Alice Tagwira is a single parent to a lovely girl. She was raised in Masvingo. She holds a higher diploma in business administration and still pursuing her education. She is a business owner, a social entrepreneur, philanthropist and woman's rights activist. The idea of starting Zheera was conceived in 2016 then she got Zheera and She Glows officially registered in 2020. Her entire desire is to see young people and single mothers gain additional knowledge, life skills and attitudes that will further their development as productive members of society.
Integrity, Open-mindedness, Equity, Reliability, Responsibility, Inclusiveness and Transparency
Build a society in which young people are able to facilitate their own development.
Creating ways to sustainable development and build a youth centered community.
COVID 19 RESPONSE
The Covid 19 pandemic has seen many families struggling during this period.Families that get their sustainance from their everyday jobs eg vending have found themselves wanting in terms of basic food commodities.
As She Glows our quest is to help single mothers and we managed to help a families that were in dire need of food.We prepared food hampers and managed to distribute amongst them.It was such an emotional moment for them as they didnt know where their next meal was going to come from and they were all smiles after receiving their hampers.
We thank our well wishers and sponsors who helped in giving smiles to these single mothers.We will not tire in trying to help single mothers in our communities and societies and we also looking for more sponsors and partners who might want to join forces with us in helping better the lives of single mothers and their families.
Alice Tagwira (AT) has been on the forefront of fighting stigma against single motherhood through social media. She has stood up to chauvinists, stood ground on women’s independence, good principles and values. For years, she has been pushing for the view that single motherhood is nothing to be ashamed of or for people to shame, especially when one is coming from a bad relationship.For her, divorce may not be a good thing but, one’s life and greatness is better and great if well celebrated. Herald Lifestyle’s Kundai Marunya (KM) caught up with Alice Tagwira, a rising social media reality show host and below are experts from the interview.
KM: Are you at liberty to share the circumstances that led you to become a single mother?
AT: I am both a single mother and single parent as a result of divorce. My relationship with my ex-husband was an arrangement by my pastors.
I got married properly and had a fancy wedding. Two days before the big day, I found out horrible secrets which he hid from me for the four months we dated.
The secrets were revealed to me by his blood brother and also through a diary which I discovered in his apartment.
Upon discovering all that, I regretted ever giving my body to him. I even wished I could just abort my pregnancy and run away with my life.
At that time I was already two weeks pregnant for him. His brother came and narrated everything in front of my family but my mum vowed to kill herself because she couldn’t stand the embarrassment if I did not get married to him.
My pastor on the other end called me a whore for wanting to quit. I then went on to wed against my will.
The wedding was fancy but I was bitter and unhappy. I didn’t want it.
They forced me! Soon after the wedding I went to stay with my sister in Botswana then later came back to an angry man who blamed me for discovering his secrets.
He said, “Since you wanted the wedding to be cancelled, I will gladly look for a woman who loves me”. That was the beginning of physical abuse and emotional torture.
Talk of infidelity, wow, It was top notch! Five women all at once.
Hungry nights and all. My most painful moments in that marriage was when he lied to my pastors and his parents that I was cheating on him and that I would infect him with HIV when I was super innocent.
When I stroked my left eye because of stress was the day when he brought in another lady in my house.
I was torn apart. Suicidal thoughts gripped me and I was ready to die but well, God intervened and here I am, a testimony and raising my six-year-old daughter.
He actually packed the furniture and left me to stay with one of his girlfriends.
I do not have regrets whatsoever because I survived the sexual tree which could lead to the transmission of HIV and STIs. I survived abused. I’m a survivor.
KM: I understand children will always need male role models, how have you been able to tackle that?
AT: It is a misconception that children will always need male role models, I believe children need positive and vibrant insightful role models.
It’s not about gender, but it is about the character of the role model that matter, the values and ethos.
Hard work, honest living, thriving for success is what I value in a role model and I would want my child to emulate that too.
I believe children are raised to recognise character not gender in a role model. Having said that, a child shouldn’t be deprived access and opportunity to learn from their biological responsible fathers should they be available.
KM: Many people depict single mothers as bitter beings, some not even capable of trusting again or formulating meaningful relationships, is there any truth in that?
