Seneyo Nginyai lives in Kiteto district in the Manyara region of Tanzania with her four daughters and a son. Nginyai, has for a long time, realised and spoken about the importance of educating and empowering Maasai women. As a result, she cites an old Swahili phrase, “When you educate a woman, you educate a nation”.
Today, Nginyai works with Maasai Women Development Organization (MWEDO), a non-profit organisation that aims to educate Maasai women in Tanzania. As a women’s rights activist, Nginyai plays the role of mother to eight children, creating opportunities for them to study.
With minimal assistance from their families, Nginyai accommodated several children in her home, to ensure they receive access to education. She says, “Girls are the most vulnerable in our societies, they need to have education in order to make difference and fight against the traditional regressive practices forced upon them”.
“A woman is a leader, a woman is a mother and a woman is a teacher”, she states. Highlighting the abysmal state of Tanzanian women. As a result, she said that women face the brunt of all the regressive social norms. “Women are the ones who get circumcised, women are the ones who are strictly prohibited to own land, and they are the ones who are forced to remarry their deceases husbands’ relatives as widow inheritance”. She believes in order to uproot such practices from the Maasai society, educating Tanzanian women becomes imperative. She says that sending girls to schools, helps girls acknowledge their rights and stops regressive practices in Tanzania.