Mozambique- Menininha- Chibuto Municipality

Date: July 27, 2018
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Mozambique- Menininha- Chibuto Municipality 

“During the performance of my work, I lost a tooth because of a nail that jumped and hit me. Today I have a false tooth, but even then I never thought about giving up”

My name is Acina Alfredo Uachisso Taimo, better known by Menininha, which is also the name of my stew. I am 42 years old, and currently live with my husband, and my nephew. I’m the mother of a 22-year-old girl, and I have a granddaughter. I attended my studies until the 7th grade. Being the only girl of 10 brothers, I accompanied the activities of my brothers, it was then that in 1993 I learned the art of upholstery and carpentry with them. After some time, they gave me some value and they gave me room so I could continue to do my job on my own.

I paused in 1995 when I had my daughter, and only resumed work in 2010. Now I work in a space given by the church, where I also present my products. This work has always been heavy, and in the beginning, I suffered a lot of prejudice from people, who did not understand why I chose. They laughed at seeing me all dusty on the bus when I went to get some supplies for my work, but that did not discourage me.
The person who always supported me was my older brother, also a carpenter. At first it was suffering because we had to travel long distances to saw the wood, and we did not have any type of transport, everything had to be loaded on the back. One of the times I was working, he kicked a nail into my mouth and broke my tooth. Today I have a false tooth instead of what I lost, but I still have not lost my enthusiasm.

I met Gender Links 2014, when I was invited by the Municipality to participate in the Good Practice Summit on Gender and Development in Maputo, where I was in the first position in the category of entrepreneurship.

Thanks to this victory, in 2015 I went to Botswana, where I was in second place in this category. In 2016 there was also a summit, in which I was again in second place.
My work today has more visibility than before, and even people I do not know, and who have seen me on television greet me. I have 4 helpers, two boys and two girls. My dream now is to have a space to work and sell my articles. I would also like to teach more children my craft, because as it is not easy to get work, they could do something for self-support.

I advise the girls to come and work with me, but they are very worried about being always in makeup, so they will not come. There is time for everything, for that reason, they should not be alarmed, because after work they can dress up, look beautiful.

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