Thank you, Mama Faraji. Rest Peacefully.

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Ms. Fatima Faraji, Mama Faraji as she was known to so many, passed away yesterday but her legacy will live on for generations. Her influence, impact, and respect, extend far beyond Tanzania, IWCA, and even the world of coffee.

Reflecting on Mama Faraji, Phyllis Johnson shares “She was a star long before joining our circle. She took the first steps towards a better future for women in coffee in Africa. When the IWCA started its search for identifying women leaders in east Africa we knew that Tanzania would be a difficult place.  Not only because of the vast size of the country but because of the multitude of religions, culture, and languages.  Everyone on the team that knew the country voiced the difficulty we would face in initially identifying the right individuals.  After several conversations and reaching out to others one name continued to surface, Fatima Faraji.

When she walked into Africa’s first IWCA training program in Kampala Uganda, October 2009, almost 10 years ago, the participants in the program knew who she was  and went to greet her with honor and respect.  Mama Faraji made all the difference in the class, she was the one that many of the women aspired to be.  She lived up to her reputation in every way. She decided to become a coffee farmer later in life, it was her second career.  She’d lived in Paris and loved to dance, a global citizen with great respect.  

She never saw her role as one of very few women serving on the Tanzania Coffee Board representing her market segment as being a burden or a challenge.  She stood up boldly and voice her opinion and fought to  the finish when necessary.”

All are welcome to use the comment field below to share reflections that honor such an incredible woman.