Pauline

My name is Pauline I started mining when I was only 34 years when my late dad and I incorporated Chipazuba Company so that we could mine amethyst in Mapatizya. I really have a passion for gemstones. There are a lot of challenges in small scale gemstone mining but I have always looked at the positive side of the industry rather than the challenges. This has given me the power to continue mining.

I am now 65 years old and still mining but at a reduced rate because I have my farm which needs my constant attention. I intend to stop mining soon so that I can concentrate on my farm, focus on buying gemstones from cooperatives and concentrate on jewelry making.

When I was much younger I used to enter the pits and do a bit of digging because I wanted to prove to my male workers that even women can mine. I have learnt how to sort out gemstones to chip and grade. When I employed my young female sorters I taught them how to sort and grade the amethyst.

I have traveled a lot in Africa and abroad attending gemstone conferences and gemstone exhibitions. My first time to attend the International Coloured Stone Association Conference and Auction was in 1989 in Sri Lanka and first time to attend a gemstone trade fair in Hong Kong was in 1989. What I saw in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong made me to resign from my employment so that I could concentrate on my mining business.

Whenever I have an order I always share the information with my friends so that they can also sell their gemstones. I have received two awards. In 2005, received the Presidential Exporters Award in the Small to Medium Highest Female Exporter category. In 2015, I received the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in the male dominated industry category.

My desire is to see more women get involved in gemstone mining and jewelry so that together we can contribute to the creation of more employment in the rural areas, more export earnings and more mineral taxes, as well as contribute to the alleviation of poverty in the rural areas. I am also an associate, now add value to my amethyst also buy other gemstones from cooperatives as a way of supporting the women in these cooperatives and also promoting the value addition industry in Zambia. With the availability of low grade amethyst at my mine I intend to establish a gemstone bead making club at my farm so that I can empower the young women with the jewelry making skills in the farming area who have nothing to do so that they can be economically empowered. I am a wife, mother of 4 children lost one child and grandma of 4.

I am a pastor at my church. My hobbies are cooking traditional food and propagation of fruit trees like mango, avocado, tamarind and morning for sale.