Tag Archives: africa

Meet Tanzania woman Rebeca Gyumi; Who Fought Tanzania’s Child Marriage Laws and Won

She is popularly known as the woman who fought for an end to child marriages in Tanzania and won.

Tanzania is one of the African countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world – two out of every five girls marry before their 18th birthday with a prevalence rate of 37% nationwide, according to the country’s national demographic and health survey of 2015/16.

Rebeca Gyumi, in early 2016, filed a petition at the High Court to challenge the Tanzania Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married and won a landmark case that same year that raised the age of child marriage from 14 to 18.

Following the impact of her work, Gyumi was named the 2016 UNICEF Global Goals award winner for her work in advancing girls’ rights in Tanzania. That same year, she was named 2016 Woman of the Year by New Africa Magazine.

Today, the girls rights activist is preparing to receive the 2018 Human Rights Prize awarded by the United Nations.

She tells news site CNN: “I was pretty much shocked. So shocked and caught unaware that I was even considered for such a prestigious prize.”

Growing up, at the age of 13, she realized that some of her colleagues in school were compelled to abandon their education because they were given away in marriage due to pregnancy.

At the age of 20, Gyumi became aware that child marriage was not just a local problem in her community but a national one.

“It bothered me that the age for boys to be married was 18 but for girls, it was 14,” she said.

Sadly, that is the reality in many parts of the African continent including Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, Mali and South Sudan. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 and if the current trends continue, the number of girls who marry as children will reach 1.2 billion by 2050, warns Girls Not Brides, a global organisation committed to ending child marriage.

Rebecca Gyuim
Credit: Missie Popular

Girls who marry as children are often not able to achieve their full potential, as they leave school early, suffer domestic violence and do not get access to proper healthcare.

Some even die during pregnancy and childbirth as a result of complications because their bodies are not ready. Child marriages affect the economies of several countries and it is worrying that some countries still allow the practice to continue.

While studying law at the university, Gyumi learned about the Tanzanian Marriage Act of 1971 and realized that there was an opportunity to challenge the law.

Along with her colleagues, she went ahead to do that, especially some years after pursuing law as a profession. What the team did was to petition the Tanzanian High Court to change the Tanzanian Marriage Act which allowed girls as young as 14 to get married, providing ample reasons as to why child marriages should end.

In July 2016, the High court ruled in her favour and declared that Sections 13 and 17 of the Marriage Act were unconstitutional and raised the minimum age to 18 for both boys and girls.’’

Though critics attacked her for promoting a “western culture”, many people across the country welcomed the news but their joy became short-lived when the government appealed against the ruling in 2017, arguing that child marriage can protect girls who get pregnant out of wedlock.

The case is in Tanzanian’s high court at the moment and a verdict is supposed to be out soon. Meanwhile, Gyumi believes that a victory for the government would “look really bad” as “it is not a victory a country can be proud of.”

Being the founder and the Executive Director of Msichana Initiative, an NGO which aims to empower girl children through education, Gyumi says the amendment of the law is not their only focus as their aim is to ensure that the law is being enforced at the local level.

“We need to teach girls around the country to stand up for their rights and continue engaging with communities,” she says.

In spite of the challenges from critics and some government stakeholders, Gyumi is optimistic that winning the 2018 Human Rights Prize would put her and her country on the map.

“It’s a proud moment for me and for the girls I stood up for and for the ongoing global progress that is happening around girls’ and women’s rights.”

Credit: howafrica.com

Read the Story of Kenya’s Serial Entrepreneur Who Went From Selling Yogurt to Building a Multi-million Dollar Telecoms Empire – Without a Degree

Before venturing into the ‘tech world’ I had tried various businesses before hitting this goldmine.

My first business was selling yoghurt from a friend’s car trunk to high school students. Also,
I was a part-time hairdresser, I was at the salon when I realized another business opportunity. Which was selling luxury merchandise to my high net worth clients. I would fly to London to get luxury goods for retail purposes.

In 2000, I co-founded East Africa’s first mass-market oriented Internet Service Provider (ISP), Wananchi Online (a Swahili word meaning ‘citizen’ or ‘the people’) it made Internet connectivity affordable for the average household in Kenya for the first time.

My name is synonymous with this company. The company is the reason why I am called the “Tech Entrepreneur” in some circles in Kenya. My business partner and I grew the business from a typical start-up to become the largest Internet Service Provider in East Africa, with a network of five regional offices.

As CEO, I raised the first tranche of $500,000 and the second tranche of $3M for Wananchi, eventually, the company’s worth rose to $238M.  I was responsible for raising the initial start-up capital for Wananchi Online.

In 2008 I was assigned to lead the restructuring of Telkom Kenya, a previously state-owned corporation. I oversaw and was instrumental in the retail brand launch of the Orange brand into Kenya and, in doing so, I handled a commercial budget of up to $44M. In commercializing the GSM network, I was responsible for 826 employees.

