On a bustling day in the industrial center of Harare, Zimbabwe, Charity Msendo, a 27-year-old single mother, walked up to a Buffalo Bicycles store. She had traveled 80 miles from her home town. Pulling $160 in ragged dollar bills from 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! Then Charity noticed a neighbor whose bike got him through miles and miles of rough terrain without degrading.
Charity learned that it was a Buffalo Bicycle that belonged to the man’s son who had worked as a spoke & wheel assembler at the Buffalo Bicycles headquarters in Harare.
Life has changed.
Already the manager of a large family garden, Charity gleaned a micro loan from a community organization so she could expand her farming and start producing 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 cut into 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 any extras.It was tough to regularly travel over 80 miles to and from Harare–and still work.
But Charity was determined to save and buy her family a Buffalo Bicycle so she could eventually put her two children through university.
Six months later, she had done it. Charity journeyed to the Buffalo Bicycles assembly facility in Harare to purchase her new bike.
Wisely purchasing some spare parts to keep on hand and to share with her neighbor, Charity found another new venture: Her bike allowed 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.”