SHEMSA

A 33 year old single mother of four

"Here in Zanzibar most women don't want to be dependent on men, but the sad reality is we are. I never went to school, got married early, and had my first mtoto (baby child) when I was only 19. I have four beautiful kids now, but my husband left us to go find a job in the big city (referring to Dar-es salaam).

When he left I had to find a way to earn my own money, and feed my kids. I learnt sewing from my mother when I was a little girl but I could never imagine that I could run my own shop. My neighbour (who Shemsa refers to as her 'sister') taught me how to read and write. I can even write my own receipts now.

Learning how to read and write changed by life. Now I just want all of my kids to go to school and have a better future."

The Colour Bug is excited to be part of Shemsa's journey.

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