Business boon for Gokwe female entrepreneur amid Covid-19 pandemic

By Lungelo Ndhlovu 

Sibusisiwe Kakova, an entrepreneur from Gokwe South, a small rural town in the Midlands, ventured into a piggery and poultry business to support her parents and end poverty in her community. 

Kakova, (34),  started employing other young people in her business to cushion them against the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

She says despite the Covid-19 pandemic, business is thriving as demand for pork and chickens remained very high.

Kakova is supplying locals with pork to generate sustainable income to keep her family going especially during the Covid-19 induced lockdowns and she was able to pay school fees for her children. 

Sibusisiwe Kakova attends to some of her pigs: picture by Lungelo Ndhlovu

“I formally registered my business in August 2019 and I’m (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) compliant,” she said.

“The current number of chickens is 240 and 14 pigs. 

“We have managed to sell chickens and pigs to meet other business needs such as buying feeds and housing improvements, as well as the family needs.

“As you know in our African culture we have extended families and children have to look after parents when they grow old. 

“I’m happy to say the revenue from the business has helped my husband and myself rise to meet these expenditures.”

Kakova receiving training at an entrepreneurship workshop organised by the Agricultural Business Centre (ABC) and the Empretec programme in the area in 2018. 

She also participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations for 2018, 2019 and 2020,  and was lucky to win awards in all of them.

 The funds she won in the awards were channelled to her piggery business improvements.

“Our future goal is to enlarge the pigsty to cater for more numbers, and also build another bigger fowl run far from the pigsty,” Kakova added.

“Also we will need to have an incubator for hatching chicks as the chickens increase. 

“In the long run we want to add goat production as another value chain. 

“This will help us meet needs of customers who do not eat pork.” 

Lifneth Moyo, Empretec Zimbabwe business development officer, said the project has been training young entrepreneurs in the district since 2018, and in that time, locals have launched more than 500 new businesses ranging from poultry to making detergents.  

The youths who initially lacked the confidence, skills, and knowledge to identify and take advantage of economic opportunities within their agriculture-based communities are now able to generate their own incomes, Moyo said.  

“So, the target for the programmes was 4,500 youths, which should be trained into entrepreneurship, but in total, a figure of 4,748 were trained,” she said.

“And the entrepreneurship is divided into three components or types of classes. 

“The micro-entrepreneurship, which is targeting people with a low literacy level where training is done in vernacular languages. 

“And then the basic enterprise start-up two (course), which is targeting mostly school leavers and the people from the universities, those with ideas but lacking capital,” she said.  

Moyo said the flagship entrepreneurship training workshop targeted people, mostly who would have already started businesses but require business skills and entrepreneurial knowledge.

“We trained all the three classes and at least 40 percent had to be females,” she said.

“So, the total achievement was more than 40 percent. 

“Of the 4,748, 2,673 were females and 2,075 were male. 

“So, Empretec believes not only in training but we have to nurture the entrepreneurs.

“If you just train them and leave them some of them will just forget.” 

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