I do not have a degree however, I have done various certificate courses because I found that they were more practical in allowing me to achieve the things that I need to achieve.

I judge myself based on my performance vis-à-vis today’s challenges and opportunities. I am passionate about growth in others and myself. Success for me is defined by increased value – not simply financial rewards.  I think that there are lots of opportunities in this world and a lot of opportunities in Africa for both men and women.

I’ve demonstrated that being a woman is not a barrier to success. If you are determined, and passionate about what you do and work hard you can be successful no matter what.

First seen on BBC News

Mistakes: The Beautiful Ruin We All Need.

We all make mistakes. Sometimes it’s small while other times it’s a big mistake. There are times we let ourselves down or we let other people down. We do something we shouldn’t have done or act way below standards we’ve set for ourselves. However, our actions after such moments determine if we live a life we can’t stand and continually want to change or we living our best life.

Most people cave in, suffer emotionally by constantly guilt-tripping themselves and give up, while very few people hold themselves accountable, they acknowledge their mistakes, but they don’t let them become a virus that spreads throughout their lifetime

They have come to understand that in life there will be ups and downs, and they aren’t about to throw away the whole book because of one bad page/experience. They make a conscious decision not to allow a bad/sad page turn to a whole book their life is. Instead, they flip the page to the next chapter.

This decision is what most struggle with, they hold on tightly to that bad page. They let one argument ruin their entire day. They let one bad day ruin their week. They let one mistake define their life!

Move on! one mistake is not our entire life! one page does not define our book! Let go of the past. We do not have to suffer from the past for the rest of our life. We must throw away who we use to be because WHO WE ARE is so much bigger.

We are capable of so much more. But we’ll never get to that so much more unless we take responsibility for our results. ALL RESULTS, not just the results we want to claim, not just the results we want to see.

It is said that we are the authors of our lives. The decisions we make today determines what will be in the next chapter of our lives. Crying and fussing about something isn’t holding ourselves accountable but doing something about it.

Saying we are going to do something doesn’t count, it is what we do about it that counts.

It’s important we note that holding ourselves accountable doesn’t mean others will never do us wrong. It doesn’t mean everything is our fault. It only means, whatever happens, we are going to make it work. Whatever happens, we are going to win! whatever happens, nothing will stop us.

Be one of the few who is strong enough to tell the world: I was not good enough… but I soon will be!

Dignity in labour

Dignity in Labour: “This is my job and I have no shame”, Vulcaniser, Abiodun Mana

Dignity in Labour

“My name is Abiodun Mana. This is my job and I have no shame. I have been a vulcaniser for 21 years. For me it is not about the job you do. It is how committed you are to the job you do

For years I have been saving every week. I bought my first motorcycle, then second and now 9th. Saving was not easy because it meant I could not buy clothes and shoes or go to beer parlour to buy alcohol. Even for my wedding I couldn’t buy a lot of things for my wife’s bride price. I told her, “we need to save for our future” Read: Iya Noah builds a bakery and her own house from selling Akara

With this Vulcaniser job, I also consider myself a transporter. Because I now own 9 motorcycles that I maintain and get money from everyday. My 3 children go to private schools. Even though some parents in that school don’t want to associate themselves with me, I am okay. As long as my family is happy, I am okay

There is no shame in my work, I am a happy man and in my own way, I am successful”.

Adebola Williams

“Most Young People are Fixated on Looking Like They’re Winning…”Adebola Williams

Adebola Williams started working at age 15. He was born into a wealthy home but at age 9, his family lost everything

“When life throws lemons at you, you make lemonade, right? Well, I make chocolate cake and let people wonder how I did that. At [the point my family lost everything], I knew I had to survive, because at an early age, I realized that my life is my life and that if it got messed up, it was my life. So I made a conscious effort to make it better

My first ever job was stage acting. That didn’t last long, so I moved on to working with a counsellor and psychologist as his assistant without any qualification or pay. I also worked with NTA for three years. It was after a year they started paying me, but I had gained so much experience and all that experience finally paid off at the right time. I went out of my way to places that I knew would impact my life and the four years I spent working with the counsellor and NTA were my formative years that enabled me build a solid foundation of good will” – Adeola Williams

Adebola Williams, fondly called Debola Lagos is a co-founder of RED, which is the 11-year-old parent company that houses StateCraft Inc and Red Media Africa, a Public Relations company working in West Africa for Facebook, Uber, Union Bank and Heineken. He is also one of the brains behind Future Awards and the man behind the PR campaign for Nigeria’s President Buhari and Ghanaian President,Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the last presidential election Read: The Only Cardio-Nephrologist in the World is Nigerian

