BBL PARTICIPANT: Edith Dabulamanzi, Majakaneng, Northwest
In a Nutshell
Through her participation in SocioTech’s BBL MyFood and BBL MyFuture courses, Edith Dabulamanzi from Majakaneng has gained confidence and learnt to manage her time and money.
She has diversified her enterprises into daily and seasonal businesses, to help her cashflow and to fund her own expansion. She is highly aware and very disciplined in managing her profitability.
Her husband provides her with practical and moral support, and they are one in mond about how to tackle the future of their family.
It is no good waiting for husbands to provide money. We women must find ways to make our own money. I sell chickens which I raise from day old chicks. I buy in chicken heads and feet which I braai and sell, along with the traditional beer that I brew. I also grind peanuts to make peanut butter.
Before I did the BBL MyFuture training I didn’t understand how money works. If I sold, I would take my money and send it home to Zimbabwe or buy clothes or just eat it away without thinking about it. No budget. No banks. Nothing. Now I know that when I sell I must write down the transaction. I must calculate profits. Managing the business is important or you won’t see profits. If you want to grow your business, you need to see things clearly and be organized. I started with 10 chickens and it has grown over time. When it was my turn to be paid out by the stokvel I belong to, I got my husband to build me a chicken house. At the moment I have almost 800 birds.
When you start doing those sums and you see the way money works, you can start to see patterns in your business. You can start to understand the way different sorts of selling can work together to provide household income. For instance, I know that if this chicken takes 4 weeks to rear, I will only see my profit after 1 month. One month can feel very far away when you need money now. Rearing chickens is a long game so, I also have a business that can bring in money every day. That business involves buying in chicken heads and feet and braaing them to sell with the traditional beer that I brew. I sell the heads for 50 cents and the feet for R1. That is a good business where, every day before I sleep I can see the money and calculate the profits.
It is all about understanding your market. In this community a lot of people are very poor. Especially at this time of year – in January no one has money. Even during the rest of the year not everyone has money to buy a whole chicken. If you have items for sale that cost 50 cents, then you can sell to the customers as they are, and not as you wish they were. It works well. I sell 2 packets of 120 heads every day.
I also make peanut butter. I have been doing this since I was a very young girl in Karoi, Zimbabwe.
..."It's all about understanding your market..."
When I was little we used a traditional grinding stone and everything was done by hand but now, since I have savings from my chicken business, I have bought an electric peanut grinding machine. Peanut butter is delicious (especially if you put it into porridge or cook it with morogo) and it is healthy. There is a demand for it. I sell one litre of peanut butter for R90 and 125ml jars for R35. Sometimes people bring me the peanuts and I charge a fee to grind for them.
None of it is easy. Chickens especially can cause you lots of worry. Sometimes I cry and I tell myself that I can’t do this anymore, but then I sleep and when I wake up I stand up and get on with my job again. Like I said, it is no good sitting around waiting for husbands to give you money. My husband is happy because we work as a team to make money for our family.