Samantha Mpofu (Sammy) grew up as the oldest of four children. Her parents divorced when she was young but she still has fond memories of her childhood.
“After my parents’ divorce, I moved to my dad’s place as he was financially stable,” Sammy told The Weight She Carries. “And it was good. The main reason being that I was given the [opportunity to attend] very affluent schools. I learnt at Dominican Convent in Bulawayo [Zimbabwe]. My dad was soft and ensured we were well provided for.”
However, the downside, Sammy said, was her stepmother.
“We had a tough stepmother, which made it very difficult to enjoy staying at my father’s house. Their relationship [flourished for a while] until they divorced,” she said.
After high school, Samantha became pregnant out of wedlock. Her father took care of her and her daughter since the relationship with the father of Samantha’s first child had ended when he left for South Africa. The couple simply lost communication. Then something exciting happened.
“I found a second chance to love again in 2015 when I met my husband,” she said. “He was all I ever wished for.”
The couple was married traditionally and began planning for a white wedding.
“Problems struck when I had difficulties conceiving. I tried for months and failed to fall pregnant, but my [husband] was my pillar of strength and would always encourage me to pray and stand firm in faith,” Samantha said.
Meanwhile, when she started trying to conceive, she began having seizures. Her doctor prescribed a lot of medication for her and told her that she may never conceive.
“It was so tough. I felt I was running out of time. After nine months of trying, I took a test and the negative results depressed me. But I did not stop praying,” she said.
Sammy decided to turn to fertility treatment. However, before she could begin her prescribed treatment, she missed her period and a pregnancy test confirmed she was pregnant. Her prayers had been answered. Months later, the couple welcomed a daughter. Samantha had overcome this hurdle, but there were more to come.
“My husband left for South Africa when [our] daughter was 6 weeks. We spoke a lot that day and I fell asleep around 2 pm because I had a headache. Around 7 pm his mum called me and said he had passed on. I was shattered. I didn’t believe it. Everything changed.”
He had been shot. The family that once embraced her and welcomed her as a daughter-in-law suddenly wanted nothing to do with her, Samantha said.
“His funeral was tough as his family neglected his daughter and I. They said they didn’t know me,” she said. “I didn’t know where to begin. We had planned for a white wedding in December 2018 and he passed away in April. I had to be strong because I had the small baby.”
Needing to support her children, Samantha moved from Zimbabwe to South Africa in search of better pastures. The move came after a friend encouraged her to pick up the pieces and earn a better living for her children.
“It was tough, but the first business idea she told me about was running, which is where an individual supplies products to her local country after buying them in a neighbouring country,” she said. “I started buying from Botswana and would [make a profit]. It started small. I would sometimes get a profit of 100 Pula [$9.50 USD], which was not enough to sustain me, but I kept on pushing.”
Samantha was advised to change the location from Botswana to Messina, South Africa. Unfortunately, on her second trip she was mugged of around 10,000 Rand [$720 USD].
“I felt like giving up and my clients were fuming. I spoke to them and promised to pay on the next trip. This worked as planned and I was able to pick up the pieces,” she said.
Sammy created a Facebook page, which grew quickly and runs multiple WhatsApp groups. Business was going well for a while, but due to challenges with some dishonest employees who began stealing from her, Samantha had to scale back and sunk in debt again. Then Covid-19 slowed business even further.
“I have surrendered everything to God who makes all things possible,” she said. “Building an empire is my number one priority.”
Today, Sammy has love in her life again. She met him online and the two developed a friendship that eventually turned romantic.
“There is always a way and a second chance in life,” she concluded.
You can connect with Sammy on Facebook @personalised shopping -musina.