Lorraine Sibanda – ZCIEA, Zimbabwe / StreetNet President

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A deep-seated passion for the respect and protection of women and human rights enables me to work wholeheartedly for the betterment and improvement of people’s lives despite  all challenges,  hardships and difficulties that I frequently encounter both at individual  leadership level.

Learning how to be calm when disrespected is a superpower  that propels me forward in doing the  work  that I  have  to do towards achieving  set goals.

Over the years  I  have  learnt  that I  cannot  make people value  me. All I can do is show them  who I  am, what I  am capable  of doing,  what I  feel  and  what  I  believe  in. It is up to them  to  realise  and appreciate  my worth. 

The most important  thing  to keep in mind is that: Sometimes even if your worth hits people  in the face , they don’t see it. Hence, I draw a lot of strength  and encouragement  from  those who positively appreciate  my efforts  and  contribution and  lessons from those who do not- they challenge  me  to be a better  and seasoned  person as well  as  leader.

 In all that I  do, I  never forget to love myself,  appreciate  myself,  grab opportunities  and strategically  deal with  threats and  challenges.

Sometimes  I  get overwhelmed  by home and work  pressure.  It is no easy to juggle the different  roles of motherhood, trader, community and  organisational leader.    I get exhausted, shed tears and  yet I always  put my boxing gloves back on and keep  fighting.