Never Let Anything Come Between You and Your Dreams – Tahiya Musa Speaks To Women Across Africa

By Elizabeth Tungaraza


Woman in New york

Neither did early marriage nor marital problems that followed stop her from pursuing her dream. She wanted to do just anything meaningful to earn her own income rather than be the housewife her husband and his family wanted her to be.

Today the single mother of two, Tahiya Musa, is living her dream. She is the proud owner of a natural beauty products shop, Shantelle Natural Cosmetics in Magomeni Morocco in the city.

Tahiya sells a range of herbs, natural oils, soaps, shampoos, lotions, coffee scrub, all which are made using natural ingredients.

Her products not only promise to give you a soft and spotless skin but they also promise to soothe your scalp and promote hair growth. On one of the walls at Shantelle Cosmetics is a poster showing before and after photos of people whose once damaged hair was repaired by the products in the shop. No wonder they are the most selling.

The 36-year-old ambitious entrepreneur was this year one among the women recognised by a local radio station’s Malkia wa Nguvu award programme which celebrates women who go out of their way to change both their lives and that of the people around them.

Financial independence

Having been in the business for over three years, Tahiya says she has no regrets. Her business is thriving and she has customers not only in Dar es Salaam but also in Tanga, Morogoro, Mwanza and Arusha.

“I thank God business is good. I put food on the table because of this business. I just can’t complain,” says Tahiya, proud that she is now financially independent and able to support her family.

Tahiya who parted ways with her husband of nine years has every reason to thank God for who she is today after what she went through in marriage. Looking back, she is grateful that the difficult times in her marriage made her the strong woman that she is today. No wonder she was nominated for the Malkia wa Nguvu Award. It was a rough road all the way but the challenges served as a motivation for her.

At the age of 15 way back in 1996, Tahiya was married off to a man she hardly knew. She became under the control of not only her husband but also her in-laws who set tough rules in almost every aspect of her life.

“They didn’t allow me to go out of the house or engage in any economic activity. They wanted me to be a housewife,” she recalls.

Because Tahiya did not agree with her husband and her in-laws’ perspective of marriage, she found herself in the middle of misunderstandings.

Before she got married, Tahiya had been working at a hospital in Dodoma. However, soon after the wedding, her husband, who was working in a family business made her quit the job on condition that he would pay her the equivalence of her monthly salary every month.

He kept his promise for a year but stopped paying Tahiya after she got pregnant.



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