State Media – For most women, marriage is the stuff of their dreams, a way to confirm that they are indeed women, a badge that they display with pride, but for some it can be a nightmare. For Brenda Ndlovu, a one-time child bride, the union was an anchor that moored her to poverty.
After many years of inertia, Brenda who got married at 15 after falling pregnant, decided to quit her marriage and go back to school and achieve her dreams.
She does not regret that brave decision as she now an entrepreneur with a degree, works at Skyz Metro as a presenter and a producer.
Her experiences have made her become more determined to transform other people’s lives through an organisation that she founded.
“I fell pregnant when I was 15 while I was in Form Three. I had to drop out to become a housewife after my parents said I had to live with my boyfriend. Marriage was not easy and it became harder when my husband lost his job at a time when I had just given birth to my second child.
“I started planting tomatoes in the yard at our home so that I could sell them to get funds that helped sustain the family. I managed to keep the profits that I got from selling tomatoes until I managed to get capital to go to South Africa to get wares.
“When I became a cross-border trader I had clients at prominent places like Mhlahlandlela because I managed to market my products to them and they would always place orders and business went very well.
“I realised my potential. I felt since childhood that I wanted to do a job dealing with people so I had to quit marriage and go back to school so that I could pursue my dreams by getting certificates in public relations and using my gift professionally.
“I then left the marriage that I had been in for seven years and went back to school. I went back to Form Three and I was attending night school at Mpopoma High. I failed twice because of the pressure that I had from looking after my children and the business I was running, but I did not have the option to quit regardless of my age but I kept on being focused on reaching my destiny,” said Brenda.
She passed on her third attempt and went on to further her studies at Species College where she enrolled for Secretarial Studies. After that she studied for a Degree in International Relations at the Zimbabwe Institute of Diplomacy.
“I got my degree in Harare and things were not easy because I could go for a month eating bread and Mazowe only, but I was not discouraged because I really knew what I wanted. I became fortunate enough to get a job as soon as I got my degree because I was talented in the field. I started working in 2020 at the Embassy of Romania but I could not work longer because Covid-19 hit and I had to leave the job.
“The job, however, opened more job opportunities for me because soon after leaving the job I got employed under a six months contract at Mhlahlandlela as a personal assistant for the acting Provincial Medical Director in the Ministry of Health in Bulawayo Province.”
After leaving the Ministry of Health, Brenda found herself knocking on the Skyz Metro doors.
“After the contract ended, I heard that Skyz-Metro was looking for an independent radio producer and I went there and they took me. I am hosting a programme on Skyz Metro named ‘I rise with Brenda’. I named the programme ‘I rise’ because I believe in other people regardless of their backgrounds because of the way I rose and changed my life.
“My aim is to inspire, encourage, and motivate a disheartened person out there who once dreamt of becoming someone in society and under various circumstances gave up and became content with their current situation. The program’s purpose is to encourage people to reach their maximum potential. So far, I have invited more than 40 people in less than a year who have shared their life stories, traumas, challenges, and experiences and I helped them to overcome their circumstances and begin a fresh life.
“My programme has managed to raise a lot of people who are making it in life at different ages from different backgrounds. I see people going back to school at the age of 50, taking degrees and driver’s licences among many other achievements they get.
It feels great to me when they call me back and thank me for helping them to get hope of improving their lives.”
Brenda’s exploits have not gone unnoticed. She has won awards and has been invited to preside over important events.
“I have managed to win a Megafest Southern Region Business Award as I have got the Gold Award Winner and the outstanding business personality of the year 2022. Also, I won a prize for being a keynote speaker at the women in engineering seminar 2022 and the Youth Connect Centre Bulawayo Entrepreneurs’ dinner in 2022.
“What I can encourage other people is that they should be able to realise opportunities wherever they will be because I managed to get all that I have today because I pounce on opportunities that come my way. I’m a director of ceremonies for many events, and I founded Brenda Blessings Trust which I use to transform the lives of young people through the resounding Word of God.
“I am also a producer of amasi with a soon-coming brand called Amasi ka MaHarts. I am a busy woman and I don’t love sitting. I am a mother of two children that I manage to raise alone. I’ve been taking care of them since they were young and I also afford to take them to the best schools through hard work,” said Brenda. -state media