Adding value to my parent's extractive minerals

Kenya

My name is Kasazi Nyendwa and I am from Kafue town in Zambia. I am here at the Sharefair at the UN in Nairobi and I am showcasing my products which are value addition to extractive minerals. My business started through my parents. My parents are miners and we have a mine in the southern part of Zambia. So now my job is to add value to those extracted minerals. I made jewelries from semi-precious stones. For people who cannot afford the semi-precious stones, I made jewelries from African beads.

My passion for this business came from I would say my parents because they have been an inspiration to me from what they have done through their mining and what they have achieved as Africans and Zambians in Zambia. My father is deceased and my mother is now old. So I have taken up the family business and I am taking it to another level. The business has not been easy and the challenge I am facing as a woman in the extractive minerals, as a woman miner is capital intensive. I do not have all the amount of money to buy all the equipment to carry on with the mining, and I don’t have the equipment to cut and polish the stones. So what I do is, I just take it to other people who have the equipment to cut and polish them, then I make the jewelries. It would be easier if I have the equipment.

Also I think it is good for us women to do this kind of business and I would like to encourage other women. I work with other girls, women and we do this together and I would like to see more women be creative, use their hands, use their creative minds to do more with the extractive minerals. I think the mining industry should not just be male-dominated. But women also have to come in and do it.

My plans for the future is to have the equipment so that we can cut and polish the stones ourselves instead of taking them elsewhere, and to empower more women and to teach and train women to start making their jewelry and adding value to the extractive minerals.

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  • Swati Vempati

    And if credit is provided to enterprising women like Kasazi, not only will she build her business but will employ others and contribute to their empowerment. Hope governements or credit institutions provide this support to her.

  • Evelyn Bisona Fonkem

    I am excited to see female entrepreneurs like you.If more women are entrepreneurs, it will reduce their dependency on men and increase economically sustained communities.Thank you Kasazi for sharing your story.
     

  • Catherine Nyoike

    Well done Kasazi for taking up the mantle from your parents. Keep up the persistence and sharing on this platform, I believe some of us may be able to offer you some solutions or advice on some of the challenges you are facing. 

  • Winny Chepkemoi

    Kasazi,this is such a great story well blended with innovation,as women competing in the markets innovation and that shows the neccesity of embracing value addition.Its also pleasing to see women venturing in the mining field which has been a male dominated field for  such a long time.With inspiration from women such as Kasazi,i believe if we support more women embracing diverse ventures geared towards women economic empowerment,the economic empowerment future of all women is bright.

  • Stella Bakibinga

    Thanks Kasazi for sharing with us your story. Value addition is the way to go if we are to truly benefit from ourselves (with fair trade of course). If we added value to the agricultural products we sell on market, we would be a lot wealthier than we are. For instance, in Uganda women sell coffee beans cheaply and at the end of the day they cannot afford to buy the processed coffee powder to use at home!!

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