Saturday, September 22, 2018

When business women come together for a common cause


By Salome Gregory

The period of adolescence is one that’s marked with many biological and social changes. As such, it can be very confusing to a growing teenager who’s experiencing lifetime changes.

Take a minute to reflect on the early years when you entered the adolescent stage.

Do you remember having enough information on what to expect during that time? Do you remember how hard it was for you to cope with the ongoing changes even with lack of enough information on what to expect and do during adolescence?

Generally, there are so many questions during that stage. There are also a lot of struggles both emotional and physical during that time. It is a time when young people need to be equipped with enough information to provide room for them to become responsible adults.

As part of an initiative to support the well being of young girls, a new project, Sauti ya Binti was launched on Tuesday this week at the American corner in Dar es Salaam. The project resulted from a collaboration of five Tanzanian business women with dedicated business models that provide affordable menstrual health options to Tanzanian women/girls, while addressing social and educational concerns.

At the project launch, the acting US ambassador Dr. Inmi Patterson was the guest of honor. She launched a machine called Bela Vendor, a sanitary pad dispenser that dispenses out a piece of pad when a coin is inserted.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Patterson said the US Embassy is supporting the initiative as a way of empowering young girls in education and health care. She said, 82 per cent of girls in Tanzania are not aware of their body changes during this stage.

Adding to that she says, Tanzania is known all over the world for being kind, it is the right time for Tanzanians to be kind to their own girls by supporting them with access to sanitary gears.

Lulu Ameir is one of the team members of the project. She manages the ‘Be A Lady project’ focused on menstrual hygiene management for young girls through the use of sanitary pad dispensers in schools.

Be A Lady won the innovation challenge grant through COSTECH and DLI (Data Lab for Impact). By using research and data, the project was able to conduct the findings from eight schools in Dar es Salaam, focusing on the affordability, availability, and accessibility of sanitary pads.

“The idea came after I saw the plight of the school girls, but it’s not just school girls who go through the menstrual process every month, it can happen to any woman as an emergency while you’re unprepared and don’t have enough money to buy the whole pack. Thus I thought why not install sanitary pads vending machines that dispense the towels at an affordable price,” she says.

The innovation is also advantageous in that it will provide statistical data on how many pads are used per a certain period of time. Such data was insufficient before. So by implementing usage of the machines, it will be easier to keep track on number of pads used in schools and society at large.

The machine cost Sh2million to make. It was made right here in Tanzania. It is easy to operate since you just insert a coin and a pad drops to be collected.

Hyasintha Ntuyeko is another social entrepreneur and founder of Kasole Secrets Company Ltd, which develops bamboo made sanitary napkins which solve menstrual complications for women and girls. In this project of Sauti ya Binti she is the team leader.

She says the project aims to empower 400 adolescent girls from 4 public schools in Dar es Salaam, who are less privileged. These girls are educated on puberty, good menstrual hygiene management and their schools are equipped with learning resources and sanitary pads dispenser machines which will enable girls to easily access reusable or disposable pads at a subsidized amount of Sh200 per pad.

As part of giving back, Hyasintha is running the Hedhi Salama (safe menstruation) campaign, and has pioneered the celebration of International Menstrual Hygiene day at the National level in Tanzania. She has received a number of awards acknowledging her social efforts both nationally and internationally.

On her part, Jennifer Shigoli, who has over four years’ experience in business planning and development, specifically focusing on manufacturing, says the dream to start an initiative came to her mind several years back after she visited a school in Iringa and found a girl who almost missed her mock exams because of lack of proper menstrual hygiene care. “The girl was walking very slowly on her way to school due to pain between her thighs that was a result of using a piece of mattress during her menstruation,” she says.

Jenifer, who is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Malkia Investments Company, where she manufactures a global supply of cost-effective reusable sanitary pads branded ELEA, was touched by the girl’s ordeal that she figured she had to do something.

Jennifer is committed to helping women and girls break the barriers that menstruation creates in their lives by providing affordable sanitary care for girls in need, and jobs for local women in Tanzania.

Yusra Hemedi,14, is a Form II student at Jangwani Secondary School. A school that will also benefit from the project. She says she is happy with the project because it will make sanitary pads accessible at a cheaper price, however, she raises concern on whether all students will manage to buy the pads.

She says at her school teachers often share with them different information on adolescent stages and they also talk about menstruation. However she requested for sanitary protection gears because sometimes students help other disabled children to change their pads and there are no gloves.

“At my school we have students with different forms of disabilities. We do not have gloves but we help others who cannot change pads on their own. I wish we could have gloves. All we know is we are helping our friends,” says Yusra.

Another member of the project is Eva Mkane, a 28 year-old youth leader and a campaign manager at MEMA Tanzania, an organization dealing with menstrual hygiene education in rural areas. Currently she is designing and preparing WASH events and activities in 12 areas of the country. She holds a Certificate of secondary school (CSEE) and Certificate in computer technology.

Beatrice Kinemba, also part of the project, works with the Binti Huru initiative as a partner with Elea Pads. Together with Elea Pads they facilitate campaigns and trainings to create awareness on issues related to menstruation, sustainable development goals, and sanitation and hygiene in schools. Beatrice believes in empowering girls and women through the use of reusable pads and capacity building on menstrual hygiene management, reproductive health and behavioral change.

The implementations in schools will start from 24th September 2018 to 20th May 2019. The secondary schools that will benefit with the project are Manzese, Jangwani ( at this school the project will we only focus on girls with disabilities), Tungi and Mikocheni A.

The event also had a panel discussion on the role of community leaders and influencers in improving Menstrual Hygiene Management in Tanzania. The panelists included Rehema Darueshi, a primary teacher who brought teacher’s perspective and is also a Leader of Tanzania League of the blind. Manase Saimon represented Pastor John Jilangila – A religious leader who works on improving the social life standards of believers and students. Yusra as a recipient presented her thoughts on what is needed to be done by the community leaders and influencers to help provide better access to sanitary pads.


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Violence against widows is still a nightmare


By Cecilia Kibada

The idea of being independent as a woman is being undermined by the continued mistreatment of widows.

Everyday women strive to live a life free of dependence on their husbands. They engage in activities aimed at uplifting them financially and socially.

But with all these efforts, till today we still see a number of women facing hard times at the hands of relatives upon the event that their husband dies.

