Tanzania Tour Operator Nabs Award for Creating Jobs in Tourism

by: Adam Ihucha – eTN Tanzania |

The founder and owner of the 37-year-old Zara Tanzania Adventures, Ms. Zainab Ansell, was among the Tanzanian women legends at the red-carpet reception at Mlimani City in Dar-Es-Salaam on Saturday, March 25, 2023, to receive the ultimate annual honor of the Clouds Media Group’s Malikia wa Nguvu Award as the winner in employment creation in the tourism industry.

“It is with privilege and great honor to recognize Ms. Zainab Ansell as the winner of the Malikia wa Nguvu of 2023 for her painstaking efforts in creating decent and massive employment in the tourism industry,” organizers declared amid applause from the floor.

Clouds Media Group each year hosts a high-profile award gala dubbed Malkia Wa Nguvu to celebrate outstanding women, involving hundreds of females across the country who have extraordinarily excelled in various spheres of life.

Ms. Zainab, a former employee of Air Tanzania in the 1980s before quitting to start her tour and air tickets company, is one of the unsung heroines of our time. Being a lady in the tourist business, she fought extremely hard in a male-dominated society and has emerged triumphant.

If you visit Ms. Zainab’s office during the workdays, you will be shocked to see the same long, long queues commonly found at health facilities in African rural outfits.

People from all walks of life throng Ms. Zainab’s office, each seeking to consult her, as with a medical doctor. But unlike a medical doctor, Ms. Zainab often wears an infectious smile instead of the much-dreaded stethoscope as she serves one person after another with great humility.

Some people never notice that she is at the helm of Zara Tanzania Adventurer – one of the biggest and most prominent tour companies in the natural-resource most prosperous East African country.

The rare personality traits in most Tanzanian chief executive officers have enabled her to touch thousands of lives, particularly those from vulnerable groups. Her gifted hands have changed thousands of lives in Tanzania. She employs nearly 1,410 on a permanent and seasonal basis, sustaining thousands of families in a country where unemployment is among Tanzania’s significant social and economic challenges.

Official data put the rate of unemployment in Tanzania at 2.7%. However, according to the World Bank, about 900,000 youthful Tanzanians enter the job market each year, which can generate barely between 50,000 and 60,000 new opportunities only.

Besides addressing unemployment, Ms. Zainab is also at the forefront of helping the surrounding indigenous peoples, mostly Masaai. To support pastoralist community members, she has built a school where children under 7 years of age are educated free of charge. Ms. Zainab has not only constructed the school, but she also runs the facility, with 95 kids from the Maasai nomadic pastoralists pursuing their dreams in life. With the school, the Maasai kids would have somewhere to study.

She has also developed a unique window for helping marginalized Maasai women in her fresh bid to liberate them from the harmful shackles of their traditional norms. Ms. Zainab is single-handedly struggling to address historical injustice compounded by the oppression and exploitation of women. She has also been financially empowering the Maasai women to buy raw materials for making beads and selling them to foreign tourists. Hundreds of Maasai women benefit from tourists’ dollars by hawking beads and carvings along the roads heading for important tourist sites, thanks to Ms. Zainab’s quest to see local community members get direct returns for conserving tourist attractions surrounding them for ages.

Ms. Zainab has bankrolled first aid training sessions, beginners’ English courses, HIV and AIDS education, and financial management training, to mention but a few to nearly 900 porters. She has initiated Zara Charity, intending to stimulate a global movement on sustainable tourism by giving back to the community through the network of travel industry partners, organizations, travelers, and global citizens interested in reaching out to and supporting vulnerable groups in Tanzania.

Full article: Tanzania Tour Operator Nabs Award for Creating Jobs in Tourism
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