Gaboitsiwe Upholds Spirit of Self-Reliance [opinion]

| April 15, 2015

At the age of 70, she is still going g and manages to put food on table for her family and this is one person who can attest that the spirit of self-reliance can enable one to have a dignified livelihood.

Ms Chidzani Gaboitsiwe upholds and executes the spirit of self-reliance with high regards. “When I grew up, I was always taught that being self-reliant is the ideal way to make ends meet, as such I have always clung to the spirit and I never allowed anything to stop my way, not even my old age,” she said.

In an interview recently, the mother of seven says she embarked on jewellery making business 20 years ago to fend for herself. She specialises in making ear rings, bracelets, necklaces and others.

Ms Gaboitsiwe said through hard work and passion, she managed to soldier on despite several challenges she encountered from her competitors.

The old woman also revealed that she had always had passion for handy jobs, as such she started off knitting some jerseys and socks but the products were not selling much.

“My products failed to penetrate the market to my satisfaction, the competition was high because most of the people around this area were into knitting as such I decided to come up with something different hence jewellery making,” she said.

Ms Gaboitsiwe noted that she uses beads, pieces of leather and some kernels from some wild fruits to come up with different end products. She says she uses an elastic string to hold the beads for the necklace together and uses a hook like strings of metals to make earrings.

An active granny, ssaid though she had never received any formal training pertaining jewellery making, her creativity skills and the love of fashion as well as the aice from other people always helped her come up with thrilling products.

Ms Gaboitsiwe said the price of her products varies noting that the necklace ranges from 10 to 20 pula and the earrings from 5 to 10 pula while the bracelets sells at 10 pula each. And, so far people are showing enthusiasm towards her products.

She said the profits she makes always helps her supplement her old age pension and make ends meet for her disabled daughter.

Another opportunity that helps Ms Gaboitsiwe to be financially independent is clay pots making. She noted that clay pots are not costly as she uses readily available resources, soil and fire.

One of the challenges she faced was that she had to stop her business every ploughing season to attend to her fields.

“I always take a break from my business every ploughing season so as to take care of my fields, though it is a challenge, I worry less because at the end of the day I have something positive again to reap from the fields,” she said.

Ms Gaboitsiwe has made several attempts to impart her knowledge and skills to some unemployed youth in the village, however they seemed not interested.

“I always show interest to teach some of the youth around these skills, so that they can empower themselves, but their response is so disappointing, they are not interested,” she said.

She lamented that most youth despise handy jobs, but instead prefer to be spoon fed hence they fail to take charge of their lives.

“The government has come up with several initiatives for youth to transform their lives, but, it’s a pity that only a few are eager to benefit from such initiatives,” she said.

Ms Gaboitsiwe also criticised youth for lack of passion and determination towards work. She further aised them that, “The business world is not for the faint hearted who easily give up during their first attempt,” she said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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