Amandine Kanyamuneza, the lady who defies unemployment by crocheting!

Amandine Kanyamuneza is a twin. She was born in Cankuzo. She studied in Cankuzo and Ruyigi for her primary and secondary studies before embarking on a journey to the capital Bujumbura for university studies. She studied at Light University of Bujumbura in the Faculty of Management and Administration in Finances and Accountancy field. A Burundian proverb says “uwushaka umuco acika ijoro” (“no sweat no sweet”). After her university studies, Amandine Kanyamuneza learned the profession of using a crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials to make different kinds of clothes. Nowadays, she is making a living from both her business and profession.

Amandine Kanyamuneza. ARR

From studies to business

Quite simply, Kanyamuneza is a special and specific example of a courageous lady. Many young intellectuals often complain of the lack of job instead of thriving to do something for their betterment. However, Kanyamuneza started making a way into entrepreneurship by starting business and learning a profession just after her studies.

Amandine Kanyamuneza knitting from home. ARR

Amandine says to have learned doing business from friends. “I learned to use Lumicash (electronic money transfer used by Lumitel) and sell under wears from friends of mine.” As twins share everything, she learned crocheting from her twin.“My twin used to knit and make shoes. And I too bought a hook after and she taught me.” After knowing well to handle a hook, I started having clients and I keep up now. “If I get many orders, I earn a big amount”.

In order to get the seed capital, Kanyamuneza contracted a debt. Hence it was so tough to her in the beginning for she didn’t make any profit. However, she didn’t throw in the towel. « I decided to profit from few remained things and for God’s sake, I kept up selling and I paid back the money I had borrowed. I also met many problems but I didn’t be discouraged, I continued until now », she tells.

Amandine Kanyamuneza wearing a cloth she had been knitting. ARR

When asking her why she chose to do what she does now, she replied that the purpose was to be financially independent and to flourish. “I chose to use Lumicahs and to sell those underwears in order to develop myself. And to crochet, I keep it up because I like it and therefore, I wanted to see my tomorrow being greater than yesterday

Despite all the challenges she had faced so far, when she compares the current situation to the former one, she proudly says that, at least, there is an advantage. Today, apart from using Lumicash and selling underwears for children, women and men in Ruvumera market, Kanyamuneza is crocheting women clothes, scarfs, gloves…  

In five years, she sees herself having her own big workplace for selling clothes, area for knitting production and staffs to help her producing well what clients ordered.

Amandine Kanyamuneza showing her needle used to crochet. ARR

What does Kanyamuneza advise the youths?

First of all, she shows them that conditions have changed. “We heard by hearsay that overtime it was easy for a student to get a job after studies. Nevertheless, nowadays, it’s very sad. You find your documents for which you paid many in a rubbish bin. You’ve been studying hard and at the end of the day, you spend days wandering in the street applying for job that you cannot get », she regrets.

In few words, Kanyamuneza invites young people to try with entrepreneurship and to avoid fear for doing so-called shameful jobs for someone who is an intellectual in case they generate money so as to provide for their needs. « We may get far from zero if we turn our minds and dare do jobs which are considered as shameful and overcome fear of those who may see us.”

Amandine Kanyamuneza put on her knitted cloth. ARR

Secondly she says, “we youths don’t miss seed capitals, we’re not mindful, we do not have projects and that’s why we’re poor. Then better to study schools and learn deeply how to run projects even if it may be small, because they say ‘the smallest grows up’. »

Amandine Kanyamuneza concludes by saying that no one does what he does not like. « Don’t think of doing this because people have done it. If we don’t like it, we do it for a short time and we abandon it without any advantage», she warns.