By the time, you finish reading this story, Shamiso would have probably planted more than one tree, somewhere in Zimbabwe. Shamiso Mupara and I went to the same university but we did not know each other then. We later met in Botswana where she shared her amazing story of how she was going to turn Zimbabwe into a green belt, starting with her village.
Growing up in Marange village, her livelihood centered on trees to meet the family’s domestic needs. The practice was pervasive across the entire village, yet the consumption rate of trees did not parallel the rate of replacement. As more and more forests were depleted, women and children suffered the most, as they had to travel longer distance to fetch firewood and wild fruits. Shamiso was no exception. Years later, the trauma of her childhood still etched in her mind, Shamiso started a non-profit organization called Environmental Buddies in 2013. Using out of pocket finances, Shamiso turned her late father’s land, lying fallow for years in Marange, into a vibrant nursery harboring over 8000 trees.
To date, Shamiso has planted over 10,000 trees around the country since 2013. A holder of an MSc in Environmental Sciences, Shamiso decided not to seek employment but rathe