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Mberengwa Couple Defies Odds, Tailors Way Out Of Poverty

Education is an investment so has been the message across generations. When one drops out of the investment course, future is foretold as bleak and miserable and without alternatives in store, some turn to all sorts of behaviors all in the name of eking out a living and in the process becoming a nuisance to the community.

This, however has not been the case with Lawrence and Ratidzo Mwedzi, a Mberengwa who have defied the odds to become champions, not only in their community but in the rest of the Midlands Province.

Born and bred from humble backgrounds, with both families grappling and crawling in dearth, so little could have been imagined and admired from the two. Lawrence who once worked in a sugarcane plantation in the south, 20 years ago, Lawrence managed to sent his wife into a fashion and design theatre- a move he still brags turned tables in his life.

Stationed at Mberengwa’s Mataga Growth Point and with little to no progress, the couple tailored their humble background into a success story that has inspired many in their community to equally dare to dream.

“At some point I almost gave up. Thanks to my wife.  She stood the test of the times and I’m happy today we are here,” Mwedzi recalled.

“We are a team of ten people each one sitting on each machine including my wife.  A few days just before the school opening is a hell for us. There will be many clients waiting as you know, there is that tendency to sort school related issues at the last minute. So it’s all day long for us here, tied to our machines, making uniforms for so many pupils from different schools,” he added.

Mwedzi’s belief in the power of endurance has its roots in Thomas Carlyle, whose understanding of endurance is a pointer to separate the strong and the weak. “Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.

“It is now paying off, yes, after a long time of hard work. People out there should fight to realize what God gave them and flatly exploit that talent to the fullest,” went on Mwedzi.

Now Mwedzi’s company supplies more than 30 schools with uniforms in Mberengwa district.

With the cheapest set going for $15 for primary and $30 for secondary and high school alike, the Mwedzis continue to watch with pride as their fortunes grow everyday.

In an interview with 263Chat, a few of their clients said they are satisfied with the products they are getting which they said is affordable.

Out of fashion and fabric work, Mwedzi has emerged as a breadwinner to many children in the community.

While the new dispensation has heightened the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra, Mwedzi pleaded with the government to go deeper and compliment words with action.

They are optimistic their business will grow to become a fully fledged entity that caters for a bigger market while encompassing stationary as part of their supplies.

“Our aim is that at least by 2020 we should have grown to become a fully-fledged school needs supplier for the district and beyond. We need to include stationery among other goods pupils need. To succeed on this project, we will need partners and more working personnel,” said Mwedzi.

The current economic turmoil has not spared the Mwedzi’s but they are confident they will survive the scare and continue to operate and be torch bearer to would be small businesses both in their community and the nation at large.

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