MUSAVENGANA Empowerment Project (MEP) has ventured into training communities to manufacture products using home-grown raw materials to uplift society.
By Fidelity Mhlanga
Project founder Tichaona Musavengana facilitated the training, which included the manufacturing of detergents, soap, petroleum jelly, baby oil and vaporub.
Musavengana said he was moved by the plight of many Zimbabweans.
“I looked at the level of unemployment, especially among youths and women and decided to make a small contribution,” he said.
“Our communities do not need money; they need relevant knowledge and skills that can take the country ahead. We want to manufacture our own products at home and it’s sad that we import petroleum jelly and soap when we can manufacture them in Zimbabwe.”
Musavengana said he was targeting many communities as possible so as to ensure full participation of locals in the manufacturing industry.
“At that point, I will have only two requests from government and policy makers, thus to fight for an effective import ban on products we can manufacture locally. My heart also bleeds when l look at the pharmaceutical industry where we have become merely an Indian tuckshop yet we have the expertise. The money we need is less than what we lose daily on importing from India and South Africa,” he said.
A pharmacist by profession, Musavengana who hosted a training programme in Ruwa last week, said similar empowerment programmes would spread to Caldonia, Epworth and some rural areas.
During last week’s workshop, Joey Chifamba, a chemist by profession with vast industrial experience in manufacturing and formulation science, went through the soap and petroleum jelly making processes using basic things.
Chifamba, who was consulted by Musavengana, conscientised residents about urban by-laws, factories and workers statutes and other legislation governing the manufacturing of these products.
Chifamba is also the director of Cornelder Industries as well as Applied Dermal-Tech Research and Innovation Centre, a consulting company.
Speaking after the workshop, one of the trainees Tongai Mapako said he was inspired by the training and will venture into the project.
“I learnt how to make petroleum jelly and I realised it’s easy. The programme was an eye opener and empowered us to do our own things. I am thinking about starting my own project as soon as possible. There is a great opportunity to make money using less resources because the project doesn’t not require a lot of money,” Mapako said.
Michelle Chinoda who also attended the workshop said as an unemployed youth, she will find something to do to eke a living.
“I benefitted a lot and learnt how to make soap and petroleum jelly. Its a good programme which will help the unemployed youths. The awareness about rules and regulations regarding the manufacturing of these products also helped me. I now know how I can make these products in the confines of my house, “she said.