First Lady meets female journalists
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday met female journalists at State House to get an appreciation of the challenges they face in executing their duties. She implored the journalists to explore entrepreneurial projects that help develop the country and improve their welfare.
The meeting was the first of its kind by a First Lady of Zimbabwe. The First Lady opened up on her life which she said was characterized by hardships after her parents separated when she was young.
She said she toiled to bring food on the table for her siblings.
“The secret to my success is hard work,” she said. “Background yangu ndeye kumusha and my parents divorced when I was still young. I was in Grade 3 and I had to fend for my siblings. “Ndakakura ndine hushingi hwakanyanyisa. Ndaitoenda kumombe ndichiswera mumunda so as to put food on the table.”
The First Lady said most of her childhood friends abandoned her because of her poor background.
“They would laugh at my torn school uniform,” she said. “Vachiseka kuti ava kumba kwavo vanotambura havatorina kana hupfu. When growing up, we could not afford meat and as of now I dislike it nekuti ndakakura ndisingaizive, so handitorina basa nayo. My parents’ separation affected our livelihood a lot, but I am happy that it strengthened and moulded me.”
The First Lady urged female journalists and women in general to start income-generating projects to improve their livelihoods.
“With our love as women and mothers, we can make progress,” she said. “There is no project which is small. I am speaking from experience. You might be surprised that I still take part in community projects. Ndiri kutoita maround chaiwo ema$5 nevamwe vangu kumusha. I am the First Lady, but am still a girl from next door because I am female and I am expected to fend for my family and should aim to be successful. If you are to visit my farm, you will be amazed with my work. Ndinotofeeder huku dzangu nemadhadha. I started with a handful, now I am on thousands, so why can’t you also start these kind of projects?”
The First Lady promised to donate chickens to the female journalists as a way of empowering them.
First Lady Mnangagwa, who is reading for a doctorate degree with the Midlands State University, urged journalists to further their studies and be elevated at their workplaces.
“Where you think the First Lady may assist for the benefit of the nation, please do not hesitate to engage me for dialogue any time,” she said. “We can also share notes on my projects I am undertaking across the nation. My door is open for suggestions. While doing your work, ask yourself where you will be after 10 years. We want women who excel to greater heights. As women in media, I am challenging you to take it upon yourselves to do the best that you can to ensure the agenda of women in empowerment remains on course. You have the voice, the tools, and the power, so let us work as a team. We are together, we are women and we are going to succeed as a team.”
The meeting was attended by female journalists from the public and private media. First Lady Mnangagwa gave the journalists a platform to ask questions on various issues affecting them.
She distanced herself from social media accounts opened in her name on Facebook and Twitter.
The First Lady said she would open genuine social media accounts to interact with the women of Zimbabwe and hear their concerns.
TelOne managing director Mrs Chipo Mutasa and CBZ divisional director-business banking Mrs Molly Dingani shared a few tips with female journalists during the meeting on how to start businesses.