ZCDC Sewing Initiative Revives Hope in Marange

by Adenike Adeodun

In December 2012, Amos Mukwada, a 52-year-old garment worker, faced the grim reality of unemployment after his employer closed shop. With a decade of service and a mere severance package, the father of five was forced to leave Mutare for his rural home in Nyamarira, Marange, grappling with Zimbabwe’s harsh economic conditions.

According to a report by Newsday Zimbabwe, Mukwada’s credentials in cutting and designing offered little solace in a nation where jobs are scarce. His struggle for subsistence led him back to tailoring and taking odd jobs. Fortune turned in 2021 when the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) hired him at their sewing factory, part of their community outreach.

Mukwada now thrives as a leader among his 16 colleagues, and his expertise in sewing is a significant asset. He shared his journey during a recent media tour of the Chiadzwa Diamond Mine, organized by ZCDC and the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, to educate reporters on the diamond industry.

“This sewing factory has drastically transformed my life,” Mukwada reflected. “I had lost all hope, but now I am content to support my family and educate my children. We are eager for the company’s growth and our continued welfare.”

Media Muyangwa, another tailor at the factory, echoed Mukwada’s sentiments, emphasizing the project’s impact on her family’s livelihood. Judith Bvumbi, the factory supervisor, outlined their focus on producing protective clothing and branding materials, boasting a daily output of 40 shirts and 30 work suits.

Opened in 2018, the factory also supplies ZCDC uniforms and school attire for the surrounding community. ZCDC spokesperson Sugar Chagonda highlighted the sewing project’s success, noting the training of 119 community members and an investment of US$105,000.

“ZCDC prioritizes the equilibrium between community engagement and corporate responsibility,” Chagonda stated. “These initiatives not only aid local communities but also anchor our long-term strategic objectives.”

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