Mathamsanqa is 34 and lives with her family of three children and husband in Zimbabwe.
A lot of business activities are conducted by informal traders in the community around her house. These include barber shops, tire repair, and sales of fruits, vegetables, and other commodities of various sorts.
Mathamsanga had taken advantage of these nearby activities by creating several small businesses. She says, “I was self-employed undertaking different projects. After a careful investigation of all the nearby activities, I realized these businessmen / women were not able to go back to their homes to eat. Hence, I created a catering business in my home. People started buying food from the early hours of the morning until late.”
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“My other projects were poultry keeping and hairdressing. I also owned a snooker table in my yard that attracted young men who paid to play the game. Before I got injured, I was also a hair dresser.”
Then Mathamsanga was disabled by amputation of both legs in 2014 after suffering from a disease known as thrombosis.
Not being able to afford a new wheelchair after her amputation, she was given a heavily used one by her mother’s employer. “It was very uncomfortable and difficult to maneuver within the house,” she said. “Since it was all I had for mobility, most of my movable assets had either to be sold or moved. It was very difficult for me to support my family.”