Shout-Africa.com welcomes Stanley Matawa from Enabling Bridging or African Community Trust an arts based literacy programme aimed at developing children’s writing skills through talk, drama and art. The scheme is supported by members of the black community who will be acting as role models and also help to promote positive attitudes and high aspirations.
Stanley Matawa would you like to introduce yourself to Shout-Africa readers, please?
I’m Mr Matawa from Enabling by Bridging or African Community Trust a mother body of African Community School the first School to teacher Mother Tongue Languages from Southern Africa. We are based in Milton Keynes
- What does this nomination at the Zim Achievers awards mean to you and your business?
Firstly I would like to thank the people who nominated us…I say us because I represent the whole organisation and coming back to your question This nomination is an honour and it means more than just recognition for us or the business even. This is really an opportunity to bring our heritage in the diaspora. It’s about stepping up and giving our children, and loved ones the gift of our heritage and culture. For the African Community Trust team that is what really counts because it does mean instilling confidence in self and as a group. It’s good to be encouraged and most importantly for the people to acknowledge what you are trying to achieve.
- Are you familiar with some of the other nominees in your category and the other categories?
Oh yes I do check them out but to learn more about what they do so we can find ways of working together and strengthen our community in diaspora and beyond.
- Was there any particular reason that made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Yes to earn a living…lol… and there was a need within our community.
- What is the best way to describe your business?
To promote and support the development and integration of different cultures and individuals in the community, primarily in Milton Keynes and surroundings.
We provide information, Advice and Guidance on issues impacting on the Disadvantaged Community Milton Keynes and surroundings. We engage disadvantaged women, men and their children in all sort of activities and workshops that will promote their development as individuals as well as a community by encouraging (by identifying barriers and enabling overcoming) the advancement of education, community cohesion, narrowing the gap amongst people in the community and by enabling people to maximise their potential in the community.
Please visit our website www.ebyb.org for more information on what we do and how you can sponsor in cash or kind.
- How and when did you come up with your business idea?
It was when my children were struggling to communicate with their grandparents and other relatives back home that’s when I realise what we were doing as parents in diaspora creating a gap between generations and losing heritage, culture and identity along the way.
Our children are missing out a lot and we do not even notice it …maybe because we blend easily with English being almost like our first language we tend not to notice what our children are missing out. I would also like to mention that not all children are in this situation there are some parents out there who have kept it real and I would like to thank them and congratulate them on managing to keep it real.
- What are some of the biggest challenges you faced starting up and how did you overcome them?
Problems are not stop signs but guidelines that is how I see them and tend to deal with them and on Challenges it is convincing our own people that we need this service …like we should need any convincing but you always adapt to people’s needs. As a community we are very good at agreeing on things generally but when its required as individuals to act upon the very same issues we are masters of excusing ourselves. It’s like the problem is there but always someone you know and one wonders there can only be so much you know before you are someone’s someone I know.
7. What are the biggest challenges you face now?
There are still a number of people who still think culture ,heritage and identity is not as important because they don’t encourage their children to learn more about who they are where they come from. This will help our children be confident in who they are. Let’s just take a look at ourselves aren’t you proud of the people who made you who you are today? Or factors that contributed to that? …aren’t you proud to be Zimbabwean? I’m who I’m today because of what was instilled in me when growing up I just want to give our children the same opportunity.
8. What advice would you give other Zimbabwean entrepreneurs starting out today?
When something keeps on niggling you there is a reason, go on explore and network you never know where it will take you.