I was told to marry the man who raped me

Editha’s mother fought hard so her daughter could have a better life, but her sudden death leaves a lot on her shoulders.

Editha, 31, was born in Moshi in 1989 but was raised in Arusha. She is the daughter of Perfect Vision’s late founder Mama Happy and is now chairwoman of the group.

She originally dropped out of school before her A levels – Happy was very sick at the time and Editha needed to work to support the family.

When Happy recovered she told her daughter she needed to go to college, but with the gaps in her education it was going to be a long road to completion.

“I didn’t have anyone to advise me. I just started anything thinking this would get me money, Editha said.

“I started with a computer and secretary course, but I never worked in that.”

“Then I started teaching and childcare. I was employed as a professional teacher for two years but at that time I didn’t see myself in teaching so I shifted to study community development.”

She had to start at certificate level, then diploma level, before finally finishing her degree in 2018.

At all of the far-flung places she studied it was her mum who managed to pay her fees and living expenses despite her own struggles.

“My mum was always saying maybe if I have the chance to get educated, I wouldn’t live this hard life,” Editha said.

“That’s why she decided to invest so much in me.”

Editha returned home to Arusha and started looking for a job. Eventually she found work with Tanzania Volunteer Experience in 2019, but when Covid struck in March 2020 there wasn’t any work. She hasn’t been employed since.

But from the time of Happy’s sudden death in November 2020, she has taken up her mother’s mantle and made the Perfect Vision dream her own.

In fact, really she was involved from the start, encouraging and helping her mum to set the group up behind the scenes. She was even planning to open something similar of her own with a friend.

She said: “I had never thought that I would be here leading this group now because I never thought by mum would die this soon.

“But now she’s gone I need to be responsible for it and I need to make sure we achieve my mum’s plans for the group.”

As well as taking over Perfect Vision, Editha has also had to pick up her mother’s role of caring for her paralysed father.

Happy had also brought in income by selling underwear after hours, as well as chickens and eggs and she was very active in building a house so they could move out of rented accommodation.

It leaves Editha with a lot on her shoulders – but she is her mother’s daughter and she faces it all with outstanding bravery.