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Indego’s Inspiring Women: Josepha Mujawayezu

In Rwanda and Ghana, our partners are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit, getting creative, and overcoming challenges to start their own businesses. We wanted to hear more from these inspiring women about what entrepreneurship means to them and why they do what they do. In the interview that follows, these trailblazing women share inside stories about their businesses (and the growing pains that come with them)—about achieving work-life balance, navigating stumbling blocks, building future goals, and finding inspiration. They also share empowering advice for other women—any age and anywhere—who are looking to make their dreams happen.

Josepha Mujawayezu

Founder of Ngwinukorebushoke Cooperative

Rulindo, Rwanda 

Mother of seven

49 years old

“Being empowered to me means having the ability to provide for my family and myself without having to ask my husband.” 

__________

Describe how you first came together with other women to start producing products. When was it and how did you get the idea? How did you recruit other women to join you?

I used to work alone, teaching young girls including my own daughters how to weave until other women got interested in what I was doing and approached me to teach them as well because they wanted a way to earn money. There are now 10 women. 

What is your favorite part about working alongside other women every day?

My favorite part is that I am able to continue teaching them new techniques and skills.

Do you feel that there are good opportunities in Rwanda for women? 

Yes, we have great leaders that continue to uphold and encourage women to better themselves. I feel that in my craft, women are given the opportunity to showcase and sell what we make through various expositions that take place every year. 

What is the hardest part about being a working mom and why do you do it? 

The hardest thing is having to leave my children when I go out to search for materials. Sometimes I go as far as Uganda because they are not always available here. I do it because I am their mother and it is my duty to care for them. This is my means of providing for them and their futures. 

What does it mean to be an empowered woman? 

Being empowered to me means having the ability to provide for my family and myself without having to ask my husband. I earn an income and therefore I can pay my children’s school fees, feed them, clothe them and even afford health insurance. 

What brings you joy these days?

I used to try and sell my products on the road, which is not allowed and therefore I would often get chased around by police and sometimes even arrested. I am happy now because I work from home and sell my products to Indego Africa. I do not have to hustle on the streets every day worrying about police. 

What are your goals for the future? 

I want to buy a house that is close to the road because right now my house is very far. I also want to continue paying my children’s fees until they are able to finish their university studies.