Tuesday, May 15, 2012



AZIZA S. MKUMBO, 56 years, married with three children, teacher, physical disability

I was born in 1956 in Mwando Village, Iramba district in Singida. My disability is not inborn, my mother told me that I was 6 months old when she noticed that one of my legs was not functioning. They took me to the hospital and the leg was dressed with P.O.P, but instead of getting better my leg skin got damaged and its flesh started to drop off.

My mother escaped from hospital and took me to traditional healer where I kept on getting treatment and I started walking when I was five years old, but the leg was not normal. 

At school I was not comfortable because fellow students used to call me “sunku”, which means someone who walks by hopping. They also hated me so much because despite of my disability I was the best student. But the headteacher  did not discriminate me and when I was in standard four I was appointed to take care of his office, where I was responsible for managing the stationery for the students.

In my entire life I have never being hurt so much like on the day when we were filling the forms for selecting secondary schools. The teacher gave me a form and insisted that I should not turn it around, but I did, out of curiosity. I found out that he commented that “she is not fit for secondary education”. Eventually I did not join any secondary school and the rumor was that my name was among the selected ones, but that the position was given to another student in the school.  A few days later my cousin brought for me forms for teachers’ trainings which I filled in and succeeded to join Mandara Teachers College in 1977.

I successfully finished my college studies and later got employed and married to a man who is very understanding and supportive. He encourages me to overcome the challenges of disability and this keeps me going; our marriage is blessed with three children.

My dream was to become a nurse. Unfortunately I could not attain it, however I am somehow comfortable with my teaching job.
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