Africa

Candles illuminate fortunes of Zimbabwean woman

Reviving and updating indigenous candle-making process helps Zimbabwean mother to beat economic hardships

Jeffrey Moyo   | 11.07.2021
Candles illuminate fortunes of Zimbabwean woman

Zimbabwe

GOROMONZI, Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, where unemployment rate has reportedly reached 90%, Pelagia Murindazu, 29, a mother of two daughters has revived and introduced innovations in indigenous candle-making.

Barely two years after she started making fancy candles that people use in parties and to host romantic candlelight dinners, she has become a force to reckon with in the landlocked country in southern Africa.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Murindazu said she not only earns a living for her family but has also employed 11 more people in her small candle-making unit.

Having a steady income of $1,500 per month and feeding 11 other families in a country where according to Trading Economics, the annual inflation rate was recorded at 676% in March 2020, is itself seen as a great achievement.

She said that her adventurous nature took her to explore the candle-making business. “I had started producing candles as a hobby. But then researched more on the business to take it to another level."

Although it is still a family-owned business, where her husband helps her, Murindazu has established a company called Melt-it in Silent Pool, a suburb located in the semi-urban area of Goromonzi in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland East province.

Her husband, Solomon Murindazu, is supporting his wife in the venture, which has turned the family’s fortunes for the better.

Thanks to candles, the couple has built their own house. “We managed to finish the house that we were building for over the past year. As you know these days, the building material is expensive, but with the help of candle-making, we have managed,” Murindazu told Anadolu Agency.

Exporting candles

Not only capturing the market in Zimbabwe, she has also been exporting her fancy candles to many countries.

“So far, we have ventured into Dubai, the UK, South Africa, just to mention a few where we are seeing business opportunities. In these countries, for instance, we have contacts who are already marketing our products,” she said.

Admitting that the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown impacted her business as well, Murindazu said she had to scale down production. But even then, she did not lose hope.

“We are still at our infancy stage, finding to set foot and so our profits have not yet started coming because we are still pumping money into the business. But hoping that after these COVID-19 constraints we will start to see growth because our product is different and unique,” she said.

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