CHARCOAL TRADING UPLIFTS WOMEN’S LIVES
Written by Millennium on April 10, 2019
BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
WOMEN should not depend on their husbands for their daily needs as doing so is wasting time and risky, Maraget Nayame, a charcoal trader in Lusaka’s Garden compound has said.
Margaret has been selling charcoal since 2000 and has managed to build a four roomed house through her business.
Being a mother and a widow, Margaret is surviving on obtaining small loans to finance her business. It is through the same loans that she managed to build her house in Garden compound.
The Sun caught up with her and below is Margaret’s story in her own words.
THE SUN: When did you start the charcoal business?
MARGARET:Business yanga ninayamba kudala mwenze mu 2000. So chabe encouragement yatuma loan, natengako ka loan nagula ka plot natuma blocks until nyumba nasiliza mumalasha yamene aya
Amudala anabwela achita retire zamene izi zamu boma zamene zichedwa.
Ninamanga nyumba through yamene iyi business ya malasha . So chabe nenzo order tumalasha watakenga ko naka loan so chabe slow slow until namanga nyumba. Nyumba ilina four room’s mwamene muno mu Garden.
(I started this business sin 2000. I have managed to run it through small loans. I used these same loans to buy a plot and blocks for my four roomed house. My husband retired but retirement benefits take time so I depended on the charcoal business.)
THE SUN: How many children do you have?
MARAGARET: Nilina bana seven. Babili bali kuma collage. Ija yakuti asiliza mwana ankala chabe anayamba tuma piece work aika mu bank so apa babili banazipeleka ku collage so nilina grade 12 na grade seven azalemba.
(I have seven children. Two are at collage. These two saved money to take themselves to collage so I am only paying for the other two who are in grade 12 and seven.)
THE SUN: Please tell us about your business?
MARGARET: Koma business yatu pano time ili slow. Simwamene timagulisa ma years yonse ngati mvula iliko so kwazizila malasha yamayenda. So apa malasha siyayenda. Olo wagula saka imodzi kuti ikasile nisnshi na ndalama yako yonse yangena
Otherwise aya malasha tima chita kukongola so paja ngati wakongola sunakwanise ndalama imaknkala nivuto.
(Business is slow this year, this is not how it was in the past years. We used to have business even during the rain season but it is different this year. I get the charcoal on credit these days because I do not have capital. So if you get charcoal on credit and you do not sale the charcoal, then it becomes a problem.)
THE SUN: How are you coping with the children?
MARGARET: Nili na umodzi wamene ayenda grade 12 last year sininalipile until batate bake ba mwalila so apa nilibe napoyambila kuti nimusung’e mwana. So akalemba mwana siniziba ngati ma results nizatenga bwanji.
MARGARET CONTINUES…Malasha siyayenda. At least ngati batitandizako tuma loans tapezeko chabe ka capital teka at least unga guliseko manje apa olo nigulise nizapasa bankongole. Kuti nisunge nadalama kulibe.
Chino chaka mwandi ni chaka chinangu. Simwamene timagulisaila masiku yonse. Ndala yavuta olo muntu kuti akutandizileo K200 awe sure unvela ati awae ine sininafole. Yamene aya ma salaries bantu yamene sibafola musanga.
So ba boma bangatikumbukeko. Ninasala neka pano
At least nyumba ninayeselelako ninamangako. Nigulako chabe malaiti na tumadzi so chabe nalipila.
(This year is different. This is not how we sell the charcoal. It is difficult even for someone to assist you with a K200. Delayed salaries are also affecting us.)
THE SUN: What is your word of encouragement?
MARGARETE: But monga ine olo bamuna banga pamene banafa bananisiya ndine olimba. Mwamene banachitila retirement ndine wamene nenzo kwanisa vonse . Beve benzekunkala chabe pa nyumba until bayamba kudwala nakufa.
Muzimai olo mwamuna asebenza sufunika kunkala chabe. Uyamba pang’ono pang’ono. Ine business yanga niyambila kutali, ninagulisako natu nshaba, tute, salaula.
(I started conducting this business when my husband was still alive. I took over all the household needs when my husband retired. My husband was just sitting at home until he got sick and died. So I was already strong in business and used. A women, even though the husband works, should not sit idle without doing anything.)
Ninapitako kwambili ku Soweto market kuja konse ninapitako so pamene ninkala na mimba yamwana wa number six, ndiyepamene nileka kuyenda kuSoweto ndiye ku joina malasha mu 2000.
Until manje nikali namalsha so chabe ngati nepezako ka K500 nayenda ku order ku sanga. Monga pali pano ndiyepamene vakosa vintu, Mulungu eka ndiye apasa nzelu.
(I started with selling second hand clothes at Soweto city market, I sold groundnuts and other things until I joined the charcoal business.)