The Sunday News
Amanda Mlevu, Sunday News Reporter
IN an inspiring display of creativity and resourcefulness, Ms Zelipha Ncube, a plastic recycling entrepreneur from Emakhandeni in Bulawayo has constructed an impressive seven-roomed house solely through the collection and recycling of plastic waste.
Ms Ncube, who supports herself by selling waste material, has now reached a point where she can comfortably cover her bills and meet her daily needs, such as providing food for her family and ensuring her children receive an education.
As a proud single mother of four, she has successfully provided for her children’s schooling up to Form Four with the income generated from her recycling efforts.
“Born and bred in Kwekwe I had to go to Botswana after I came to Bulawayo in 1993 to make ends meet, then I came back, that’s when I had to think of other ways of making money hence I embarked on this journey of recycling,” said Ms Ncube.
She said she renovated her old house because the design was not to her liking and she began renovating it and adding four more rooms to it.
“I did not like my other house and that is why I had to demolish it and start building new rooms and right now it’s about to be finished,” she said.
Ms Ncube began building her house in January last year and it is left with roofing and windows.
“I get my money from picking up zincs, drink lids, mahewu bottles and I sell to Treger Plastics. I have also since inspired my neighbours to join this recycling business and one of them has built a durawall for herself and bought a sliding gate for herself,” said Ms Ncube.
She said as the President (Mnangagwa) always encourages people that Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo, she lives to teach her children that being lazy will not change the country and the situation at home.
“I always tell my children to work hard all the time as it will pay off at the end of the day. Sleep will only make matters worse, so working hard to earn your money will give anyone peace of mind at the end of the day,” said Ms Ncube.
Most of Emakhandeni residents cannot stop proclaiming the wonderful work Ms Ncube has done for herself and her children. Recycling entrepreneurs also work hard to clean the environment, they are beating two birds with one stone, as they pick up plastics they are also keeping the environment clean.
According to EMA, Zimbabwe generates more than 300 000 tonnes of plastic waste every year and a significant proportion of it is dumped onto the streets or open areas, clogging sewers, causing sewer lines to burst and spill sewage into the environment.
“Our business as entrepreneurs who pick up waste is a blessing to the community because as we clean and pick up plastics, we are avoiding problems such a sewage blockages and we see to a clean environment,” said Ms Ncube.