Widows find themselves economically and socially marginalized after the death of a spouse.

They suffer from social stigmatization; they are evicted from their homes and are physically abused. All of these constitute serious violations of human rights.

Many of these abuses go unnoticed. But that’s not the end of the wrath, children of widows often times find themselves affected as well; they drop out from school and are subjected to different forms of abuse, especially in the case of girls.

They face hell on earth, with no immediate solution to their tribulation.

In many societies, widows are victims of bad beliefs and practices instituted in times past, but are still practiced today with strong enforcement such as “widow inheritance” whereby a widow is forced to get married to a male relative of her late husband, there’s also “cleansing” where the widow is expected to have sex with the siblings of her late husband to cleanse her.

This is what widows are compelled to endure in the name of customary practices. The customs of widow cleansing and widow inheritance are practiced in several communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania.

Widows experience humiliation, undignified treatment and difficulties in attaining their legal rights.

Remarriage of widows for the purpose of fulfilling cultural obligations is one of the causes of the high prevalence of HIV.

In most cases when a husband dies, his widow no longer has a place in society, especially when it comes to matters of inheritance.

A widow of the deceased under customary law has no share of the estate of her husband where there are relatives from the clan of her husband.

The widow is left to be taken care of by her children. However, our Constitution recognizes basic rights that a woman has regardless of her status in society.

Rights to inherit and own property are among such legal rights bestowed unto women.

A check on reality casts a bitter shadow on the situation of widows in Tanzania, they are virtually invisible.

Research and statistics to reveal incidences of widow violence need to be undertaken to accelerate nationwide development in different spheres, whilst adhering to the agenda of ‘leave no woman behind’.

The Government should uphold their commitment to take appropriate legal measures to ensure that widows enjoy all human rights as enshrined in international laws, which acknowledge the rights of women in Africa by clearly stating that widows are not to be subjected to inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment.

What different laws on basic human rights try to uphold are the intrinsic rights that every human being is entitled to. Women should enjoy their rights whether married or single.

Violence against widows should no longer be tolerated at any level.

All of us should join hands to build a community free from humiliation and indignity towards widows, thus promoting social justice in Tanzania, and make violence against widows a thing of the past.

The Author is a Human Rights Lawyer


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pregnant women caught up in dilemma


By Elizabeth Tungaraza

I was at a hospital in the city the other day and several pregnant women who attended a regular clinic were engaging in conversation, sharing their experience on how difficult it is to handle the pregnancy, work and their domestic responsibilities during the entire nine months.

Curiosity got the best of me and I had to know more about what they were discussing. My inquisitiveness told me to move closer so that I could clearly hear the discussion. It was not like I was snooping but being a woman; the topic was really interesting.

“Have you ever seen a pregnant woman in uniform? By uniform I mean the servicewomen in the military or police force?” one expectant mother asked me as I was about to sit next to her. She really caught me off guarded by the question.

“I have seen many pregnant women in their workplaces but I haven’t seen those in uniform during their pregnancy; may be because I’m not in such a career,” I answered.

Being a mother and a journalist, the question really strikes into my mind. It raises many questions than answers on work-life balance during pregnancy.

It is an undisputed fact that women experience a lot of changes during the entire period of between 38 and 40 weeks, in which a woman should be responsible for the well-being and the development of the child she is carrying.

Career is equally a very important aspect in women’s life as it is to men, not only because it defines their profession but also it helps in putting food on the table and guarantee individual welfare and the welfare of the family.

Medical doctors agree that following the changes of the body and the hormone at this time, most pregnant women may feel fatigue in the course of their normal routine at work.

Workplace is one of the areas where people spend most part of the day.

Due to the importance of their work to them, pregnant women can’t just stop what they are doing and rest or take their time for themselves just because of the pregnancy.

How women manage to balance between pregnancy and career is certainly not an individual issue to deal with but needs a concern from those around them.

Dr Living Colman, a gynaecologist at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), says people should understand that the situation pregnant women are undergoing is challenging to the extent that they could have mood swings, become angry as well as tired.

“All in all they need the support of people around them in order to manage to strike a balance between pregnancy and career no matter what,” he urges.

A five-month pregnant waitress working at a famous restaurant in Dar es Salaam, says she didn’t know how it feels being pregnant. Being her first pregnancy Bernadette Mwita says she used to hear about morning sickness but she didn’t expect it to be that challenging.

“I didn’t imagine if one day I will lose my appetite for the whole first three months of pregnancy.

I couldn’t manage to take anything except drinking water; the morning sickness pushed me into a corner. I used to vomit each morning, feeling fatigue and sleepy,” recalls Bernadette.

According to her, she started hating her job as the pregnancy condition and the changes it is associated with forced her to go late to the office almost every day during the first three months.

“I had a difficult time with my supervisor as my performance at work gradually dropped. But it was not easy for me to break the news to her or the head of department,” she says.

For Irene Joseph, a resident of Kimara Suka in Dar es Salaam, things were worse. Irene was expecting twins and as time went by she even failed to attend to her normal routine at work due to the heavy weight she was carrying.

“Despite being a woman and a mother, my line manager didn’t understand me at all. It reached a point where she compared me to other pregnant women at work, saying they work normally and are sharp in attending to their duties than me,” recalls Irene.

“If it was not for the support from my husband, I could have quit my job,” says Irene, a civil servant.

Most bosses, heads of departments and line managers know that it is really difficult for a woman to tell everyone in the office that she has conceived.

Most women choose to hide their pregnancy to most people in offices except to close friends. However, due to that fact that pregnancy is a stage-to-stage development within the body, people will eventually come to know about it as the changes and time-limit conditions take place.

Lugano Bwenda, a human resources practitioner in the city, admits that it has never been easy for a woman to handle these three things altogether simultaneous; motherhood, pregnancy and work life.

“In African setting, gender roles were separated between men and women. Basically women roles can be grouped into three; family, society and work while those of men are in two groups; societal ones and work,” he explains.

According to him, things change when women get pregnant. Unlike working mothers, most women, especially those with first pregnancy experience, become frustrated as they don’t know how to handle and balance all of the aspects of things together; work life, family and pregnancy.