“An entrepreneur finds a way to get whatever he needs to start a business – money, people, or whatever else is needed…your gut is very important and you need to trust it. In a difficult situation you need to follow what God says and what your gut tells you. I don’t think there’s a specific rule of business, but there are some things you need: gut, passion, resilience, an entrepreneurial spirit and God. God always comes through

Young people need to listen to success stories. I believe that because most successful people in Nigeria do not tell their story, young people don’t know how they became successful. So they can’t pick the right lessons. If you stay in one place, work hard, be committed and consistent, you would get to the top one day and there is a future for you. Most young people are fixated on looking like they’re winning. They want to look the part without doing the work. You don’t jump from talent to achievement; you have to put in the work. You don’t earn it if you don’t learn it. Stay in your place of growth.”- Adebola Wlliams

“This is the man with the golden touch, anything he touches turns to gold.” Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

I Disguised As A Man To Work in The Mines, Until I was Accused of Rape - Pili Hussein

#WCW I Disguised As A Man To Work in The Mines, Until I was Accused of Rape – Pili Hussein

“I Disguised As A Man To Work in The Mines, Until I was Accused of Rape”

“My name is Pili Hussein. I was born into a large family. My father had six wives and 38 children. From childhood he treated me like a boy, giving me livestock to take care of and I didn’t like it…Marriage was not kind to me either as my husband was abusive to me, so at age 31 I ran away. Somehow, I found myself in the town of Mererani where the precious stone Tanzanite is mined

I heard there was fortune to be made mining these stones, that they were a thousand times more profitable than diamonds. I didn’t go to school so I didn’t have many options and women were not allowed into the mines…so I disguised myself as a man to get work there. I entered bravely like a man. I took trousers, cut them into shorts and appeared like a man. I spoke like a man and could cuss like one too. I changed my name to Uncle Hussein

I could go 600m under, into the mine. I not only acted like a man, I was a leader of men. I acted like a Gorilla, I could go places even men were scared of going. I would dress like a Masai warrior, carry a big knife and talk tough. Nobody ever suspected I was a woman.

“I was able to work there for 10 years. I built houses for my father, mother and twin sister, then I began to employ miners to work for me.” Pili Hussein Read: What if I Didn’t Wait?- ASA

And her cover was so convincing that it took an extraordinary set of circumstances for her true identity to finally be revealed. A local woman had reported that she’d been raped by some of the miners and Pili was arrested as a suspect.

“It was when I was wrongly accused of rape and taken into custody that I had to reveal my true gender. Even then, people found it hard to believe it, I had successfully fooled them for so long. Shortly after, I met my current husband.The question in his mind was always, ‘Is she really a woman? “It took five years for him to come closer to me.

…I have no regrets. Today, I own my own mining company and I employ over 70 workers. I have sponsored over 30 of my nieces and nephew to school. “I’m proud of what I did – it has made me rich, but it was hard for me,” – Pili Hussein

Source: BBC Worldwide

Pastor Eaten By 3 crocodiles as he tries to walk on water like Jesus

Pastor Eaten by 3 Crocodiles as He Tries to Walk on Water Like Jesus

Pastor Eaten by 3 Crocodiles as He Tries to Walk on Water Like Jesus. In short, Pastor tries to walk on Water like Jesus, 3 Crocodiles Said “NO”

Pastor Jonathon Mthethwa of the Saint of the Last Days Church chose the ominous ‘Crocodile River’ as the place for attempting to walk on water, a stunt that would inevitably lead to his death. With a name like ‘Crocodile River’ you can’t help but wonder what this man really thought was going to happen?

Mthethwa, from a local church in White River Mpumalanga, Zimbabwe died Saturday morning trying to demonstrate the biblical miracle to his congregants.

Pastor Mthethwa was said to have walked into the water and when he was 30 meters inside the river, attempted to ascend above the water so he can start walking, but the 3 crocodiles appeared from nowhere and started feasting on him.

According to Deacon Nkosi, a member of the church, “The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week.
“He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by 3 large crocodiles in front of us.

“We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.” Says Deacon Nkosi

Really? You don’t understand how it happened because he fasted and prayed? This is how it happened Deacon, your pastor walked into a crocodile infested river and naturally, he was made a feast of. My theory is, the crocs were fasting too and pastor was just in time as they were about to break their fast

We’ll file this under “ridiculousness!”, because this is the only word that describes this situation. How do we sleep at night, knowing there’s someone out there who would pull this kind of stunt?

Story Source: Herald Zimbabwe

Acute Sense of Helplessness and Hopelessness: This is The Nigerian Disease

Acute Sense of Helplessness and Hopelessness: This is The Nigerian Disease

Today, I heard about a lady who I just met and was in a bad situation. She has no job, recently fell in the bathroom and broke her hip, to make matters worse, she has a sick mother as well

Not a lot of Nigerians think deep into the consequences of the actions of our leaders. If we did, Nigeria would be desolate by now. Most people would have applied as a refugee in other countries, even neighbouring countries would do. The alternative would have been a civil war, for those who insist on staying here and fighting for their lives and the future of their generation.

