“A challenged world is an alert world.” This is a phrase we are taking to heart this month and beyond as we celebrate women across the world, in all facets of life.
The AfriBlocks family could not agree more with this sentiment, especially when we look at our industry and the massive impact women have made and are continuing to make when it comes to website development, graphic design, and illustrations in local and international respects.
We are proud to have so many women freelancers on our platform. Their work speaks for itself and in an industry generally dominated by men, we celebrate all these women and the progress they have made to inspire and encourage others to stand up and show their talents. Their commitment to giving their all to the work they do cannot be understated. We celebrate all the victories; we celebrate all the women. We had the opportunity to speak to a couple of them about their craft and their experiences in the digital world through our platform.
Ruth Mazango – Website Developer
Ruth Mazango is one of these amazing women. Working as a Project Manager at AfriBlocks, she is very enthusiastic about what she does. Completing tasks with excellence and always looking forward to the next one, Ruth is motivated to work harder and see how it’s not only benefiting the company but also helping her learn.
Ruth heard about AfriBlocks in April last year through a friend on Twitter who had seen her advertising her web development services. After being introduced to the WhatsApp platform, she created an account on the website, securing her first gig soon after. Since then, she has been able to meet clients from all over the world– notably from the USA, the UK, and West Africa– all while improving her skill set and web development portfolio. In comparison to a regular nine-to-five job, Ruth appreciates working with AfriBlocks because she gets to experience both the marketing and web developer aspects of business.
As a woman in a conventionally male-dominated industry, Ruth feels she does not face any challenges because she is not in competition with the men on the platform. Rather, she gets an equal opportunity for jobs because everyone on the platform is highly skilled, regardless of gender.
One of the advantages Ruth finds working on this platform is that she can take care of herself without being dependent on her parents. “It feels very good to be part of a freelance network of highly skilled professionals, who would not look at you as a woman but as a professional who knows what she is doing,” she said. “I believe this is what every girl should aspire for: to be able to take care of herself, especially if she can without looking for money from parents or some socially degrading opportunities that are presented to a girl child in Zimbabwe.”
Mudiwa Marasa – Artist and Illustrator
Another woman making big moves in the industry is Mudiwa Marasa, a Zimbabwean artist and illustrator based in Harare. Mudiwa loves to draw people, colorful scenes, and abstract paintings. She is a 23-year-old mother and wife with a passion for cooking, reading, and writing poetry and short stories.
Mudiwa was introduced to AfriBlocks by a friend who is also an artist. Before joining the AfriBlocks family, she freelanced while studying at Chinhoyi University as a way to make money for school fees and other essentials. She feels that one of the advantages of freelancing on the platform versus working a regular job is that AfriBlocks became the facilitator by pairing the clients to freelancers, saving them the hassle of talking to clients, which she dreads, and payments are straightforward. Also, you can choose the work you want to engage in while controlling your workload at any given time.
Illustration Work Done By Mudiwa
Mudiwa finds that as a male-dominated space, the art industry is not accustomed to female artists, especially skilled ones. Usually, when she speaks to clients on the phone, the client assumes she is a man and after they realize that she is a woman, the interaction either changes to one with hesitation or they try to make it a social relationship. To overcome these challenges, Mudiwa would try to be as vague as possible about her identity and keeps her digital page very professional, using it to communicate with clients instead. “I encourage women to freelance because, as women, we have so many responsibilities. It is freeing to have a source of income where you can control the time and money you make per month.”
This month, we #ChooseToChallenge and we challenge you to do the same. We tip our hats to the women in the industry who have made such a huge impact and can earn a living through the service provided on our platform. The challenge does not stop at the end of March; we continue to celebrate these leaders and professionals every day!