A young mother used business to escape an abusive marriage

A young mother used business to escape an abusive marriage

Overview

Nakalanzi Aisha is a 23-year-old tailor, she has been in this business for the last four years. Aisha’s father advised her to enroll in a tailoring course after completing her senior four studies. Although her aspiration was to go all the way to university, her dreams were cut short and she had to adjust. She enrolled in the tailoring course and successfully completed it.

After the course, she was eager to work but her father had different plans for her. She was married off against her will and her husband subjected her to being a full-time housewife. She earnestly hoped to work and make a living for herself so she does not have to depend on her husband entirely. Her husband was not supportive at all and provided her with just enough to cater to the basics at home. He was not supportive and was also abusive, Aisha feared for her life and that of her child.

One day she decided enough is enough, she took the money they had given her for food supplies to go pay rent for a space to start working. This is how she broke free from an abusive marriage and embarked on her entrepreneurial journey. She signed up for the Kyusa training to acquire more skills to grow her business.

Aisha on her sewing machine attending to business

In her own words…

When I finished O level, my Father took me to a training school of tailoring. After which I was married off but my husband didn’t support me to continue with my career. He was not supportive of my dreams and was also violent with me. I thought of how I can progress with my life dreams. I went to an old lady in the same area who had a sewing machine. The lady didn’t hesitate to give it to me at a fee of one thousand shillings (10000)per month with the first month free, this pushed me to pursue my desires. I started my business with only five thousand shillings (5000), this money was for home use(akameza) I used it as transport to take the machine to a rented place of work (veranda). The rent fee is only 5000 shs per month. The first day I got 2000shs from one customer so I didn’t give up, customers started coming, got contracts and now I also train students.

When I joined Kyusa, it was an added opportunity for my business because Kyusa taught me the best way to handle customers, and showed me how to work with my values(honesty, trustworthy, commitment, respect and time management). I learnt how to diversify my business revenue streams among other things. As a result of the training, I was able to add a new revenue stream to my business by stocking matoke and selling it from the open space in front of my business. I also developed ideas of how I can maximize my space and resources to grow my revenue. As my revenue increases, I plan to keep investing in new facets of my business such as stocking African fabric and eventually some new clothes for sale. I appreciate Kyusa so much because I am doing well in my business.

Aisha carrying her baby in the back while attending to business

Conclusion

Many women stay in abusive relationships and marriages because they have no way of fending for themselves and their children. Many do not have working capital to start with so they opt to endure the violence which sometimes costs them their lives. Aisha was fortunate to find a way out and today she can ably support herself to live a decent life. Financial independence empowers women to challenge the status quo in their lives and communities.