Contrary to beliefs that chieftainship and headman-ship is a preserve of males, a 31 year old female village head in Chiveso area under Chief Musana in Bindura has defied the norm.

Tendai Chiveso is the only female village head in Mashonaland Central Province, a position she has held since October 2017 after her father had passed away in March the same year. 

Traditionally, a male child would take over the reins but the Chiveso family had other ideas. 

“My brothers said I should take over the position since I grew up with our father and knew much of traditions and how things are done. There is no problem in have women as traditional leaders,” she said. 

However, just like many high profile women, Village Head Chiveso’s ascendancy was not all rosy as she endured discrimination.

“As a woman sometimes I would be excluded from court proceedings and at times opposed by some other houses but what is needed is courage and knowledge of how things are done. Sometimes you don’t need to listen when it is said woman are not allowed,” she said.

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WOZA) Bindura Chapter Chairperson, Mandi Piyazi revealed that more has to be done to ensure women rise in the face of the quota system not aligned to the law.

“The quota system is coming to an end in 2023, so going forward, we would like it to encompass old, young and disabled women because our issues are not homogenous,” said Piyazi. 

Political leaders, civic society organisations and government departments concurred on the need to have more women in political offices while women have been urged to capacitate themselves and uplift each other to leadership positions.