To those who know her in the farming town of Marondera, Memory Karumazondo is a successful businesswoman who is a role model to many.
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
But it is her daily routine that leaves many wondering what she is up to given her social status as one of the elites.
The 41-year-old has been declared by the Environmental Management Agency in Mashonaland East province as one of the champions in waste management and recycling.
Karumazondo’s morning exercise is not meant just for physical fitness, but doubles as an opportunity to pick up litter before taking it to her workplace for recycling.
“During my morning walks I pick up litter along the highway and take it to work where we collect recyclable material and get it ready for despatch to Harare at Recycle Today. The reason why I started recycling was to be a game-changer and make the world a better place because there is a lot of litter being deposited into the oceans resulting in loss of animal life and towns are generally dirty,” she said.
Karumazondo is the director of Karumedan Investments, a company that has interests in farming, food outlets and energy.
In a move meant to inspire other women in the community, the businesswoman has formed a women’s group called “Red Lipstick”.
Some of the group’s members have also joined in the waste management project that has yielded results in Marondera as far as cleanliness is concerned.
According to Karumazondo, the waste management project has produced positive fruits as some of the little income she s is channelled towards assisting the less privileged.
“I’m basically inspired by being a game changer and alleviating poverty in my home town through waste management. Through waste management, I have managed to help three former prison inmates and an old couple from Marondera who realise income through this recycling project. I also pay school fees for an orphan,” Karumazondo said.
Waste management has been in Karumazondo’s DNA since she was young.
“While in high school I always made sure to throw away my litter. In the absence of a bin nearby, I would keep the litter to throw away at home. During my studies in the United States, I noticed they were separating recyclable materials like cans, newspapers and plastics. This actually made me develop a passion in recycling, resulting in me collecting newspaper materials after reading them,” she said.
“Upon returning to Zimbabwe in 2007,I did not do any recycling until after I attended a seminar hosted by Let’s Do it World. After that my journey of waste management started in Marondera. With the knowledge I acquired from the seminar, I made two big steel boxes and started collecting recyclable materials. I collected recyclable materials for almost a year in 2017 before I got to know about Recycle Today in 2018 which collects material in Harare.”
With the nation moving towards the implementation of smart cities, it is waste management programmes like Karumazondo’s that can assist in achieving such a milestone.
For now, she has defied odds by picking paper every morning despite her standing in society.