By CHENGETO CHIDI
First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has warned female tertiary students against the practice of sleeping with older wealthier men for financial gains.
Speaking at the Female Student’s Conference held at the University of Zimbabwe, she warned tertiary students against the practice which is common in colleges and universities saying young women should drop the practice and be self reliant instead
“Join me in this journey, let us walk together , your self reliance and empowerment are my journey, it is possible when a girl child begins to think beyond blessers for a good life,” she said.
Facing harsh conditions at college, where cost of food, stationary and sanitary wear is beyond the reach of parents, female students have been forced into relationships for financial gains normally with older wealthier man named Blessers.
The harsh life was aptly depicted in a drama by college students who through drama showed how their peers ended up falling victim to older men ‘blessers’ who support them financially in return for sexual favours
“We have seen that it is short-lived, today we are saying no to blessers, “she stressed.
She urged female students to take part in entrepreneurial activities to help in building the nation’s economy
“Why don’t you come and become your own boss, let us cease asking what the economy can do for us but let us ask ourselves what we can do to contribute to our economic growth,” the first lady said.
She also urged them to start businesses and not only rely on their education
“Let us not shy away from using our hands just because we are obtaining or have obtained a degree, “Mnangagwa said.
“It is my utmost pleasure to be part of this inaugural symposium whose purpose is to foster interaction between business people, female students and myself as a way to encourage entrepreneurial innovation among our female students who will soon be graduating and getting into the world,”she said.
She stressed the need empower young women at the conference which was running under the theme Tertiary Girls On the Go #Connet, Develop, Empower was graced by women in businesses, entrepreneurs, ministers ,representatives and influencers
“”The time to empower the girl child is now,
an empowered girl is an empowered citizen,” she said.