Martha grew up just like all other children in her community. She was a beautiful happy girl. Her father a polygamist had five wives. Unlike many girls from her community she had a chance of attending school and completed both primary and secondary education successfully.
When the exam results were released to the public, she had managed a good score that saw her join high school for her A ‘level. I was very excited for her because I had a chance of visiting her in secondary school and encouraged her to work hard which she did. To me that was exemplary for I knew her background quite well.
The two years of her study were not easy, she had personal challenges. During this time she conceived. This angered her father very much. From then his anger was so much directed to her mother. It became uncomfortable ‘home was not home’ again.
Time went by and Martha safely delivered her beautiful girl baby. Several months passed by she decided to go back to school and with the help of her sponsor eventually completed successfully. She joined college, completed and got a job. She took her child to school and made sure she got the best.
All this time her mother’s life had changed completely, the husband had turned wild on her and she later became ill. Martha took her for treatment which saw her in and out of hospital in many occasions. They loved each other so much, they were best of friends and I witnessed this anytime I was with them.
A few years later her mother died. We lost a good friend. The thought of Martha, her baby and the wish that the mother lived to see her granddaughter grow, was not to become for life in itself is full of unseen obstacles beyond the scope of our words. The best thing was that Martha was such a brave girl who focused on the positive side of her life and let the past be it. I saw a courageous, strong woman in her who paved way to pick a fruit from a large tree –education
She became independent she did what she wanted for herself. Chose to dress what she felt was best for her and along the way she continued to make progress and gained courage. Many times we met she told me of the good times with the mother and how she rose above challenges. I knew this wasn’t easy for her. It was very difficult for me to play her mother’s role, a thing I tried to do many times. Their bound had been very strong.
One day she poured out her heart, on the need to forgive her father whom she had not spoken to for a long time. She asked, me what I thought of it. “That is very good”, I encouraged her. This was one of her turning points in life. She bought gifts for her father, among them a blanket which in my community symbolizes respect, love and appreciation of a parent/guardian and also gave him money. They forgave each other. All was well again.
Many women in my community and country are yet to discover their self worth. FGM, early unwanted pregnancies and early forced marriages continue to hamper the advancement of girls and women in Tanzania.
My drive is to impact a positive attitude in girls and women, to discover and develop their potential. I, intend to build the capacity of my community on the importance of taking their children to school especially the girl child and to understand the new law on child marriage.
How to Get Involved
Impact positive attitudes in girls and women to discover and develop their potential#BuildTheirSelfEsteem with me