The birth of a dream

Times of great tragedy can kill any hope for the future but Tsitsi Mutendi’s empathy for other women in similar situations pushed her to take action.

The editor of Jewel Magazine, Tsitsi Mutendi.
The editor of Jewel Magazine, Tsitsi Mutendi.

Losing a baby is every mother’s worst nightmare. For the editor of Jewel Magazine, Tsitsi Mutendi, the words of Nigerian author, Og Mandino, gave her hope.

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain and not shrink to a grain of sand.”

Mutendi established Jewel Magazine after losing her baby when she was 36 weeks pregnant.

“I was nine months pregnant and went for my usual medical check up. After doing all the necessary checks the gynecologist told me that my baby had died four days ago after she wrapped herself in her umbilical cord until it cut off her supplies,” she said.

Maternal mortality

According to the World Health Organisation maternal mortality fact sheet, about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications around the world every day.

In 2010, 287 000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth.

Almost all of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings, and most could have been prevented.

Mutendi thought of other women out there who were going through what she experienced and decided to set up a media house.

“I imagined what other women in my situation were going through while I was in the hospital,” she said. “I felt empty with nothing else to work on or keep me going.”

Mutendi grew up wanting to be a lawyer and then an accountant. However, her degree is in Marketing.

“After losing the baby I found my true passion and calling to establish a media-house that focuses on empowering women,” she said.

Never give up

Jewel magazine is a monthly publication that was first launched in July 2011 but, due to limited resources, it was not as consistent as Muterndi would have liked.

“Determination yields results. I told myself I would never give up on my dream.”

The publication is now one of the largest fashion and women magazines in the country.

“My husband has been my business partner. Since the funding is limited we decided to print in South Africa where it is cheap and we managed to print 5,000 copies for the first issue,” she said.

Mutendi believes women have an amazing ability to create, nurture, encourage and support others.

“Most women work with purpose, adapt quickly and inspire those around them,” she said “However, women do not believe in themselves or trust their intuition.

Once they do, they are unstoppable,” said Tsitsi.

A supportive husband

Mutendi’s husband has been very supportive during their loss and even helped her to build her career.

“My husband is my rock and source of strength and will always be,” she said. “I thought the idea to start a media house could create an empowering outlet for women.

Mutendi juggles being a wife and mom now to her one-and-half-year-old daughter.

“I know what my purpose is and I put my blinkers on and work towards fulfilling the purpose,” she said.

She advised women out there to believe that nothing is impossible.

“Your current situation may seem bigger than your goals right now, but never ever give up hope and never stop re-strategising how you can reach that goal.”

Post published in: News
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