Tailor empowers the marginalised

Indigenous cloth manufacturer Murisi Musekwa, 45, of Highfields has been providing tailoring skills, employment and equipment to the less privileged since 1999.

Doreen Chinzou: I received dress-making skills at Musekiwa’s shop.
Doreen Chinzou: I received dress-making skills at Musekiwa’s shop.

Based in Machipisa Shopping Centre, the small scale businessman has empowered more than 200 people. He employs unskilled members of the community and provides them with in-house dressmaking training before supplying them with sewing machines to start their own projects.

Those interested in remaining under Musekwa’s employment are engaged on a permanent basis at a salary stipulated by the clothing industry. They are initially engaged as finishers, mainly responsible for cloth ironing and gradually climb the ladder to machine operators (tailors) and salespersons.

“I have a big heart for the struggling members of my community who are without skills to make a living. The training ranges from three to six months depending on the choice of individual trainees,” said Musekwa. “The majority are women as they are more keen to be their own masters than men.”

He called on government to be realistic and abandon populist policies that did not benefit the economy in the long run.

“Government should equip youths with entrepreneurship skills before calling for the 51 percent indigenous shareholding at foreign owned companies,” he said. “Indigenisation will not develop the country but only benefit the connected few.”

Musekwa said the ever-increasing number of vendors around the country exposed government’s abandonment of its people. He suggested that the state provide support to small projects as many skills were available around the country but people lacked capital injection and infrastructure.

Given the necessary backup, Musekwa would like to train large groups of aspiring tailors and help create opportunities. He said there were huge opportunities in the clothing industry. Fatima Phiri, 39, a beneficiary of his goodwill, said she joined the training project without the slightest knowledge about tailoring in 1999. After completing training, she was provided with a sewing machine by her mentor to go it alone.

She started her own dressing-making project specialising in the manufacture of skirts, men’s suits, school and soccer uniforms. “Though there is not much money circulating in the economy, I am managing to provide for my family out of tailoring,” said Phiri.

Norman Maunze, 40, of Mbare said: “I owe my success to Musekwa who mentored me until I started my own uniform manufacturing project at Mbare Musika. I employ three assistants as garment designers and machine operators while I do the marketing part of the business.”

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *