The Man on the Team!
by Chausiku Mkuya, Kisa Mentor
Many people ask him what it is like is to be the only male in a female dominated working environment. To our ‘man on the team’ it’s nothing unusual as he has been the only man at AfricAid since 2013. Some would say that being the only male in the organization, surrounded by many females, takes courage! For our man on the team it has meant learning and knowing more about women in terms of their strengths, capabilities and determination.
Mr. Oscar Chengelela, famously known as Kaka Oscar, is a father of four who always says that “being born in a poor family is not your fault, but dying poor is the choice that you have to make.” He values the importance of education and he has proven that by making sure all of his children go to school, both boys and girls, and supporting them towards their goals. The AfricAid team in Arusha, where Kaka Oscar is based, always appreciates the engaged role he plays on the team. He values the importance of education for girls and through the Kisa Project has found he is able to give back to the community. At AfricAid we encourage teamwork and he inspires other men to also support the cause.
Other staff members really appreciate Kaka Oscar’s contribution saying “he is our reminder”. Every morning when he comes to the office, he will ask the schedule of the day. When the time comes, he will always be there to remind us what we had planned earlier that day. He is also always the last one to get home from Kisa Classes. This is because he makes sure all Mentors reach home safely. One Mentor said “he is more than just a brother to us; he encourages us to work hard and to love what we do because the girls are learning a lot from us.” Oscar is always eager to learn new things. On our way to class he will ask for our goals and how we will achieve them. Some of classes are very far but because of his stories along the way, the trip seems very interesting and the journey seems short.
Most of the Kisa Scholars call him ‘Uncle’ because of the wise words he shares with them. He encourages them to work hard in school so that they can achieve their goals and inspire other girls from their communities. Hearing those wise words from him help the girls to realize that some men are supportive and really want to see them succeed, not only in their lives, but in helping their communities to solve various challenges.
Kaka Oscar often says,” if you want to know the importance of education do not ask those who attended school, ask those who missed that opportunity they will tell you how it feels and the hustle they have to go through in their daily lives.” He is a great ambassador for the Kisa Project, and an invaluable part of our team.