“This is not the end of life like many more think; a mother needs to plan her life in line with her condition. There are many ways to manage work-life-pregnancy balance. However, there are two major things; one is being passionate about both roles (family and work) while managing the pregnancy situation. Pregnancy is not a sickness, though it is understandable to some women it comes with complications,” he says.

“The second thing is to share and communicate with your employer. You need to engage your line manager and of course the HR representative on how you can manage your duties. Employers are different, by understanding your employer you will know how much to share,” he adds, continuing, “It is advised to be as open and honest as possible. While discussing with your line manager or human resources representative it’s better if you have a prepared set of alternatives on how your proposal for new work arrangement won’t affect productivity.”

He recalls a situation where arrangements were made between a supervisor, HR department and an employee with pregnancy complications to allow her to sometimes work from home provided she delivered her work within the set deadline.

“We managed the situation very well until she delivered,” he says.

Lugano says HR practitioners should understand that they live to help employees realise their potentials for their career growth. “As human resources practitioner, we are in a better position to help an employee since we deal with them day-to-day for their welfare and the welfare of the employers,” he says

Going for check-up

Dr Colman advices women to go for check-up before they decide to conceive. “This will help them know their health status and understand what kind of lifestyle they are supposed to live after conceiving,” he says.

“Your gynaecologist will advise you on what to do if you have any problem concerning the undergoing changes in your body. If you have a heart problem, he/she will let you know if you need to terminate the pregnancy or to rest so that to allow it to grow without more problems. If you have uterus problem, for example, you will be advised accordingly; whether to take a bed rest for nine months or to abort it,” says Dr Colman.

Above all, Dr Colman calls for support to pregnant women, whether at home or workplace during the entire nine months. “By supporting them, we will be making their pregnancy journey smooth and easy,” he says.

Alex Kotsos, a HR consultant based in Dublin, Northern Ireland says in that announcing pregnancy can be a major issue for women.

“They reported worrying about ‘what my manager would think as I had only just come back from another maternity leave’ or ‘my manager’s face dropped when I told them — you could see they were already worried about how the work would get done when I was away on maternity’.”

The website says if the manager’s a working mother, her own experiences [managing pregnancy and work] really shape how she behaves — if she was sick but struggled on, she expects the same of others.

“Managers with no experience of children often struggle with even knowing how to interact with a pregnant woman.”


Saturday, September 1, 2018

A new wave of women running online campaigns


By Elizabeth Tungaraza

If utilised positively, social media can change peoples’ lives in some ways. Ask some people who use social media for marketing and advertising their business and they will tell you how powerful they are in reaching many people.

Not only that but also social medial have helped people to promote campaign so as to support and raise awareness among the society on various issues, for example promoting women’s right and children’s rights among others.

In recent years, most women have been fully exploring the social media by launching campaigns aiming at raising people’s awareness. If it is all about women’s rights, it is very likely that such online campaigns will include issues like gender-based violence, forced and early marriages, domestic violence, both physical and mental – and other forms of abuse.

Lorna Dadi, who is one among women who run online campaigns to educate and raise awareness, says social media has helped her in reaching out hundreds of thousands of girls and women.

“I have developed a passion in working with children and youth, who are socially marginalised and social media have been so helpful in reaching out the targeted group,” says Lorna.

She is involved in shelter sharing project, a fund raising campaign for provision of shelter to about 100 children/youth at different orphanages.

After she succeeded with that project, Lorna, the mother of two, came up with ‘NISITIRI’ Campaign. The campaign aims at not only offering re-usable sanitary pads to adolescent girls but also providing menstrual hygiene education and adolescence management skills to the girls.

Lorna understands that being a girl comes along with a number of vulnerabilities. The adolescence phase of life also brings with it more challenges to a girl hence become more vulnerable if not properly addressed.

“This is a period where any human begin to establish his/her sense of identity. Establishing a sense of identity is the central task of one’s adolescence. This is the first time when, one will have the self-understanding capacity to cautiously sort through who she/he is and what makes this person unique. Your identity refers to more than just how you see yourself right now, it also includes what has been termed as “possible-self”; meaning, what it was thought you might become and who you would like to become,” she explains.

She adds that during menstruation period days the girl a number of challenges such as controlling the visible leakage of menstrual fluid presents practical and psychological challenges.

“If the visible leakage is not well managed the girls undergo embarrassments; that is practical and emotional difficulties that many girls face in managing their menses and hiding their menstruating status. She fear of fluid leaking and visibly staining girls’ clothes – fear of being teased by fellow teenage especially boys – erodes a girls’ confidence. In such condition a girl cannot feel comfortable doing anything away from her home, going to school being one of them. They also experience menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea,” says Lorna.

According to her, most adolescent girls do not know what to do during their puberty.

Lorna says through that campaign, they have succeeded. It was three months campaigns and they have succeeded by 54 per cent. “The campaign ended on 15 of this month but encourage other people to support this campaign so us to help more girls out there. Through we the campaign girls from three villages of Matelefu, Igombavanu and Mapogolo in Mufindi District in Iringa Region will benefit,” she adds.

Lorna says she will continue use the earnings from the book to supports vulnerable children and youth according to the time and needs.

Being the Lymph nodes cancer survivor Jema Baruani 32, also came up Jema Foundation. Jema says after discovering that she had Lymph Nodes cancer called Hodgkin lymphoma, she was worried and cried so much.

She was worried that her life would end soon. She was hurting leaving her daughter who was still very young, let alone the husband.

“I thought much how my family could be. How my husband could raise children single handedly. I could not see the light in the tunnel, thanks to guidance and counseling which had since helped me overcome the trauma,” she says adding that guidance and counseling had helped her to gain hope and realize that God has plans for his every creature.

After she completed last chemotherapy, Jema decided to start the Jema Foundation.

According to her, it was a fundraising project with the aim of raising money to provide cancer patients with basic needs at Ocean Road Cancer Institute and Muhimbili Cancer Institute for Children.

In order to support the cause towards creating awareness and providing better treatment of hooking fresh bid to create awareness among cancer survivors, Jema embarked on T-Shirt printing project. The T-shirts were emblazoned with the message on how cancer patients can live with hope.

I got the support from the Coca Cola Company, which had since enabled me to give 25,000 pens and other learning materials for schoolchildren suffering from cancer.

In her Instagram page, Jema had written: “I hope and pray that you will be on my part and together we can make positive impact.”

