A STORY OF TRIZA TSIGA-MAGRETA - MUDI SACCO
The General Manager for Mudi SACCO, TrizaTsigaMagreta is a woman who is doing it all! The Chairperson for Global Women’s Leadership Network - Malawi Sister Society. She also represents Southern Block of African Women in Co-ops Network and is a Trustee at the Shire Valley Cane Growers
Can you tell us about MudiSACCO ?
Mudi SACCO is an employee based SACCO with its head office located in Blantyre at Chichiri. We have over six thousand members from over fifty various companies within Malawi. We boast an assets capacity of over MK900 million on which we operate. We have branches in Chichiri, Chikwawa, Zomba and Lilongwe.
Amongst the products that we provide to our members, we tailor made a women product called Mai Watsogolo. The project proposal was presented in July 2014 in Australia - Gold Coast during Global Women’s Leadership Network forum alongside World Council of Credit Unions Conference. We implemented the project in 2015. Currently we are working to include youth in our SACCO, hence the Youth product which is in pipe line.
What challenges do you face as a female manager?
As a female manager there are challenges I face during the course of discharging my duties. Firstly members look down on me with a presumption that I cannot perform as expected. However after noticing my abilities and achievements, they always confess positively about their perception.
Some male business partners also attempt to take advantage of me in order to satisfy their [psycho emotional, physical or otherwise] desires and frustrate me. I am a mother and a pastor’s wife so I have to accommodate work and family demands as appropriately and accordingly as possible. My job demands more time at work, however, I try my best to balance my time very well.
What was your path to become a manager?
I started as an Accounts Officer at MUSCCO then worked as an Inspection and Examination Officer before becoming a Business Development Officer. In 2012 I secured a job at Mudi SACCO as the General Manager the position I hold up to date.
How do you ensure that other women attain management roles?
To lead effectively, you should be conversant with your field of expertise, take charge, and take relevant action to consistently remain on your path to the top. This is achievable through, passion and confidence in what you do and are able to discharge. I provide exposure to women through different forums, because many feel less confident to come forward and express their views.
Do you have an [positive] impact on changing members’ mindset?
Yes, as I said earlier on that some members despised me and treated me with contempt since I am female, but I proved them wrong by transforming the SACCO in all areas. The SACCO has grown in total assets from MK142 million in 2011 to MK900 million in 2018. Membership has risen from 2564 in 2011 to over six thousand in 2018.
Delinquency reduced from 45% in 2011 to 5% in 2018.
All this was achieved under my leadership with the guidance from the Board of Directors. The image of SACCO has completely transformed and now we are working on the SACCO’s automation.
Any word to young women in the SACCO movement?
The path to leadership position is full of challenges. One should not be afraid of trying. The business environment favours individuals who take risks and try. Nothing ever comes easy.
Where do you see the SACCO movement going?
The SACCO movement in Malawi has more potential to grow however, due to limited resources we are unable to reach out to potential members so as to change the perception among other sections of our society that SACCO is only for poor people. It would be appreciated if government could directly get involved in SACCO membership drive campaigns through electronic and print media.
What does your family think about you being a SACCO manager?
I receive lots of support from my family and they are always happy for me. They encourage me to aim higher and to make sure that I carry out my duties professionally, promptly. I get some inspiration when they tell me about how great my achievements are so far. Generally my family thinks that I have done them proud and that I set an example for my siblings.
Mrs Ida Chidumu Chimwala is one of the prominent business ladies at Nchalo Trading Centre in Chikhwawa district.
SACCOs have been regarded as one of the main sector for empowering the economically weak members of the society. It promotes economic and social development because they are not purely profit motive organizations but are commercial organizations that follow a broader set of values. It also creates jobs by directly providing self-employment and service to all members and non- members.
Mrs Chimwala joined SUCOMA SACCO in 2014 and after saving with this SUCOMA SACCO for some months she decided to borrow money to start business of buying and selling clothes. Firstly what she did was to buy two shops for her own.
She got her first loan in 2015, and she is in cross boarder business whereby she goes to Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania where she buys clothes ready to supply to her customers at Nchalo.
Mrs Chimwala proudly pausing at her house.
As months and years went by, she constructed a self-contained3bedroomed descent house.
The journey never stopped there, she bought herself a beautiful Toyota Noah car in 2017, cumulatively she has borrowed MK10,000,000.00.
With car keys in her hand; Mrs Chimwala gets out of her vehicle.
This is what Mrs Chimwalasaid ‘ SACCO has completely changed my life and am encouraging all women and men to join SACCO and start saving now!’ It`s never too late………