Nyari Teurai Mashayamombe is someone I have known for years and have watched her in action firstly as a musician and later a bold, fierce and passionate human rights, women and child activist. Nyari is the Founder and Executive Director for Tag-a-life International (TaLi) which has been advancing the rights of girls, women and children. She has accomplished many achievements through TaLi but will just mention a few. In 2017, through TaLi, she initiated the #EveryChildInSchool #ECIS campaign to push for accessible and affordable education for learners from poor households. I remember being in the first meeting representing my own organisation, Mambure.
The first advocacy issue was to push for the ministry of primary and secondary education to release a circular which would bar schools from chasing away children for non-payment of fees since this violates their right to education. This circular was eventually released. The #ECIS movement grew as it saw more than 200 partner organisations joining in the campaign. The movement then successfully campaigned for state funded basic education, which led to the amendment of the Education Act in 2020. The campaign received commendable support from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee responsible for primary and secondary education. I remember attending some of the meetings with this committee.
When ZIMSEC announced exorbitant exam fees, TaLi through ECIS successfully petitioned the government to reduce the fees and to meet the other cost thereby reducing the financial burden on parents. This lady is no push-over. I recall one time when we went to meet the Minister of Primary and Secondary education to speak about the #ECIS campaign and he dismissed us as if we had not set an appointment. Nyari would not take it and later reached out to the minister to complain about how he had treated us, and he was forced to apologise . Because of Nyari's persistence, they later found common ground with the minister and he warmed up to the goals of #ECIS.
Again through TaLi, in 2018 she launched the Leadership, Economic and Mentorship Hubs (LEMHs) for young women at University of Zimbabwe with support from HigherLife Foundation. She invited me to this important event. Every year the LEMHs programme benefits at least 20 young women who are trained in leadership and economic issues. In December 2020, TaLi hosted a 10 day leadership training boot camp in Marondera which trained young women on SRHR, climate change, leadership, human rights and women's rights, peacebuilding, ICT and finacial literacy. I was glad to meet and mingle with the LEMHsters in Marondera and saw for myself how this programme has impacted young women by boosting their confidence.
Nyari is a woman of action and quickly implements her ideas. She spoke about hosting a talk show, Identities/Umhlobo which screened on ZTV. Without any financial support, the recordings were done (I attended and featured in one of the first recordings). Not so long ago, she established Identities Media TV to make a mark in the media field . She (in partnership with SayWhat organisation) currently hosts another show #TheLens which discusses issues affecting young people.
Nyari is known for her work even beyond Zimbabwe because she has been a speaker on international platforms. She has also sat on several boards including at CIVICUS and Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe. She is a former Girls-Not-Brides co-coordinator for the Zimbabwe chapter. Currently, she is also a Programme Council member at Forum 2000, an international conference and organisation. Nyari is also a Champion for Girls Get Equal.
I could write about this woman for the whole day because I know her personally. Once she used to make these beautiful candles . She also enjoys subsistence farming. I celebrate you my friend for being an activist, musician, strategist, entrepreneur and businesswoman. You inspire me greatly.
'We are a media organisation that seeks to amplify the voice of women and girls in Zimbabwe. A brainchild of three young female journalists who would like to see rural women and girls empowered, their stories told and issues reported