelling skills to girls and women in Zimbabwe. These skills will be imparted through workshops, trainings, meetups and digitally through social media and downloadable resources.

In addition to this, an ebook for content creation will be produced and available for free download on the #SheNspiration microsite. Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe has also partnered with a digital publication for a special edition of the Kwantuthu Arts magazine which will cater specifically to female creative entrepreneurs.

There aren’t enough spaces in Zimbabwe that capacitate creative female entrepreneurs and we want to fill that gap. We want women to learn not only from us but also from each other. This will create a supportive network that will become the pillar of a women-led media industry,” said Thembelihle Terry-Lynne Zulu the founder of Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe .

The #SheNspiration project is a response to the digital gender gap in the new media landscape. Digital storytelling can be a hobby or an occupation. The media industry needs more female voices and more stories about women. These digital skills are an investment in the story of the woman.

I’ve been blogging for over 5 years and the numerous opportunities that this has opened for me are without number. I’d like to see more women taking up digital storytelling and owning their narratives,” said Thembelihle .

The project’s key activities will include:
• Train 240 girls in 8 high schools (Bulawayo and Harare)
• Train 8 teachers to run the high school media clubs
• Teach 60 women how to blog from scratch 
• Draft ebook for female digital storytellers 
• Compile workbook for all the bloggers trained
• Train 120 young women in Universities how to blog ( 4 Universities)
• 4 content creator meetups (Harare and Bulawayo)

This project is funded by the Equal Digital Skills Fund. One of the key goals of the EQUALS Digital Skills Fund is to facilitate appropriate digital skills training for up to 10,000 women and girls which includes the use of technology for social change and entrepreneurship. In addition, the initiative supports female role models and internet users within communities, social movements and workplaces to lead the next generation of women and girls in technology.

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My name is Loraine Sibanda and I am a Publicist , Blogger and Podcaster but most importantly the hat I am privileged to wear every single day of my life is the hat of an Entrepreneur. For as long as I can remember I had a great passion for writing , magazines and anything that allowed me to serve. Like an actor on a grand stage comes alive when telling a story I come alive when I serve others around me and invest or uplift mainly young women,children and our youth. It is an honour to join Girl Grandeur as the Editor of Chief.

Our initiative is about “informing policymakers about girls’ needs locally and nationally. The organization educates the media about critical issues facing girls. The founders were concerned about the unique issues that were plaguing young girls in this digital era and they realized that these were different from the conventional issues that are addressed by NGOs and women’s organisations. They felt that young girls needed a recreational space that would be fun and beneficial at the same time”. 

While that is our biggest and primary goal is it also our intention to educate, share, learn and also connect young women, organisations who are keen to collaborate with on this journey with us. You can expect a lot of fun, engaging, relevant and awesome changes on our site as well as our blog that are all geared at ensuring that we create content that will stimulate conversations in the right space with the right perspective but more importantly conversations that will lead to change. It is that TIME!!

Thank you to all those that have been a part of the Editorial team, social media family, partners and Sponsors from the inception of the programme to date. We welcome our new editorial family and anyone out there who supports our vision. My team and I look forward to a great year ahead and we represent , shed light and celebrate the young african woman.



Loraine Sibanda

Editor in Chief

Girl Grandeur

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