50 Mash Central youths receive business start-up kits

By Tapiwa Machemedze

The government’s youth empowerment drive is on course with 50 young people from Mashonaland Central province receiving start-up business kits after attaining vocational qualifications.

19-year-old Mazviita Nyaudzwa struggled for years to get employment because of her short stature.

However, Nyaudzwa who is now a qualified beauty therapist thanks to a Technical Vocational Education training (TVET) programme, has received a start-up kit to set up her own business.

“No one wanted to employ or give me anything to do saying I’m too short,” says Nyaudzwa, adding, “With this equipment I’m now going to become my own boss. I’m going to begin my own hair dressing company.”

50 other youths identified from disadvantaged backgrounds received the start-up boost in a unique graduation ceremony at Ponesai Vanhu Vocational Training College on Thursday.

“I was trained to be a builder so I’m going to build,” said one of the beneficiaries.

Another said: “I’m currently working at a bakery, but I’ve become empowered and in about two years’ time I want to start my own bakery.”

The programme is a result of public-private partnerships between Development Aid from People to People (DAPP), Chaminuka and Leonard Cheshire Disability Zimbabwe.

“DAPP Zimbabwe and its partners remain committed to making a significant contribution towards national development through producing graduates who can meet the tough challenges of industry and entrepreneurship,” DAPP Zimbabwe chairman, Charles Mutizira noted.

Honourable Raymore Machingura, the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation who read a speech on behalf of the minister, Dr Kirsty Coventry, said: “My ministry, through vocational training centres, this year has a target of training at least 20 000 youths (7 000 long courses and 13 000 short courses) countrywide. At least 2 500 of these shall be from Mashonaland Central and this graduation is testimony that we will achieve set targets.”

351 youths graduated from Chaminuka Technical College and DAPP Ponesai Vanhu Centre after undergoing 8-month long courses under the TVET programme which ran from November 2019 but ended late due to Covid-19 disruptions.