This reality tv show is probably unlike any other you have heard of.
This show is based on empowering women in rural communities and proving the participants with a set of skills to successfully apply to their farming practices.
Oxfam, in collaboration with Tanzanian TV station, created the idea for ” Mama Shujaa wa Chakula” or “Female Food Heroes” after seeing a huge gap in female participation in agricultural education.
The show works by taking rural-farming women, who make up a large percentage of Tanzania’s impoverished, and teaches them skills they would otherwise not have access to.
Due to various reasons, including sexism, women in Tanzania are often denied loans and disregarded by banks when they attempt to buy land in their name.
“Female Food Heroes” acts as a way to transform this mentality and provide essential skills – as well as give the women the ability to win a life-changing amount of money.
Over the course of three weeks, 19 women are asked to participate in various farming challenges that put their agricultural skills to the test.
Instead of promoting cutthroat competition, each challenge operates as a formal lesson, providing expert training on topics such as leadership and finance, just to name a few.
Due to their undervalued position within society, the females are often denied access to such lessons in real life.
The popularity of the show also uses its platform to create meaningful dialogue about a woman’s position within the community.
Giving these women the tools to recreate their home life as well as a way of providing income to their families, is a gift that extends far beyond the lifetime of the show.
The winner this year was Bahati Muriga Jacob, who won the grand prize of 5 million Tanzanian shillings plus 20 million shillings’ worth of farm equipment.
Whilst only one woman can win the grand prize, every participant leaves with a furthered education and improved skill set that will benefit both themselves, and their village, in the longterm.
Meet Bahati Muriga Jacob: happy winner of Female Food Hero 2014! http://t.co/XzSBvYajIA a farming success story pic.twitter.com/I1a2xeI69t
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) July 2, 2014