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Kisa Alumna Anna: I’m proud of who I am

When I first thought about writing a story of a Kisa Alumna, I wanted to write about one of my fellow Mentors whom I work with in the Moshi office. Most of us are Kisa alumnae. But as I was gathering my thoughts, I noticed my colleague Anna Mbaga who had been working as a volunteer in our office for the last month. I had admired how keen she was to give back to Kisa through working with us at AfricAid during her vacation as a second year law student at Makumira University. Anna became the subject of my story about an inspirational Kisa alumna.


Anna (left) volunteering in the Moshi office of AfricAid, helping prepare a Binti Shupavu activity.

I started by asking Anna about personal life, her experience with Kisa and what inspired her to pursue her bachelor’s degree in law. She begins with a short family history as a first born and a sister of a young brother who lives in Majengo Moshi. “Being a sister is something which makes me happy and responsible. I have to study hard to be able to help my parents and raise my young brother to be a responsible man,” says Anna, with pride in her voice.


Anna was a Kisa scholar at Majengo Secondary School from 2014 to 2016. Devotha Mlay got to know this promising student as her Mentor. “Whenever I needed someone to help me persuade the class to do anything, I would ask Anna. She was the natural leader of the group. She knew how to motivate people to come to class. Everyone would listen to Anna,” reminisces Devotha. At the end of the year when the class voted who was the best Kisa student in the class, Anna was nominated and won. Her efforts were recognized by the entire class.


Anna was inspired to pursue her law degree because she is enthusiastic to help women and children who face such problems as property ownership, social injustice and gender discrimination. Anna has a strong sense of social justice, and violation of human rights in society does not sit well with her. She wants to help them fight these battles.


When asked about how her life has been changed because of the Kisa Project and AfricAid, she reflected back on her university work. “Kisa has made me more confident in talking. I have more confidence in interacting with people. I now have courage to make presentations at university.” Through Kisa, she has had experience developing new ideas, interacting with different people, sharing problems, and help solving other’s problems. She is also better at negotiating win-win solutions, which is an important skill for a lawyer.


Anna and Julia (AfricAid’s Communications Director) on a hike to Materuni Falls during Julia’s visit to Tanzania in Oct, 2017.

Budgeting and working with money is another skill Anna values. Looking back on her classes, she liked how she now has practical skills with managing money. This to her is a great life skill. She also appreciates how being a Kisa Alumna, she meets interesting and inspirational people who have played a vital role in her life and are helping her achieve her goals. She likes being a part of a big network of people.


Anna is a grateful recipient of a university scholarship from AfricAid. “I never thought that I would be one among the Scholars who would receive the scholarship.”  Anna says that without that scholarship she would never have been able to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer. “My parents were unable to help me financially,” she said. “I will never forget what I received from Kisa. After I finish my studies and I am an advocate, I can be a voice for those seeking justice in the community.”


It has been interesting getting to know Anna better. She is a person who has appreciated the opportunities that have come to her, but she is also a person that tries to give back to others. She has been so helpful within the office, and I am sure in the future she will contribute so much in her community through her legal work.  “I’m so proud of who I am today. I will never forget the Kisa Program,” Anna says with a big smile on her face.


Contributed by Verynice African Kirumu, Kisa Mentor, shown working in the Moshi office with Anna (right).