AT: Any person who have been wronged, heartbroken, hurt, unfairly treated, manipulated, tricked, abused, and neglected among other things should in their normal capacity be allowed to be bitter.
Any person that has been cheated on,should be allowed to have trust issues, however,it is important to go through a healing process, that’s what makes single mothers overcome their fears and be able to trust and embrace again.
Once you are bitten by a snake you’re likely to be cautious and careful around snakes though it’s not every snake that is after biting you.
Trust is earned, generally most single mums have trust issues and it’s only normal considering the circumstances and experience, and I think it’s important; it’s a precaution and a defence mechanism to protect us from manipulation.
KM: Men often prey on single mothers, often thinking them as desperate for relationships/marriages and sex-starved. Is there any truth to this?
AT: Irresponsible men tend to prey on single mothers, but real men treat single mothers very well like any other women.
Single mums are not asking for preferential but equal treatment as any other women or human beings with no discrimination. It’s sad and unfortunate that irresponsible men prey or attempt to manipulate and prey on assumed vulnerable single mothers.
KM: When you review that you are a single mother, does it change people perceptions on you or possible suitors?
AT: Instead of seeing a strong woman, they see a loser, a failure, a promiscuous woman. I hate to explain myself to people. Being a single mother doesn’t mean you have to explain first to be understood. I remember a church brother who was rebuked because he had befriended me.
In most cases, society is not yet sufficiently educated to face this type of novelty without judgment. Among these, we find the issue of single mothers who, despite the evolution, are still stigmatised.
Religion itself discriminates single mothers quoting that marriage is the only legitimate framework of reproduction and for this reason they are labelled sinners.
I have been denied of positions and opportunities at church because I am a single mother and said to be unworthy. It’s hard out there.
KM: Should women be afraid to leave bad relationships in fear of being single mothers? Do you have advice for this group of women?
AT: My advice to married ladies is, there will be challenges, there will be good and bad times, there will be times when you will feel like quitting, times you would feel like you made a mistake but jumping out is not the only solution, I am not an advocate of divorce. But if it’s a toxic relationship characterised by abuse, violence, cheating and manipulation, it will be best to trust your gut and make the right decision for you, your health, your kids, and your progress.
There are so many fears that grip married women in toxic marriages. Some think divorce will harm their children when in actual fact it doesn’t. Divorce can teach your children value lessons to carry throughout life. It’s reasonable to fear that your spouse won’t remain involved with your children, however, if a father cares so little for his children that he would abandon them, is he of any value to them if you remain married? Some fear that they won’t make it on their own financially but I would advise that if you not working, find a job, if it’s not paying enough find a better one.
Go to school, discover your passion and pursue development. If you are in an abusive marriage and in danger of physical harm leave now. Fear of your physical well-being trumps financial fear.
Some stay because they can’t deal with loss of home or search for a new place to live. Better to be safe in a small apartment or a shack than a miserable environment.
Some fear what others would think about them but well you can’t live your life based on people’s opinions. Live for you! Everything starts with you! God gave everyone free will for a purpose.
Use it to better your life and your children’s. Fear of facing an uncertain future is also holding many at ransom. Look around you; the majority that went through a divorce and came out the other side happier and more excited about their futures. Some fear to be alone and marrying again. I would say, marriage is not meant for everyone. Some find peace in solitude. The world is full of people; engage them and be happy.
KM: There are some roles that may need to be played by men in one’s life, how do you cope with those?
AT: My motto is both women and men have female and male energy. I agree that by nature men and women differ in design, physical strength but that doesn’t qualify or disqualify women or men from specific roles. If a woman can be a soldier, I believe she can also be a mechanic, or she can change a tyre.
Activities can be learnt. Either I learn to do it myself or I improve my capacity.
KM: Any advice for single mothers?
AT: The best you can do for your child is to be committed, regulating your emotions and accepting your child’s emotions.
Also, keep your cup full so you can remain generous with them. Keep yourself healthy and centred so you can do double duty for them. Nobody can be everything, we all give our children what we can.
Stay positive, don’t feel guilty. Self-reliance is necessary in many situations but don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need support from others. Find your community and ask for help if you need it.
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