Not all Superheroes wear capes…some wear Kitenges

If you are looking for women with super powers, look no further. This blog from Team Tanzania is packed full of Tanzanian women who balance being super moms as well as super farmers!

We will begin with Elisa Kanga, a Super Woman like no other. She is the Village Executive Officer of Lwajilo village, a rarity in rural Tanzania,who commands respect from the rest of village council. She was very welcoming and left us feeling at home during our first ever village visit. It is clear that one of Elisa’s super powers is her ability to keep this village moving towards a sustainable future. The village has a variety of vaccination programs including poultry, cattle and even canine, as well as a women’s group which Elisa is involved in. The focus of this group being to support women on livestock husbandry.

image001smallSeen here is Elisa Kanga carrying her youngest child in a traditional Tanzanian wrap. Standing next to her in support is her husband Steven Kanga, the Village Chairman of Lwanjilo

Next up meet Severena Chai, the wonder window. Superpower includes: raising 3 young children on her own, caring for 2 dairy cows and a calf, and carrying a sack of potato on her head without breaking a sweat. We met this busy woman through IADO’s round potato planting program in the village of IlemboUsafwa whereshe was very keen on seeking advice to increase her cow’s milk production and welfare.

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Severena Chai, claims her sack of potato and carries it on her head like the wonder woman that she is. This is no easy feat, Cheyenne and Angie tried doing it and couldn’t even get the bag off the ground.

Meet Laheli, the real MVP of round potato farming. So much so that she was invited to teach about ecological farming practices in far away villages. She is what most Agricultural NGOs would classify as a Super Farmer. Cheerful and assertive, she didn’t let any of the men in the program push her around.

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Here Laheli is proudly displaying her plot of land that she’s prepared for sowing her next round of potato seedlings.

A super hero in the making, Monika Bandari was a very active participant in our poultry management training. She did not hesitate to ask questions and even volunteered to be Ikhoho village’s focal person. As focal person she will be receiving extra training and ensure the sustainability of the poultry vaccine program by making sure her village gets the vaccine even after our work there is done.She currently has 10 chickens but cannot wait to apply what she has learned from the training and grow her flock.

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Monika seen here shortly after she’s chosen by her fellow villagers as focal person.

We don’t want you thinking that we are biased towards picking Super farmers. We know that there are also super women found in the markets of Mbeya. We are lucky enough to meet Mama Sofi, whose super powers include helping lost Canadians navigate the busy Kobwemarket. It also helped that she spoke excellent English and had a great sense of fashion, how else could we have found these beautiful kitenges?

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Left to Right: Angie, Mama Sofi and Cheyenne posing after Kitenge 101 training. Kitenges are traditional, informal Tanzanian clothing worn by women. They can do everything in them from cooking and cleaning to going out shopping.
We’ve met so many fantastic women and we know there’s plenty more to come. Take a look at these Super heroes in training where almost the entire front row is full of eager young ladies.

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Students from Swaya secondary school posing with Angie and Cheyenne after successful completion of poultry program, the goal of which is to enable youth empowerment for self employment.

Brace yourselves, the future is female.