Always remember that you are special and unique

Happy Shujaa was born in 1998 in Moshi in northern Tanzania on the border of Kilimanjaro National Park. Deaf from birth, she attended primary school at Mwanga School for the Deaf and later at Moshi Technical Secondary School.

“When I finished my secondary education, we moved to Tanga (coastal town/region) with my family. I felt isolated as I couldn’t get a job due to prejudice from many employers and society at large,” says Happy Shujaa.

“One day I visited the Deaf Club’s branch in the Tanga region and was invited to join the Decent Work Options for Young Deaf People project. And now I’ve attended an entrepreneurship course and a course on how to apply for loans from microfinance institutions.

“The situation was terrible in my teenage years, right after I had my child and finished my secondary education,” says Happy Shujaa.

“My mother had lost her job at the supermarket. I didn’t have the money to continue my higher education and I had a child to support. After attending the entrepreneurship course on 25. and January 26, 2024, I plan to start selling sandwiches to offices. I sell healthy sandwiches in a blue basket to my customers in their offices. I plan to get up every morning to prepare sandwiches and deliver them to government offices in Tanga town. I hope that orders will grow and I will also sell lunch according to customer demand. From there, I will focus on getting a spot at the taxi rank and getting catering orders from various departments and individuals.”

It’s not just concrete business plans that Happy Shujaa brings with her from the entrepreneurship course. She clearly has some life-guiding teachings under her belt as well.

“From the workshop topics and discussions, I have learned,” continues Happy Shujaa, “that owning a business is a journey and not an event. Things don’t always go as expected – they sometimes go wrong, but that doesn’t mean you should stop making your business dream a reality”.

Happy Shujaa emphasizes that every business owner must set daily goals, and she feels confident that this is crucial to building a successful business.

“I’m going to meet other deaf business owners to get inspiration. I need to be open to new ideas. You have to be flexible to apply new tricks that work in your own business.”

“Having a spiritual life is key to staying focused on your dreams and business goals,” concludes Happy Shujaa, highlighting her newfound energy and confidence:

“Always remember that you are special and unique. The energy that’s there has a purpose, so use it. Don’t be put off by small things and people”.

Entrepreneurship workshop participants
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