Customer Story

Solar Lighting Brings Safety and Productivity

Nov 2020

Shupikai Hungwe, Zonful customer (credit: Sagaci Research)
Zonful has helped me, it uplifted my well-being and quality of life.

Shupikai Hungwe is a 49-year-old farmer living with her husband and their four children in Manhenga, Zimbabwe. She is a horticulturist and breeds chickens.

She was first inspired to purchase a solar home system when her mother-in-law got one. Shupikai wanted a better life for her family so she headed to the capital and bought a Zonful solar home system which she is paying for through pay-as-you-go instalments.

Shupikai soon realized that the system can be used to help her farming. She started using the lighting with her chickens and noticed that the lights were speeding up their growth. Shupikai started buying twice as many chickens as any other farmer in the area. This boosted her business dramatically and the farm attracted the notice of donors.

Some donors were looking to make contributions in her area and she was selected as the hosting farmer in her community. They also gifted her with a grinding mill to make stock feeds and save on feeding costs.

People also started paying her to use the grinding mill, which is an additional increase in her income, and her children started helping her in running the business.

The Zonful system is also used for charging phones and lighting the house, which allows the children to read at night. They previously had to rely on candles and cellphone flashlights. The cellphones in turn used to be charged in the neighbour’s house or they had to pay people. They no longer have to worry about buying candles or the fire risks that come with them.

The family also feels much safer now with a lighting system that turns on when there is movement outside. Shupikai is hoping to eventually expand her use of solar energy to power irrigation systems for her farm.

Gracious Munyoro is a 25-year-old woman who shares a house with three other people in Norton, Zimbabwe. The side of town where Gracious lives does not have access to electricity lines yet. The household decided to invest in a Zonful solar home system in 2019. They mainly wanted access to indoor lights and electric sockets to charge their phones.

Before getting the solar home system, the household used to light the house by connecting the lights to a car battery. This was not practical and also damaging to the car battery. They now have several Zonful systems to light up all the rooms of their house.

Gracious and the rest of the household are very satisfied with the change in their daily lives. Zonful has brought comfort as they can charge their phones at any time and light the house without the inconvenience. She feels her home has become more comfortable and safer.

The system has helped save money because it is much cheaper than buying power. The ability to charge her phone at night has also helped Gracious in her work. She is selfemployed in the transport business for pre-school students. She is able to take more phone calls from parents and plan the next day. Gracious now relies on her phone more to wake up earlier and be more punctual, which has increased her income.

Gracious is hoping for an upgraded system that will enable her to watch TV and eventually allow her to connect a refrigerator and other appliances to it.

Community-based Zonful technician (credit: Zonful)
I feel safer because when lights are there, there’s life. A happy mind is a healthy mind as long as lights are there. Stress levels are lowered down.

Matshuma is a father and farm supervisor in Musana, Zimbabwe. Matshuma decided to get the Zonful solar home system to light up the house at night and protect it from thieves. This is particularly important as there are a lot of thieves in the area where they live. The farm’s chickens were being stolen so often that the family started putting the chickens inside the house at night.

Matshuma now uses Zonful’s system to light the rooms of the house and the yard outside has lights with motion sensors. He also uses it to breed chickens and to charge the family’s cellphones. Before buying the system, they had to ask their neighbours to charge their phones for them.

He paid for the system in several instalments through pay-as-you-go. Matshuma is saving money as he is no longer buying candles nor paying his neighbours to charge phones. His income has also increased as the lights allowed him to do more work at the farm during nighttime. Matshuma is very satisfied with his new lighting system, especially the option to change the intensity of the brightness according to one’s needs. The kids are also very pleased as they can study much better at night now.

Before there was darkness and now there is light. My children are happy with the lights.