Her name is Nomatter, her business is booming

Nomatter is a Kiva borrower, who lives near Binga, in northern Zimbabwe. I visited her in early May, to get to see the business she’s set up using her Kiva loan.

Binga lies close to the Zambezi River, and Nomatter, using a $500 loan through Kiva’s partner, Camfed, has established a business based on the plentiful ‘kapenta’ fish (a very popular small dried sardine).

Nomatter buys the fresh fish straight from local fishermen. She hauls her purchase home (an 8km trek)! The fish is then spread out to dry in the sun, for several hours.

Once dried, it’s stored in large sacks, ready for customers in the local community.

Each sale is carefully weighed out, using a scale. Laughing, Nomatter explains to us how she needs to be careful with the scale to avoid any cheating from her customers!

Like all of Camfed’s Kiva borrowers, Nomatter is not charged interest on her loan: instead, she volunteers at a local school, coaching younger children in core ‘life skills.’ And the loan is transforming her life: profits from the business have helped her pay school fees for her younger sister, and she herself is now also able to study math, English and science.

Nomatter is certainly a good saleswoman. We all left, laden with bags of kapenta, for a rather smelly journey home…

If you’d like to help a young woman like Nomatter, you can make a loan from as little as $25 on Kiva.

This story was brought to you from Binga, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. All photographs in this story are by Alan Mathers.

About the author

Alan Mathers

Alan grew up near Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied French and Economics in Scotland, before taking an M.B.A from London Business School. Alan’s career to date has been in finance and management consulting, focusing on programme management of major business change in U.K. and U.S. banking and consulting organisations. In 2014, Alan took a break from life in finance to devote some time to the world of development and social enterprise. Over the past year, he has had opportunities to work with ‘The Ethiopian Education Foundation’ (an organisation in Addis which supports gifted but financially deprived children through education), and with a number of Kiva’s partners in Zimbabwe and Kenya. These have included Camfed Zimbabwe, Hand in Hand Eastern Africa and most recently, ECLOF Kenya. Alan has been struck by the eagerness and passion with which many in deprived circumstances embrace opportunity. He has witnessed how it empowers innovative, hard-working and intelligent individuals to achieve their full potential, whilst maintaining dignity, pride and self-esteem. He is passionate about the role Kiva is playing in this, and is honoured to have the opportunity to be part of the Fellows programme.