27-year-old Imani Mwangomo, a youth from Kiwira ward in Rungwe had a promising future ahead of him. He had just graduated with an Education degree in 2015 and was looking forward to pursuing his passion for youth advocacy and mobilization. This was not to be however, as opportunities were few and far between. He resorted to farming on his family land to make ends meet though his desire was to one day focus on his passion.
In May 2018, Feed the Future Tanzania Advancing Youth held a series of training events in Rungwe on leadership. Imani was among the youth selected for the trainings. He was trained as a Community Mobilizer and thereafter selected to be an Advancing Youth Advisory Council (AYAC) member. An eloquent speaker and fast learner, the knowledge and skills that he gained from the training made him stand out such that he was also trained to be a Leadership Trainer of Trainers which was the turning point of his life. From then on, Imani was regularly working closely with the Advancing Youth grantee, Tanzania Bora Initiative (TBI) to assist with implementation of the leadership program in Rungwe.
In December 2019, impressed by his knowledge of youth issues and record as a trainer, TBI employed him on a year contract as a Governance Officer based in Dar es Salaam. His main responsibility was to galvanize youth and moderate online discussions and campaigns on voter education with an aim to attract youth to vote during the recent general elections. Imani’s contract was worth a net pay of TZS 1,350,000 (USD 583 per month).
“In addition to the economic benefits I gained from this opportunity, this was a life-changing career for me. I learned so much and added to my arsenal of experience when it comes to youth issues. The exposure that I received, networking, skills and experience qualifies me as a professional youth mobilizer,” remarks Imani.
His enthusiasm, hard work and commitment towards his role earned him glowing praise from his supervisor:
“Imani is a strong leader and an excellent youth mobilizer,” says his supervisor, Ismail. “He did an excellent job of mobilizing his fellow youth across 35 regions to vote, using the #KuraYetu online campaign, he enabled underrepresented youth to come out and vote. Subject to availability of funds, Imani is a youth we would love to have on our team on a permanent basis, we are working towards this,” says Ismail.