Most of the failure she faces was lack of awareness as most people don’t know what was Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“People are unaware of the symptoms of cancer, they tend to ignore their body. Hence by the time they get diagnosis it is too late for them. However the more we advocate about the diseases the more the success on prevention ways, earlier detection and hence finding the cure for cancer disease,” she adds

Jema says if she would do the project all over again, she wouldn’t do differently but she will focus more on the part of getting sponsorship from different corporate companies, so that she could get funds to spread the campaign to all Tanzanians especially in the rural areas. “In rural areas most people are ignorant of cancer. They need to know about cancer. We also need to raise the awareness and give hope to the sick ones not to give up on life. They should know that if you are on cancer treatment either chemotherapy or radiation... you need to finish that line of treatment instead of jumping into the other forms of traditional medicines,” adds Jema.

Another woman educates, creates awareness and pray for women to succeed in their lives through social media, she is Catherine Peter Sesse 37.

Catherine is a born again facilitator of God’s word based on women and prayers, also a Founder of interdenominational network of praying women from Tanzania and Kenya known as Power in Prayers Network.

She had the privilege of living in Germany and when she joined the Giessen City college where she took courses for international language studies. While at the college she acquired self esteem which prompted her to become what she is today.

Being the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Power in Prayers Network (PPN) for five years, she manages to run a ‘Binti Jitambue’ Campaign under Power in Prayer Network.

According to Catherine, ‘Binti Jitambue’ Campaign came up after realizing that “most of young girls don’t know who they really are, they don’t know that their worth as women”.

Providing knowledge/education to women and girls, Catherine wants to educate women about relevance/role of prayer in their lives and realize their value, know their position religiously, educate the girl child to understand their value and be God fearing and above all educating and helping them about entrepreneurship in order to be able to make and become economically stand on their own.

Based in Mwanza, Catherine uses her campaign to remind women about their purpose so that they can go through a proper channel to attain desired results in life and become good mothers.

“The education we offer enables them to stand on their own and make right decisions as it is known that most of girls and women can be easily gullible and cheated into destroying the foundation of their own future. As we all know, the foundation of every human being is built at a young age thus if their foundation is destroyed it became difficult for them to achieve their goals in their lives,” she says.

According to her, the campaign’s main aim is to educate young girls so that they know who they are.

“We teach them the word of God which enables them to realise their worth and take care, love and respect themselves, so as to become a person who can make good decision about their lives, protect their bodies and faith while pursuing their dreams and goals in life in fulfilling the purpose that God has for them,” says Catherine, who runs her online campaigns on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp groups, inviting all girls and women all over the world to join the drive.

For her part, Carol Ndosi says her online campaign, which goes by the name of “Leave No One Behind”, says her new campaign aims at helping teen mothers to accomplish their dreams.

Carol wants to help many young girls to realise their dream, making the world a better place to be. “We want to build a Vocational Residential Academy for teenage mothers in Tanzania who are banned from re-entry in schools. Specifically targeting those who were sexually assaulted and forced into early marriages,” she explains.

Statistics are shock as 21 per cent of girls between 15 and 19 years old do not finish school due to pregnancy.

“We need to do something for the girl child, whom most of them have been abused, abandoned, forgotten and now banned from re-entry in school,” says Carol, adding that through the campaign, she managed to collect Sh136,500 out of the targeted Sh100m for the construction of the vocational academy.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Women taking charge of their money


By Hellen Nachilongo @musanachi60 hnachilongo@tz,

The late Kofi Annan once said, “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.’’

This is true because many young Tanzanian women are coming up with business ideas that they incubate then later scale up to a new level giving them the financial freedom they need. Many women have already moved from being in the comfort zone of home makers to become successful entrepreneurs. This makes them able to live their dreams and give their children a better living standard and good education thus empowering them for the future.

Financial freedom is what every woman dreams about, for it does not only liberate her from the shackles of poverty but it also brings about peace of mind.

Lisa Mtaki,24, a lawyer by profession with Master of Laws (LLM) degree is yet to apply for a job. This is because she believes it is only through entrepreneurship that her dreams can be realised.

Ms Mtaki who lives in Sinza explained that she does not want to apply for a job until she sets up her business project.

She says that though she graduated with law degree, her priority is to first own a successful company that would help her generate enough income so that she could make her own financial decisions.

The first born child in a family of four adds that even when she was at the university she used to sell second hand clothes to fellow students.

“It is not that my parents were not in a position to give me pocket money, they used to give me money, I also applied for loan from the loans board but I still felt that doing business while at school was much better than waiting for pocket money from my parents,” she said.

She explained that financial freedom and doing moneymaking business were her long term desires unfortunately, most of the business projects she conducted failed to progress because she practically did not know how to separate running capital and profit.

“The money I obtained from my business was not properly managed because I did not have enough awareness on how to run business, this made me to practically fail in my business,’’ she said.

This however changed when she went through a training at Ndoto Hub; an initiative which offers young women with innovative ideas to learn how to grow and manage their business and assign tasks with timelines towards that growth.

She is now optimistic that she will be successful in her business and would have financial freedom with her funds.

Ndoto Hub allows women across the country with business ideas to apply for business training in order to equip them with entrepreneurship skills.

Apart from that, the platform brings women together through a competitive process to access workspace, business information, knowledge, markets and networks to boost their professional and personal growth.

Through Ndoto Hub platform, Ms Mtaki says she and other women were able to visit the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) and learn a lot about business growth.

She said that when they visited NEEC, they were told to write business plan and submit.

I’m currently finalising writing my business plan, soon I will submit it to Ndoto Hub and I’m optimistic it will be successful.

Explaining how the initiative has helped her, she said it has helped her to build confidence and market her products anywhere she goes.

Ms Mtaki sells spices and is in the final stage of registering her company at Business Registration and Licensing Agency (Brela).

“If all goes well by next month my company will be registered soon,” she says.

Shule Direct, chief executive director, Ms Faraja Nyalandu who is also engaging women to take the entrepreneurship path through Ndoto Hub says that they decided to come up with such a platform to support women with low income with business skills.

“Currently, most women are venturing into moneymaking projects unfortunately, they fail to achieve their business projects successfully and this is because they don’t have enough knowledge on entrepreneurship,” she said.

According to her, bringing women together through a competitive process to access workspace, business information, knowledge, markets and networks boost their professional and personal growth.

