By Edward Mukaro
Pastor and entrepreneur, Mislynn Nyasha Mandimutsira has experienced life’s highs and lows, but unlike most women, she’s managed to champion the cause of the African businesswomen and upliftment of the girl child, through her various humble deeds, in and outside the country’s borders, silencing the doubting Thomases.
The humble and soft-spoken Pastor Mandimutsira, who has had to deal with life’s harsh sentimental moments has followed her mothers’ footsteps – whom she draws inspiration from – ever since her childhood earliest memories when she was a young girl playing in the dusty streets of Chikanga, in Mutare, and the time of her marriage, which gave life to three beautiful children (two boys and a girl).
Mandimutsira has made her living from producing ‘Macrame’ (made of drawstring) and bead bags (made from beads and twine), shambalas, wallets, clutch, sling and handbags.
Motivated by the desire to ‘change the way people see the girl child’, she has from time-to-time gave back to the community, through various women-beneficial initiatives, such as supplying sanitary pads to underprivileged girls of school-going age, in neighbouring South Africa, while locally (in Zimbabwe) she identifies women who need financial help and offers them odd jobs like washing clothes, planting and maintaining a garden and eventually paying them, either in monetary terms or through groceries and clothing.
However, life has not been a bed of roses for the young Pastor, as a divorce from her husband, took its toll on the energetic entrepreneur, but what was more inspiring about the whole sad episode, in her life is that she managed to get encouragement and a ready, reliable shoulder to lean on from her mom, who is also a Pastor and a holder of a Masters in Theology degree.
The divorce was a crucial stage in her life, both as a mom and at the same time as an aspiring and growing businesswoman, as the African society tends to label and ‘name-calling’ women who are divorced or separated from their husbands.
However, she has managed to get over the whole drama and has her focus set solely on the upliftment of the girl child, while also creating business opportunities for fellow upcoming businesswomen.
Like any other business on the globe, Mandimutsira’s venture has also felt the brunt of the COVID- 19 pandemic, but she remains faithful and determined to ride through the storm, as she believes, “…the pandemic is not supposed to stop us from achieving and growing our business because it will pass, like any other disease or situation…nothing lasts forever,” she said.
However, she also urged the relevant authorities to avail bank loans for upcoming businesswomen, while she’s also of the view that reduction of duty fees at border posts and airport for those importing and exporting will go a long way in seeing business people achieving their goals.