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.