Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

This is what 30 looks like: Nashuru Tagei

page_two_spread_rt.jpg

My husband left me when I was two months pregnant with my first child. Afterwards I was confused – I just didn’t know what to do. In my community, the women do more work than the men – it’s just the way it is – but being a single mother is tough. All of a sudden, I was the sole breadwinner.

I work as a farmer growing maize, which usually yields around four bags a year. I keep two for food and sell two for 48,000 Tanzanian Shillings each (approximately £15). The work is hard and I constantly worry about whether I’ll make enough money to support my family – often I don’t get a good yield from my crops because I can’t afford to pay for labourers, so I also fetch water for 500 shillings a bucket (around 15p). Even with this extra work and living for free in a Masai hut, raising my four children alone is the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced – I earn £35 per year and have no support from the fathers of any of my children.

This year free secondary schooling was introduced to Tanzania, but it has always been a struggle to afford primary school fees for my children. My biggest fear is that they’ll be expelled because I can’t pay. As a farmer you never have a guaranteed income and, due to climate change, our income is becoming increasingly unpredictable.

I always knew that by 30 I’d have kids, but I also thought I’d be happily married, which hasn’t worked out. But I’m proud to own five acres of land, which isn’t common for women in my community. Earlier this year, a local charity funded by Oxfam, called PALISEP, gave cows to a few of the poorer women in the village so now I can sell milk and use the money to pay for my children’s schooling. In 10 years’ time, I hope to own more livestock and become a successful agro-pastoralist (growing crops and raising livestock) – something that I’ve wanted for a very long time. So what is happiness? For me it is receiving a cow.


To mark International Women’s Day, Stylist spoke to 30 women across the globe to get an honest and eclectic view of life at 30. Read the feature here.

Related

ONLINE_ARTICLE.jpg

This is what 30 looks like to women across the world

page_eight_gaza_rt.jpg

This is what 30 looks like: Huda Albayoumi

page_six_main_rt.jpg

This is what 30 looks like: Zinabua Birhanu

Roshana Mehdian 047 a vs1.jpg

This is what 30 looks like: Roshana Mehdian

GC_059 (002).jpg

Gemma Cairney: This is what 30 looks like

ThinkstockPhotos-469057254.jpg

The rabid feminist row: Oxford Dictionaries reviews “sexist” listing

306_tablet_feat_sexistdating_lead_v1.jpg

It’s 2016 not 1950. So why is dating still so sexist?

304_tablet_feat_single_lifestylechoice_inline_v1.jpg

A single woman explains why she’s much happier on her own

gillian anderson news.jpg

Gillian Anderson hits back at tabloid's ageist Botox rumours

Comments

More

Bill Cosby will give talks on how to avoid sexual assault allegations

“They need to know... when they are doing certain things they shouldn’t be doing.”

by Amy Swales
23 Jun 2017

Everything we know about the Downton Abbey film so far

Next year, people. NEXT YEAR.

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

White House responds to claims the Queen “snubbed” President Trump

But did the Queen really do this on purpose?

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Ellen DeGeneres catches audience member stealing, publicly shames her

Top tip? Don’t steal from Ellen DeGeneres

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick lined up for new thriller

"A feverish and expertly plotted tale of psychological suspense"

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

We bloody love Kate Beckinsale’s hilarious Manspreading Action Plan

She knows exactly what to do when a man spreads his legs

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

This is what Amanda Knox’s Instagram account looks like

The Seattle native has made her feed public

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Prince Harry is still haunted by memories of Princess Diana’s funeral

‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do what I did’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

Courteney Cox thanks friends for helping her embrace “natural” face

‘I finally look like myself’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Father's Day celebrations to Lena Dunham's new crop

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jun 2017