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Ahilaka Nduka's Story

Ahilaka Nduka explores a Meru cultural village in Tanzania in 2023

As a Nigerian, I have been privileged to live and work in South Africa and Swaziland and have traveled to about 5 other African countries but going to Tanzania which is in the Eastern part of Africa was an amazing opportunity for me to learn and understand the difference in the cultures and traditions of the people from East Africa. Having heard and read so much about the Maasai people and their culture, I was expectant to learn more about the diverse cultures and traditions in Tanzania. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, we were welcomed with beautiful cultural performances both at the airport and at Veta Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (VHTTI). These were pointers that the trip would be filled with memorable experiences.
As I reflect on the two weeks spent in Tanzania at the (VHTTI) with ten students and two members of faculty from NSCC, I am filled with beautiful memories, particularly the warm hospitality of the Tanzanian staff and students. Their kindness, and peaceful disposition towards NSCC staff and student exemplify their positive attitude to life which I find to be an enabling factor to their mutual coexistence.

Among the highlights of the international learning experience to Tanzania were the visits to the local businesswomen, who through Enactus NSCC Pictou, I have been part of fundraising events to help them start their business so they can support their families and provide quality education for their children. A visit to Gongali water filtration industry at Njiro, Arusha, where we learnt about water filtration using a Nano filtration system, accentuated the ingenuity of Tanzanians to support access to clean water for an improved health of the people. To contribute to the education and empowerment of women in Tanzania, my nonprofit organization, Leave No One Behind Charity Organization, offered a full scholarship to Shamim Adam, a Culinary Art student at the Veta Hotel and Tourism Training Institute, Arusha.
The cultural highlights were visits to Tengeru Cultural & Tourism Center and Ee-yeiyo Cultural Preservation Center, to learn about the Meru people and their culture and to cross fertilize ideas on how culture can be used as a tool to enhance social coherence among the people. We learnt that the Meru people are farmers who cultivate the large expands of land in the Meru Kingdom, and their home life and culture is like other Highland Bantus. They are known for their strong traditional music, with popular genres including mugithi and kigoco, which are often played during cultural events and celebrations. The experiences at the Safari to Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park can not be overemphasized. The memories will live a lifetime.

Tanzania is a vast country with a huge diversity of cultural norms and practices. There are great variations among its regions, and ethnic groups but the peaceful coexistence among the various cultures and ethnic groups is instrumental in the economic development of the country.
The visit gave the students the opportunity to further understand that culture plays a vital role in understanding human diversity, inclusion, and acceptability. Participating in this international learning experience to Tanzania and being part of a team that empowers Tanzanian women through education and entrepreneurship, has not only enriched my global perspective but also enhanced my ability to create sustainable change and be a team player. Through this learning experience, I am certain that, we can enable individuals and communities to realise their full potential and create a better future for all by sharing our knowledge, skills, and resources.

Ahilaka G. Nduka
Social Services
NSCC, Pictou Campus