The innovative platform which started training women in June, has so far equipped several with business skills in food processing and agribusiness.

Next month, they expect to start a new programme to take in more women across Tanzania.

She stressed that at the moment online application process is still ongoing and women with business ideas can now apply for the training.

“Successful women would be equipped with business skills in renewable energy, food processing and agribusiness,” she says.

Shule Direct program manager Ms Tulinagwe Mwampanga said before coming up with the initiative, they used to conduct small programs in secondary schools to equip female students with writing Curriculum Vitae (CV) and other development issues.

According to her, the demand for most women requesting for entrepreneurship training started increasing hence they decided to come up with Ndoto Hub to reach more women.

Explaining further, she said that with support from Tanzania Horticultural Association (TAHA) and High Commissioner of Canada they have so far trained nine women on food processing and agribusiness in the first cohort.

“After new cohort starts we will be covering different sectors, for instance we intend to train the next cohort on food processing, agribusiness and renewable energy,” she says.

“The cost during the training program would be Sh400,000 for those who can afford, those who cannot afford will be funded by sponsors,” she says.

We believe that entrepreneurship can unlock human potential and provide number of solutions towards community problems. Provision of knowledge and skill is important but to elevate this, it is important to build social and professional relations with other people who share similar personal or career interests/activities.

The innitiative provides an opportunity for members of the community to meet and network with other leaders, investors and potential clients through various events and daily activities.

According to Plaid for Women blog, more women are graduating from college, becoming the primary breadwinners in their homes and reaching new levels of career success than ever before.

Women are now the primary breadwinners in many households and they are owning more private businesses thus employing more people and owning wealth. The wealth that women control is expected to grow in the coming years.

Ms Faraja Nyalandu seems to concur as she said that it was common for women to experience a period of change during their 40s or 50s by whether it is career, marriage or anything else...but, sometimes even a small setback can have a lasting financial impact therefore, it is vital for women to have their finances under control.

“Financial independence compels women to rely on themselves for their survival. They do not need to ask for anything, it gives them the liberty to lead the life they want and achieve success,”she said.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Remedies for brittle nails


By Woman Reporter

Brittle nails often show an underlying health problem.

It is important to check for nutrient deficiencies with your nutritionist if you have brittle nails. Nonetheless, there are home remedies that can treat brittle nails.

Coconut Oil

It is very nourishing for weak and brittle nails.

The saturated fat in it works as a great moisturizer that will also prevent several other nail infections.

Slightly warm some coconut oil and apply it on each nail.

Gently yet thoroughly massage for five minutes. This will improve blood circulation and keep the nails moisturized.

Do this two to three times daily.

Alternatively, mix one-quarter cup of warm coconut oil and a little lemon juice in a bowl.

Soak your nails in this solution for 10 minutes before going to bed.

Wear gloves overnight for best results.

Along with coconut oil, you can also use olive oil to treat brittle nails.

Apple Cider Vinegar

It is loaded with nutrients great for nails, such as vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. It also has malic acid and acetic acid that can help fight nail infections.

Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water in a small bowl; soak your nails in this solution for a few minutes.

Immediately after, gently push down the cuticles. Do this once daily and within a few days your nails will become much stronger.

Vitamin E Oil

Often the main cause of brittle nails is lack of moisture.

Vitamin E oil will keep your nails moisturized and hydrated.

It will also help strengthen and nourish your nails and cuticles.

Break open a vitamin E capsule to extract the oil. Massage gently on your nails for five minutes to help increase circulation to the nail bed; do this daily for one or two weeks before going to bed to notice a change in your nails.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Dealing with pain as a strong woman out there


By Christine Chacha

Is it me or have crimes of passion become a norm nowadays? Not a week goes by without news of someone somewhere taking his/her own life because of love or doing something very horrific to someone who betrayed them. Yesterday I watched the news where a woman drugged her husband then went on to hammer a nail into his head aiming for the brainstem, killing him instantly. I have no idea what would drive someone to do such a thing but it’s been reported that the man was cheating on her.

I understand that it can be overwhelming to be cheated on, dumped, or not have your feelings reciprocated, and trying to figure out the reason things did not work out—Did I text too frequently? Was I too needy? Am I not beautiful enough? Does he think my dreams are stupid?—can be hard. Some people drink tequila and show up at their ex’s doorstep demanding answers about why things didn’t work out, others burn their exes’ clothes or smash their tyres. Others go on a digital rampage, abusing and shaming their ex on social media. Is there a better way to cope? Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to disregard the pain or rejection or being cheated on- I have been there too. I was cheated on and I went on a drinking spree to the point of being hospitalized. And at that moment, I was at my lowest low and realized I was only hurting myself. It took me a while but I finally to get in control of my emotions and deal with the infidelity in a healthy way.

Your feelings of betrayal, shock, grief, and devastation are painful, heavy and totally justified but it’s important that you go through them in a way that is healthy and not harmful to you or others. Don’t be a slave to your feelings and emotions- acting on a whim just because you are hurt or angry. Can you imagine what the woman who killed her husband for infidelity is going through right now? Not only is she facing murder charges, her kids will grow up like orphans. All because she could not control her emotions.

While time heals your wounds and the pain fades you need to deal with the emotions Now. One principle that I read from a book by Mark Manson called The subtle art of not giving f*ck which changed how I think of thing is to admit you are not special. Bad things happen to everyone and you are not an exception to the rule. Don’t take it too hard when people lie, cheat or mistreat you, just deal with it and move on.

Another thing is to allow your mind and heart to accept what just happened. Don’t be in a hurry to move on too fast because you won’t deal with the pain. Give yourself time to grieve the end of your relationship even if you choose to stay with your boyfriend or husband, your relationship as you knew it is over- it has changed.

The other thing is to stop thinking that he is all you have! It is a lie that you have nothing but this man. It’s time to renew your self-worth- You have much more than that man. He is replaceable and does not deserve you. Try different ways to heal – such as self-improvement, write about your pain, talk to a counsellor, read books on how to get over being cheated on, and change how you see yourself. Remember you will be okay – this is not the end.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

She was bold enough to invite three men for a date


By Eugine Mugisha

Last Friday, while having drinks with friends at a bar, across from us was a young man and a very pretty girl with puffed up hair. I was at a vantage point, I could look at her without having to turn my head. So, I noticed when she got the first phone call and walked out. She came back five minutes later, and soon after she received another call and went out again. At first, the man did not seem bothered but the third time she got a phone call, I could see signs of irritation on his face. Then she came back, they danced a bit and he seemed better.

