Powerful ladies are our ambassadors – MaZuma’s story

ma zuma inspiringMam Zuma
MaZuma

Since Zimele started in 2007, we have empowered over 8000 people and mentored them towards achieving financial independence, building a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities. One of our leading ladies and ambassadors for Zimele who has been part of the programme since the very early days, MaZuma is one of our most popular ‘successes’…

This her story.

MaZuma’s story

Albertina Zuma, popularly known as MaZuma, was born in 1957 in Sweetwaters, Pietermaritzburg, in KwaZulu-Natal. She has 6 children and 7 grandchildren.  At 10 years of age, MaZuma’s mother died and she was raised by her father with the help of family members. The death of MaZuma’s mother meant that she had to stop attending school in Grade 5. In those days, education for a girl child was not encouraged and without her mother it was even more difficult for MaZuma to carry on with school. Being out of school meant she had to find a job for survival. With no education, MaZuma started manual work in a sugarcane plantation at 15 years.

When she was 18, she married Mr Ndlovu who was working as a plumber in Pietermaritzburg.  This was a relief as now her husband was able to provide for her. This, however, came to an end when MaZuma’s family was removed from their land during the apartheid regime. Her family lost all of their belongings during the upheaval and circumstances for her three children changed overnight, without warning. MaZuma had to relocate to her present home, Swayimane, and start a new life from scratch, with almost nothing. The trauma of this time resulted in the premature birth of her twins who are mentally challenged.

Shortly after the relocation MaZuma’s husband died. She became the sole breadwinner for the family through her small business, selling sweets, ice cream, ‘vetkoek’, apples and crisps at schools. In this way, she managed to earn enough to provide for her children.

MaZuma had a vision: to offer a safe haven for women who are struggling; a place where she would be able to host gatherings (‘after all, my house is God’s house!’ she says).

MaZuma was introduced to Zimele Developing Community Self Reliance in 2006/7 and learned more about the programme. It was an answer to her prayers.  This is what she had always wanted to do, and now there was a structure to her dreams. Zimele’s programme also provided MaZuma with an opportunity and training to serve and help others through the leadership role that she has assumed in the Zimele programme.

She started meeting with unemployed women of the community on a weekly basis and formed a support group and network for women building businesses, aiming for self-sustainability. She also learned sewing skills and has been able to earn money through a craft business of her own.

MaZuma is a dependable community leader and a mother-figure to many orphaned and vulnerable children. Together with other women on the Zimele programme, she runs an orphaned and vulnerable child care project, crèches (day-care schools), a home church, the Imbokodo Computer School and many other initiatives in Swayimane. MaZuma is also involved with HIV and Aids projects.

MaZuma’s passion in life is children. She started a day-care centre in the community, as there were no day-care centres within walking distance of her home. Her dreams became a reality when she started a group called Siyazama, and incorporated her day-care project under this group. Together, Mrs Sokela (a teacher) and MaZuma found children in the community who needed help, and ‘it all started with the guidance of God’. MaZuma says, ‘Zimele did not give her a fish, Zimele showed her how to catch a fish’.

The mission of the group is to help others who cannot help themselves. They want to make a difference in the community and are doing so by assisting orphaned children, including sewing their uniforms for school.

MaZuma’s Siyazama group began another project, the Imbokodo Computer School, teaching students computer skills so they are more easily able to find employment.

MaZuma teaches the word of God at schools around Swayimane. Her passion is to raise another generation that will know God and be transformed. This she hopes to achieve through Bible studies and life skills talks that she conducts in schools. MaZuma is now often invited to be a guest speaker in South Africa and around the world.

MaZuma is a key representative of the Zimele’s programme, and continues to be closely involved in the upliftment of her community. Through Zimele she gained skills and resources to stand on her own feet – the meaning of “Zimele” – and in so doing she not only changed her own life but changed the lives of many others too.
ma zuma in fieldsma zuma with potatoes

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