Last Friday I got a chance to spend an afternoon with a group of 300 young women aged 16-18 at Premier Girls Secondary School in Bagamoyo. I got the opportunity to give a talk on ‘Self-Development’ as part of the GirlsTalkDSM series created by HerAfrica HerStory initiative of which Mint and Tea is in partnership with LAS Consultancy a local PR and Events Agency founded and managed by 3 women (Lilian, Salha and Asnath).
Through its GirlsTalkDSM program, HerAfrica aims to empower, inspire and share knowledge, skills and tools to young women and girl from different backgrounds. For me the Friday session was about changing the narrative for girls in Tanzania. It is unfortunate that we live in a society that girls are programed to think that they can only do certain things and aspire to follow certain careers. I am fortunate enough to come from a family where I was exposed to so many possibilities and was constantly reminded that I am capable of doing anything I put my mind into and work hard at it. So this session meant a lot to me, because I could say the same thing to girls who needed to hear it.
Friday session was about having a conversation to with the girls and opening up their young minds to new ideas and getting them to realize their hidden talents as well as get them to understand, that there are a lot of possibilities in whatever direction they may choose to take towards achieving their dreams and career paths. The chats were engaging and soon we were out of the topic as they had so many questions to ask, some were real life changing questions and others were just out of curiosity, like ‘how to you do your make up so well? And your hair is nice’, typical girly chat!
That day I met some really smart and most loving group of girls, who are eager to learn and have dreams so big that I pray no one takes them away from them. I have always been a person who gravitated towards helping other in any way that I can. Taking part in these talks and seeing the reactions from the girls, I know that I have changed atlas one girl’s life; and that feeling makes me feel that I am doing something worthy.
Our day ended with a great sunset in Bagamoyo and as we drove off back to Dar I couldn’t help but smile and think ‘today was a good day’.