Margaret

“Margaret is a woman mining entrepreneur based in Mzimba District, the northern part of Malawi. She is a mother of six and supports 5 relatives who are all orphans. Her children are highly involved in the business. Margaret started mining aquamarine in 2000 and rose quartz in 2005, after being inspired by people from Zimbabwe who came to buy gems from her friend. She thought of quitting several times because it was not easy for her as a woman miner back then in the men dominated sector, but she persisted and kept on pushing until she started reaping after 8 years of struggle. The investment started bearing fruits in 2008 when the rose quartz market started booming in China. The business reached the peak between 2011 to 2014, during which she was offering employment to about 150 people. Her income levels improved tremendously, as such, she demolished her grass thatched house and has built 5 very good houses, bought cars and she was able to educate her children and the dependents she supports. The most important thing is that Margaret has contributed much as an ASM to the social economic empowerment and development of Malawi, through payment of taxes and employment creation in her 3 mines she owns. She is a role model to many and champion of women’s rights in the ASM sector, a founding member and a regional Chairperson of Malawi Women in Mining Association and a member of Mzimba Gemstone Mining Cooperative. Margaret’s story is of a woman from zero to a hero.”