But as time went on, more phone calls came in, and she would go out to receive them. They soon left the bar and went to a table, but still within my line of sight. Then she got a phone call, walked out and but this time, walked back in with another man. Introductions were made, and this first man, let us call him ‘Mr Irritated’ came to the bar to buy drinks for all three. The two men did not seem to know each other, so she would talk to one then the other, dance with one then the other.

About an hour later, she received another call, walked out and walked in with another guy. This one looked older than the other two and from his looks, you could tell he was loaded. Let’s call this one ‘Mr Loaded’. She took him straight to the bar, and spent about thirty minutes with him, laughing, joking. He even bought her a drink. All this time, I could see Mr Irritated eyeing her coldly.

When she walked back to Mr Irritated’s table, he said something to her which she seemed to ignore. She was sipping on something that looked like Jack Daniels. She did not talk to Mr Irritated for a while, but the other man who had joined them was also not settled. I think he figured the situation was not his idea of fun, and melted away into the crowd. The next time I saw him, he was in a corner somewhere sipping a beer, lost in his phone.

Then suddenly, there was an uproar at the bar where Mr Loaded was. We all turned to look. Mr Loaded was on the floor, blood gushing from his bald head. And Mr Irritated was standing over him with a broken beer bottle.

Meanwhile, Miss Lovely was nowhere to be seen.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Boat ride to Zenj, fresh experience, pricey beer


By Wa Muyanza

Sunday night. You‘re in Zanzibar aka Zenj aka the Clove Isles. You travelled on the 9.30 Dar-Zanzibar speed boat, having bought your ticket a day earlier. Our vessel was full to capacity, yet you left behind so many heart-broken travellers who were advised to buy the 2pm boat ticket…or tomorrow’s, for 12.30pm vessel was fully booked!

While aboard, you can’t but wonder if there’s any race or tribe that’s not represented in this boat, for you notice people of virtually every colour. Much as Kiswahili is dominant, many other languages—African, European and Asian—are heard too. While you can stay for eternity without hearing a soul on any Dar City street or pub speaking your mother tongue, Kichasu (not Kipare, please!), your hear many in this boat.

A woman seated next to you, and who looked every inch an Arab, could be heard clearly chatting with a person on the other end in what you detected was Kihehe.

It’s like, while our people might be wary of speaking their vernaculars—perhaps for fear of being chastised as parochial—they feel free to “reconnect” as they enjoy a boat ride to the isles of Sheikh Karume. Amazing, if ask Wa Muyanza!

Now in Unguja, you’re accommodated at this modest, one-storeyed lodging in the tree covered suburb of Maisara. You thank your bro, Chulu, for this, because, just nearby, there’s a social hall where all manner of drinks, bites and food are served. This is where you while away the evening.

Entrance is free, and this excites you a lot since—as it’s typical of fellows of your ilk—you like free things. One big thing you notice is: no barmaid sits down for a drink, even when she gets an offer. Your friend Steve includes one beer for our attendant in his bill, but she doesn’t bring her bottle to our table. “Me, I’ll drink mine later,” says she after replenishing our supply.

And by the way, they sell beer here for Sh3,000, against the Sh1,500 you pay in Dar! “That’s okay,” explains Chulu, “the extra money is for the live band music we enjoy.” You’re further educated that, when there’s no live music, a bottle costs “only” Sh2,500.

The band is churning out golden oldies by the likes of Mbaraka Mwinshehe, Les Wanyika, Ahmed Kipande, Juwata Jazz and Marjani Rajab.

At one point, when you wonder over why nobody is dancing, Chulu quips: “Wait till everybody gets drunk!” That’s vintage Chulu for you.

Half an hour to midnight, your two hosts say bye, and you’re now free to go wild—dancing and giving tuzo to the musicians. You aren’t worried about your cash situation because, you were clever enough to pay for your lodging as you checked in, and your ticket to Dar is stashed in your wallet.

It’s a few minutes to midnight. You stand up to leave just as the band belts the last song, ignoring a petit lass with flowing hair who asks you if you’d like her to escort you.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Here comes the outfit challenge


By Zahra Sheikh

Have you ever gone shopping, purchased an item with the price tag still on and have never worn it?

Well good news ladies, it is time to get a new look!

Why the impulse buy?

They may be many reasons as to why, here are the 3 top reasons why.

1. Ignoring a major flow

This is the most common reason we do it. A typical example, the item is on sale, you see a 75% discount, the material is luscious to touch without a doubt you purchase it and you know it won’t match with anything, but you just want to make it work.

Another scenario, you buy high heels that are squeaky, but hey who cares its ‘Gucci’ a must.

2. Purchasing for fantasy, not reality

How many of us have shopped and item and visualise our future selves in them? I will wear those jeans when I get slimmer. We tend to imagine how others will react or how we will feel wearing it . We visualise a lifestyle that will not exist. I am sure most of you can relate to this.

Spilling out some beans here, I recently did the same three days ago, ended up buying a costume (not my style) thinking ‘I will wear this at the beach someday.’

3. Loving the item too much

This is odd, but other shoppers tend to love the purchased item way too much to risk wearing it ‘something will happen to it.’ An example buying an extra of t-shirt thinking you will not get it again. Or that perfect killer white dress that makes you look slim cant be worn because on spill and its gone.

It is time to did deep into your closet and pick the item. It could be the on-sale t-shirt, the pair of shoes hidden in a box or the special occasion dress.

Here is how this works: pick the item, create the outfit, snap a picture and upload ‘#theoutfitchallange’, and swap your ideas with friends.

Tip: the piece of item can be used with a new role for instance, your tight dress can be worn as a skirt, or that old fashioned scarf worn as a belt or head piece.

Be creative

Have fun, you will be surprised.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Brave woman shares her story of hope against all odds


It is a sunny Monday morning at Mkuzi Primary School in Lushoto District. Pupils are in classes learning. The school has a special class for children with special needs.

Outside the special class, there is one woman who has wrapped herself in yellow and red khanga, and a white headscarf. In her black flat shoes, and socks she was seated on the grass waiting to pick her 12-year-old son Francis Sangu.

