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How one woman’s amazing $2,000 gesture saved me from being deported

Wadzanai Nenzou smiles at the camera, Wadzanai poses with the peace sign in Scotland.
Wadzanai Nenzou shares how one woman's generous act changed her life. (Images: Supplied).

In part two, find out what ‘satellite investing’ is, how Wadzanai uses it to achieve her goals, and her biggest piece of advice for beginner investors. Sign up to the Women's Money Movement newsletter to read.

Wadzanai Nenzou’s best money memory is also her worst money memory.

The founder of share investing education platform Herconomics had come from Zimbabwe to Australia 20 years ago as a student, supported by her mother and father back home.

But by the time she had finished her two courses, because of poor money management and her international student status, she faced a terrifying problem: she didn’t have enough money to legally stay in Australia.

“I wasn’t doing as much saving and I was at uni so I wasn’t able to work as much because I was an international student,” she told Yahoo Finance.

Cathy's story:

“So when I finished my degree, I wanted to apply for my permanent residency. I got to the point where it was literally crunch time - the day that I had to launch my application to be a resident, and my bridging visa was finishing that day.

“And I didn’t have the money.”

She needed $2,000, or she would risk being forced to return home.

While she laughs about it today, she admits that this was the most stressed she has ever been.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to be deported! I’m going to have to go back to Zimbabwe’.”

“But I wanted to stay here.”

She turned to her friends and at the last minute, one woman loaned Nenzou the required sum.

“This amazing woman, who wasn’t even a close friend - I don’t even know why I asked her, I was just so desperate - she loaned me $2,000,” she said.

That was the worst moment for her because she was so desperate, but the best because she was saved by this woman.

She applied for her residency, got it, and repaid the woman back.

“The biggest takeaway is that first of all, I just wasn’t doing a good job of taking care of my day-to-day finances… It wasn’t like I was travelling a lot, I was just buying a lot of expensive stuff and I didn’t really know where my money was going.”

Briony's story:

“It was clear that I did not have a good system in place, so I had to do something about that… It was a big wake up call.”

Nenzou also realised she needed to get better at asking for help. She’d been hiding behind a facade that everything was fine for too long, and it had nearly cost her everything.

Wadzanai’s youth in Zimbabwe paved the way for Herconomics

Today, Nenzou is the founder of Herconomics, expert investor and staunch advocate for women’s financial literacy.

She’s fueled by her own experiences in Australia, but also from her youth in Zimbabwe.

The seed for Herconomics was planted as a young girl when she saw people in abusive relationships forced to return to their abusers.

Sam's story:

“The family would say, ‘You can’t take care of yourself or your kid, he’s the one who is working, he’s the one who has the money’.”

“I remember thinking, ‘I don’t want that for myself. I’d like to see women more empowered to be able to have the access to the financial world to live life the way they wanted - to have choices.’”

She ended up studying commerce and accounting at Deakin University and Swinburne University before landing a job in the financial services.

She knew she wanted to do something to help women but wasn’t sure what when the name ‘Herconomics’ wandered into her mind.

“It was this hallelujah moment - and I’m an absolute atheist.”

She began sharing posts about women and money on social media. While it started with a broad goal of financial empowerment, after meeting other women in financial services and in broader society, she decided her focus would be on helping women enter the share market.

Jaz's story:

“It’s something I’m really passionate about, because women are really, really not taking enough advantage of the share market,” she said.

But Nenzou is careful not to be negative.

Australia has a lot to celebrate when it comes to women’s financial progress, and it’s important to recognise that or risk losing steam, she believes.

“Please, by all means, fight for things and push for things to move forward, but don’t forget to really celebrate just how far you’ve come. And we’ve come a long way.”

In part two, find out what ‘satellite investing’ is, how Wadzanai uses it to achieve her goals, and her biggest piece of advice for beginner investors. Sign up to the Women's Money Movement newsletter to read.

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