NOV 6 2013
On a bustling day in the industrial center of Harare, Zimbabwe, 27-year old single mother Charity Msendo walked up to the Buffalo Bicycles Headquarters, having traveled 80 miles from her home town. Pulling $160 ragged single dollar bills out of her pocket, she bought her family a Buffalo Bicycle.
Charity’s Buffalo story began when her previous bicycle fell apart–only a month after purchasing it! At that time, Charity started noticing a neighbor whose bike got him through miles and miles of rough terrain without degrading. Charity learned that this was a Buffalo Bicycle–and not only was it tough, it was tough enough to regularly travel over 80 miles to and from Harare–and still work. This super strong bike belonged to the man’s son who had worked as a spoke & wheel assembler for four years at the Buffalo Bicycles Headquarters in Harare.
With her determination renewed, Charity set out to buy her family a Buffalo Bicycle like the one she saw used in her village. Already the manager of a large family garden, Charity gleaned a micro-loan from a community organization so that she could expand her farming and start producing some income. By buying large sacks of vegetables and re-bundling them into smaller, usable portions, she doubled her profits. But bus travel and unnecessary domestic purchases dwindled her earnings–so as an added measure of discipline, Charity opened a savings account in Harare to store her money where she couldn’t access it as easily, forcing herself to sacrifice all of those extras. She was determined to save.
Six months later, she had done it. Charity had enough money, so she journeyed over 80 miles to the Buffalo Bicycles assembly facility to purchase her new bike. But she didn’t do it for herself–Charity plans to save her income generated from the bike to eventually put her two children through university.
Wisely purchasing some spare parts to keep on hand and to share with her neighbor, Charity realized another new venture–her bike could allow her to travel to Harare at no cost, buy spare bike parts and resell them to those back in her village unable to make the trip. A true entrepreneur, Charity is fully experiencing the transformative Power of Bicycles. Her words as she left Harare on her new bike?, “Life has changed.”