Francis cannot walk, he crawls. He cannot speak, he is dumb. His left arm is functionless. He also has mental challenges.

This is Theresia Kijangwa, 45. She is a single mother of three children. She is not working. Her husband abandoned her ten years ago after he realized Francis has special needs. He however later died in 2014.

Sharing her struggles on how she brings food on the table, afford transport costs for her son who cannot walk to and from school. Francis, spends Sh4,000 per day to pay for a motorbike as he cannot walk to and from school due to his disability.

His disability forces his mother to hire a motorbike to take him to school and the mother too has to sit on the motorbike to support him since he cannot balance on the pillion.

“As a single mother who is jobless, it has never been easy to raise children alone especially the one with special needs. Despite the challenges, I am not giving up on my disabled son’s education,” says Theresia. “as well as taking care of her other two children Flora and Suzzane,’’ Theresia says despite the challenges she is not giving up on her child’s child education.

She says, the struggles began when she gave birth to her twin babies. She has three children. Francis has a twin sister Flora who is not disabled. She schools at Milungi Primary School in grade III, same school with Suzzane who is 7 in nursery.

“Soon after giving birth to twins 12 years ago. My mother told me having twins was considered a curse in a family and they are usually killed. I was so shocked,’’ says Theresia.

According to Theresia, her mother-in-law never visited her again until the children turned six months old when Francis fell ill and was hospitalised for more than two weeks at Kifungilo Hospital in Lushoto.

Soon after they were discharged, Francis changed and was not able to breastfeed, he was crying most of the times, he did not grow same as his twin and he never liked food. The signs of him not being able to speak or sit started at that particular time.

Paediatrician Robert Ngailwa of Muhimbili National Hospital explains that Francis condition was caused by cerebral palsy, a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination other disabilities caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.

He says, with Francis it came with other forms of disability that damages his ability to do other things that any other child with cerebral palsy can do. He says, the risk factors of cerebral palsy occur even before child birth and about 70 to 90 per cent of this happens during pregnancy.

“It is very important for pregnant mothers to visit clinics as directed and make sure they report any slight difference with their pregnancies.

By doing so it will help them to know what exactly could be done to save infants from any other type of disability,” says Dr Robert.

His disability was identified when he turned two years. Her mother-in-law told her Francis is disabled because twins are curse and should be kept indoors

“Both my late husband and mother-in-law teamed up together and chased me without giving a thought at how I would raise the children,” Theresia says.

Upon her arrival from her husband’s village in Masange, she was welcomed at her family house in Mlungui village where she lives with her brother and her mother.

She says, the situation forced her to look for different jobs to support her family and ended up being a casual labourer in farms and got paid between Sh4,000 to Sh10,000 per day depending on the agreement.

Theresia says, two years ago he would carry Francis to and from schools on her back. But currently is not able as he is too heavy.

She says, her children stay with her mother as she goes for casual work. However, managing money for transport as well as other basic needs for the entire family is a challenge.

“Francis has a lot of needs. He only has one pair of school uniform. Since he cannot walk, he gets very dirty to the point I have to wash his school uniform on daily basis. Lushoto’s weather is very cold, sometimes I don’t wash when there is less sunlight,” says Theresia

She says, she is happy the son was enrolled at Mkuzi Primary School and she has seen great changes compared to the past three years when he was still at home.

According to her, she had no idea that children with disabilities are accepted at schools as he had been rejected in two neighbouring schools. It was until she was told about Mkuzi Primary School by one of the people she works for.

Commenting on his progress since he started school she says, back then he could soil his clothes but now he is trained and he asks for help whenever he feels like relieving himself.

The challenge is the unfriendly environment as there is no specific toilet for him. He has to use an open space and Theresia cleans him.

“Being at school has helped my son so much with improving his understanding. However other life challenges remains the same but I am proud and thankful to the teachers at Mkuzi Primary School for the great job they are doing,” says Theresia.

She calls upon other parents with children with disabilities not to give up on their children despite challenges. She calls upon well wishers to support her with anything to help her child with special need like a wheelchair.

Shamimu Tindikali, is a special needs teacher at Mkuzi Primary School. She says, her class has 19 pupils who attend the same classroom regardless of the difference in their ages.

She says, at Mkuzi there are no enough classes given the number of disabled children. They needed three classes and three teachers while the school just has one class and one teacher.

“As you can see my class has pupils of different ages. Some are below ten and others are above seventeen. In reality these pupils need to be separated to make it easy for learning and teaching process,” says Shamimu.

Commenting on Francis development she says, her class is only special for children with cerebral palsy but has to take all those with other special needs as well.

She says, Theresia is going through a lot just to see her son learning. With her financial status she still struggles to make sure she gets Sh4,000 per day to support Francis’s transport.

She says, since children with cerebral palsy do not sit for National Examinations, they are only brought to school to learn life skills and equip them with knowledge that will help them live better. They always learn under different phases that requires enough classes unlike one class at Mkuzi.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Celebrating a great mother


By Janet Otieno

Mothers are great people. This week we bring you a story of a mother from Lushoto who is going against all the odds to ensure her child who has special needs gets education. The child who is 12-years-old cannot walk or talk but the mother carries him to school every morning, waits at school to clean him in case he gets soiled, then leaves with him in the late afternoon.

Her inlaws abandoned her but this did not deter her from ensuring her child gets the best. She has to endure all the stigma from people who do not understand the condition of the boy thinking it is a curse. Other family members told her to hide the child indoors but her determination to ensure she gives her children the best has kept her going. For this woman, educating her son is her number one priority and nothing is going to stop her.

She does menial jobs on people’s farms to ensure she gets money to hire a bodaboda to carry her and the son who has since grown heavy and she can no longer carry him on her back. However, the boy cannot sit on the bodaboda without support, so she has to sit and hold him to and from school everyday. Today we celebrate this great woman.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Enter Nancy and my pal turns generous


You’re having your drink at the counter. You like it here, much as you’ve to strain to hear what fellows seated next to you are saying, for the music from the speaker just above your heads is so loud. You had requested Prisca the ‘‘akaunta’’ cum resident deejay to reduce the volume to no avail.

“The boss wants the volume high, when we reduce it he storms inside here and increases it… I don’t want to lose my job,” Prisca had explained.

