Tikwere Community SACCO is located in Karonga in the north of Malawi. They recently changed their name and bond of association form Karonga Teachers SACCO to Tikwere Community SACCO. Tikwere means "Let us climb up together".
We met with the general manager, Itai, who also had the opportunity to be a part of the CCA Women’s Mentorship Program. She visited Envision Credit Union in Abbotsford, BC. She stated she faced some resistance to being a female manager when she first started. Once she proved herself with strong results, people started to come around. Someone referred to her by saying “She looks like a woman but she’s a man.”
Tikwere Community SACCO is also adversely affected due to the issue of the government not remitting payroll deductions. It has had an effect on all areas of their business performance. They have a strong management and leadership team so hopefully they will be able to bounce back once the issues are resolved.
While I was in Karonga, I had a chance to visit the local market and buy some beautiful fabric which I then brought to a tailor and had a skirt made. I went in the afternoon and he had it ready for me the next morning.
It was really hot when I was walking back from the market so I stopped to buy a drink from a boy selling cold drinks on the side of the road. I was going to get a bottle of water but the woman before me had an interesting looking drink so I asked for one of those. I later found out I was drinking Chidongwa, which is made from maize flour, millet flour, water and sugar. A man asked me what I was drinking and I told him I did not know. He asked me why am I drinking it if I don’t know what it is. “It could be poison,” he said. I told him the woman in front of me had it so I hope it is ok.