If this country was inhabited by white people, the suicide rate would have skyrocketed. But we are used to blending in, accepting all that is thrown at us, protesting for entertainment sake and moving on from issues because they have died down Efcc should be under the management of The Senate- Atiku

My hip is not broken, my mum is not sick, I am not jobless, I am not poor. I can afford healthcare and I can decide to pack my bags today to go settle in another country and start over. However, today, I still felt an overwhelming and deep sense of hopelessness and helplessness. It felt like I swallowed a stone that wouldn’t go past my chest and my wig felt like a heavy load I couldn’t get rid of. So I wept. Not only for the lady who broke her hip, but also out of frustration

I wondered to myself, “If I feel like this, how does that lady feel?” The one whose hip is broken, who has no job, whose mother is sick and has no way to get healthcare since there’s no free healthcare for senior citizens. For those going through life like this with a sense of awareness, how do they put one foot in front of the other, considering this heavy baggage of helplessness that they must carry?

This has become our mantra, “Nigerians are strong”. Are we? Or we have just given in to this feeling of helplessness and allowed the leaders to take advantage of the “E go better” approach…

There is a disease in Nigeria that is not going away , it is called “acute sense of hopelessness and helplessness”

Sadly, I have no cure…

“I Was The Biggest Failure I Knew”- JK Rowling

Harry Portter Author, Jk Rowling had this to say about her journey to being a billionaire

“My name is JK Rowling… as soon as I knew who writers were, I wanted to be one. I’ve got the perfect temperament for a writer; perfectly happy, in a room making things up

The most traumatizing moment in my life was the day my mother died…and it shaped my whole life. I was writing Harry Potter the moment she died, so it’s not surprising that my books are largely about death. I know why Voldemort wants to conquer it. We’re all frightened of death…

After she died, I moved to Portugal to try to cope with the grief. Took up a job teaching, fell in and …out of love. I had a miscarriage, got married and gave birth to my daughter, Jessica. But my marriage lasted a mere 13 months and then I was a lone parent, jobless, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless

I had just three chapters of Harry Potter when I moved back to Britain…By every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

It took me seven years to complete the first Harry Potter book- ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone’ and it was rejected twelve times by top publishing houses in Britain and I was told it would never sell…especially if kids knew a woman had written it. I had to initialize my name to give the book a fighting chance

Today, all seven Harry Portter books have sold over 450 million copies, been made into movies and keeps earning far more than I ever dreamt”.

Jk Rowling is estimated to be worth a little less than A Billion Dollars. She has made £526.54 per word written in the Harry Potter books

A Tech Billionaire’s Company Misplaced $46.7 Million And Didn’t Know It: One Piece of Meat Goes Missing In The Pot of Soup and My Late Mama will Notice From Her Dream

According to Forbes, a Tech Billionaire’s company misplaced $46.7 Million and didn’t know It. At 37, Robert Pera is a billionaire and controlling owner of an NBA basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies. A former Apple Executive, he is the founder and chief executive of Ubiquiti Networks, a maker of wireless products based in San Jose, California. Pera and Ubiquiti didn’t even know the money was missing, they only learned about the transfers of vast sums of money, 10% of Ubiquiti’s cash position, after being notified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (FBI)

Helloooooo, Mr. Pera, you were obviously not raised in an African home. The meat in my mama’s pot has been calculated and counted and divided in my mum’s head. As soon as she wakes up, first thing she does is open the pot. It’s just a feeling she has that the meat has been tampered with. I used to wonder if she saw me in her dreams snacking on beef in the middle of the night. When we (my siblings and I) saw that she may be clairvoyant and after several punishments, we learnt to take a slice out of every piece of meat so the numbers would remain in tact…Guess what? she noticed that too!

I remember one time I was in the kitchen, I had the responsibility of placing fried plantain on everyone’s plate. Mum came into the kitchen to serve my dad and said to me “I’ll give your father eight (8) slices of plantain, share the rest amongst you six-six” I said “Mum I don’t understand. what if it’s not enough?”. she said “I know exactly how many slices of plantain are there, 40. So I gave you allowance to eat two. That’s all” Oh my Cheesos! Do I throw up the extra one I had eaten or just eat my meal in the kitchen so she wouldn’t notice? It was one of those days when everyone was in a good mood, I couldn’t afford to cause problems. So I decided to eat in the kitchen

Dear Mr. Pera, my mum is late, I would have advised that you hire her as your accountant and CFO but in her absence, look for a Naija or African accountant. By default, we have been trained to “feel it” when possessions go missing, or in your case, gradually distributed to fraudsters

Pera says “This is probably the most embarrassing moment of my life…”