Anyway, for most of us ghetto residents, loud music isn’t an issue, generally. Actually, we cherish huge noise because it makes a person drunk faster. However, when one seriously considers the grocery a place one can exchange ideas with fellow drinkers, this is a place to shun.

Good thing, though, is that the noise doesn’t interfere with anyone’s vision. Like today, when you notice this young woman seated quite some distance from the counter. She also notices you and waves, and you wave back.

The young woman (call her Nancy) doesn’t just end it with the waving, because a couple of minutes later, she meanders her way to where you’re seated and gives you a hug; yes, a very warm hug accompanied by pecks on the cheeks.

“Dad, how have you been…it has been long, eh?” she says. A non-M’bongo would quickly conclude that you’re indeed this lady’s father, given the way she effusively addresses you as “baba”.

She’s the talkative kind, for, after she’s done with the hugging and kissing, she “introduces” you to two counter mates she found you talking with, kind of. “Huyu ni babangu kabisa, kanilea tangu miye kiduchu.” Well, well, you’re a typical African and so, naturally, you consider all children your children; more so those with the courtesy to call you “father”.

After a few minutes of the usual chitchat—the ear-splitting din from the speaker notwithstanding—she excuses herself, “Let me go back to my friends, dad.” Using the thumbs-up sign, you tell her it’s okay.

As she walks back to her table, your neighbours who, with eyes, had escorted her all the way to her table, pat you on the shoulder and ask, almost simultaneously: “Is she, indeed, your daughter?”

“Well, why are you asking that?” you ask back.

“Just to know, mzee,” says the guy to your left.

“Okay, the child of another person is your child too,” you say as you hail Jacque, one of the barmaids, to take a beer to Nancy.

Jacque returns to you almost immediately after delivering the drink. “Mzee, your daughter says thank you, but she asked why you discriminated her two friends; she says they also drink Windhoek.”

The kande eating born economist in you is just about to explode when the guy to your left tells the barmaid, “Hey, leave our mzee alone; take to the three girls two-two and make sure you tell Nancy the beers are from me, okay?”


Saturday, August 18, 2018

There is more to this life than work and KPIs


By Christine Chacha

Is there a time in life where you just look back at life and appreciate the journey that you have been through? Well last week I ran into my first boss and had the pleasure of chatting over coffee despite his busy schedule. We talked about life in general and how much change we have seen over the past and where we have landed. He was surprised to learn that I ended up in corporate despite my passion and love for development.

I was amazed to see how warm and happy he was, a complete opposite of the man I knew back them. He was a very strict, cold and harsh boss, and I shuddered at the very thought of going to his office. I mastered enough courage to ask him what was eating him back them and what happened to him to my surprise, he smiled and told me “I have grown”

He went on to expound and explain his “growth” and I was impressed. “Back then I was overzealous about targets and KPI’s until I realised there is more to life than that” he said adding that his focus is now on relationships, mentoring others and leaving a legacy. I have more respect for the man for admitting his flaws and working towards changing.

I can relate with growth because it’s the most crucial part of aging. There are times my friends exclaim saying “aki you have changed!!” because I don’t want to something or go someplace that I used to enjoy years ago. While they mean it in a negative way, it makes me happy because it means I have grown, I am not the person I was back then. Growth is a good thing- it’s the right way to live.

There are many things I used to enjoy that I do not anymore. I spent most of my 20’s learning and experiencing things even when I didn’t think I was. As a result, I can sometimes zone out with a smile on my phase as I reminisce an all the crazy things I been through. Also in my 20’s I became a self-proclaimed columnist and was able to share my life with you through the column single in the city and the diva.

It’s been fun and I do appreciate the lessons I learned through that journey but it’s imperative to admit that, that phase of my life is over and to embrace the new lessons that life brings. I am now 30+ and keep learning new things each day I have grown so much and believe I have much to offer, who knows maybe I will write a book someday.

For now, I want to take on as much as I can from the world- learn some more and grow some more. Getting better at who I am, what I do, and what I am to others – have some more social impact. I’ve realized that it’s not difficult to be an overall nice and positive person. It’s not difficult to be a shoulder to lean on for those that need you. That it’s even more fulfilling when you look at life as an optimist even when it gives you every reason not to see it that way. Optimism makes you enthusiastic, genuine, wholehearted and hopeful; which is what anyone would want around them especially at this time.

Human culture, technology, knowledge, language and population have all evolved over the years so should you. As a human you must grow emotionally, intellectual and physically and you have the responsibility to facilitate and amplify growth yourself. So dear reader, be selfish and invest in your own growth and development.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Some men do not outgrow love for toys


By Marete Wa Marete

Browsing through the internet I read that Barbie, the famous girls’ toy is now past her fiftieth birthday (58). Not that I care one bit about Barbie, but curiosity nonetheless, got the better of me. Apparently, Barbie still remains as beautiful as ever – with white flowing hair, hazel eyes and all what epitomizes the concept of ‘beauty’ for the American folks.

For those of who do not know Barbie, let me clear the air for you; she happens to be the girl toy my younger sister always cuddled around as I pored through Superman comics, watched Flintstones on our 12-inch Great Wall black and white TV or played with the red toy Ferrari my old geezer had bought on a trip to the city. She was the darling of my younger sister that I often ‘beheaded’ Barbie whenever my kid sister threatened to report to our parents the many felonies I committed during the day, for which my buttocks were spanked raw by mom.

Toys don’t grow old. My however, spouse’s age has continued to change as she gets to her early-forties. Her looks and shape have lost the girlie look she had when we first met. I know that it is a matter of time before she develops a sagging belly, stretch marks or wrinkles that come along as she crossed fortieth mark. I am not exempt from aging. Every day, I find grey hairs on my head increasing in leaps and bounds. Soon, they will be growing on you-know-where. She now wears a no-nonsense womanly face.

My spouse might have discarded Barbie after she acquired breathing ones in the name of children but my red-car-toy psyche has refused to depart from me my advancing age notwithstanding. The little boy in me is obsessed with toys of differing forms. The mere fact that I smother my son with such toys and comic books is indicative of my refusal to grow up – sorts of secret wishful cravings for fancy toys of my boyhood. How about the various toys in my possession in the form of electronic gadgets that clutter my house?

TVs or any other electronic gadget that bore are indeed toys.