If rising above adversity was a person, then that would be 56-year-old Martha Mazengera. When life threw curveballs at her, she found it in her to find ways to make sure she took care of her family.
When Martha’s husband passed away, she found herself the breadwinner of her four children. They were all still in school. Now a grandmother of three, she describes herself as a hardworking woman who never believed in hand-me-downs, and had to find ways in which to keep a roof over her family, put food on the table and ensure her children went through their tertiary education.
Martha heard about a pilot project aimed at empowering women. She did not hesitate to join, as she saw this as a stepping stone to success. In 2015, she became a member of ZIWEB – Zimbabwe Women Empowered in Business – a Nestlé ESAR initiative seeking to empower women in Zimbabwe with the opportunity to start and sustainably run their own businesses. The women become sub-distributors for Nestlé’s range of products such as NESTLÉ CREMORA, NESTLÉ CEREVITA and NESTLÉ CERELAC.
Martha received training on critical aspects of business management such as entrepreneurship skills, financial, selling, product knowledge and customer care skills. She also received her ‘start-up capital’ from Nestlé in the form of products for selling.
Armed with the necessary skills and product, the 56-year-old Martha sought to work hard for herself and her family as all her children were still dependent on her financially. Through savings made from her sales, she saw her children through tertiary education which was now being paid for in foreign currency. She has managed to renovate her home and buy new property.
Martha’s journey has not been without its challenges.
“The COVID-19 pandemic really hit me and the other ladies hard. A lot of small stores in the neighbourhood that we used to supply were demolished and we didn’t have many customers to supply. Despite the demolitions, I managed to soldier on as regular customers would call me and I would deliver with limited movements due to COVID-19 regulations.”
These challenges were however managed, through her working relationship with Nestlé, who assisted with a letter that would permit movement and help reach her customers.
What started off as a mission just to provide food for her family has grown into a family business as Martha has recruited two of her children to distribute if she is not available so as not to disappoint her customers. Her wish is to grow from being a sub-distributor to a micro distributor getting products direct from Nestlé.
For Martha and the other 250 women under ZIWEB, the program has impacted their lives as they found ways to create success as women entrepreneurs who can take care of their families and live a life they could have only ever dreamt of.
For more information and to watch Martha’s story visit www.nestle-esar.com.
Nestlé East and Southern African Region (ESAR)
Tel: +27 79 526 8518
Issued by Total Media behalf of Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region
Digital Media Associate
Tel: +263 783 223 696
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 187 countries around the world, and its 291,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2,000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favourites like Ricoffy. Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health, and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.