Matsetso Stars, Chimanimani’s award-winning youth sports team with members from disadvantaged backgrounds, is inspiring youngsters across the region: not with their soccer or golf skills but with their entrepreneurial skills.
Ahead of World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) on 15 July, the youngsters decided to raise money by collecting and selling wild guavas. What initially seemed like a straight-forward idea resulted in them developing a range of vocational skills.
The first challenge was to research their market. The Matsetso Stars identified a market in Harare but had no idea how to get the guavas there. They approached a local Chimanimani business, Dombera Farm, who sends fresh produce to Harare every week. They were only too happy to help.
Next the Matsetso Stars had to learn about consumer demands. They graded the fruit to ensure overripe and severely blemished fruit was removed and only the best fruit was sent to market whilst ensuring that this quality was maintained during transportation of the guavas. They had to develop leadership skills to teach the pickers how to minimise damage to the fruit and select the most desirable fruit for the market. This included motivational skills to ensure the pickers collected enough of the right quality fruit.
Finally the Matsetso Stars learned sales techniques in order to set the right price and sell all their produce at the market. Due to the perishability of the product, any guavas not sold would ultimately be wasted.
Liniwe Tsangamidzi, a trainee mountain guide with Matsetso Sports to Conservation said: “The Matsetso Stars are an inspiration to youngsters across the country. The skills learnt from the guava project - marketing, leadership, sales and networking are being put to good work. Our tiny stars are busy collecting small attractive pebbles from the rockslides caused by Cyclone Idai and selling them through garden centres and nurseries in Zimbabwe. The IDAI PEBBLES are raising money for disadvantaged children in our area. Dombera Farm is ready to assist with transport when we need it.”
Claire Bailey, a manager at Dombera Farm added: “We have supported Matsetso Stars for a number of years. The energy and enthusiasm they exhibit is motivating to all who know them. It has been our long term vision that Dombera Farm would be at the heart of our local community and support those wishing to produce top quality fruit and vegetables. Now more than ever, our local community needs help to rebuild after the devastating impacts of Cyclone Idai and we are only too happy to help”.
Dombera Farm in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe, produces passion fruit, stone fruit (peaches/nectarines), mange tout/sugar snap peas and cut flowers for export to the United Kingdom and Europe. The farm, managed by the Bailey family since 1962, is compliant with Global GAP and Tesco Nurture standards.
It has been Dombera Farm’s long term vision to be at the heart of our local community and support those wishing to produce top quality fruit and vegetables. Now more than ever, our local community needs help to rebuild after the devastating impacts of Cyclone Idai. We have the experience to make it happen. We have started a GoFundMe Campaign to help raise the necessary capital to repair and improve the facilities provided by the farm. Please help us make our vision a reality.