SUNDAY April 2, 2023
By Adam Ihucha
The Tranquillity News Correspondent, Tanzania
A prominent female tour operator in Tanzania, Ms Zainab Ansell, has been declared winner of a prestigious national award of 2023 Malikia wa Nguvu— influential Queen – edition to recognise her noble role in creating massive employment in the tourism industry.
Clouds Media Group, organisers of the annual Malikia wa Nguvuawards meant for celebrating extraordinary women in Tanzania, this year recognised Ms Zainab, the founder of the Zara Tours, for creating employment opportunities.
“Malikia wa Nguvuaward 2023 goes to Ms Zainab Ansell, as a businessperson who has generated a number of employment opportunities and still creates more avenues and vacancies for youth to be employed in the tourism industry, both formally and informally,” the organisers said.
Indeed, Ms Zainab has had and continues having an immense contribution to the tourism sub-sector, both as an operator through her company, Zara Tours, and as an employer.
With a growing number of employees in the tourism and hospitality sector to cater for the ever-growing needs of clients arriving to explore Tanzania for fun and leisure, her role continuously influences positive change in the commercial and social sector.
“Ms Zainab deserves the Employment Queen award and is worth recognised for her commendable role in the provision of employment opportunities on one hand and in the growth of tourism and hospitality on another hand, owing to services she offers the mighty Kilimanjaro expeditions, wilderness adventures and leading edge accommodation in the wild and around the tourist hotspots,” the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) CEO, Mr Sirili Akko, said.
Ms Zainab Ansell is not a new name in the business arena, having been a multiple award winner in person and through her establishments, namely Zara Tours and Zara Tanzania Charity.
Early this year, she won an award dubbed the Best Tourism Company of the Year which displays her role in tourism operations through Zara Tours and improvements and contributions she made to prosperity of the tourism industry that has both economic and social benefits.
Her gifted hands have changed thousands of lives in Tanzania. She employs nearly 1,410 on a permanent and seasonal basis, sustaining thousands of families in a country where unemployment is among Tanzania’s significant social and economic challenges.
Official data put Tanzania’s rate of unemployment at 2.74 per cent. However, according to the World Bank, about 900,000 youthful Tanzanians enter the job market each year, which can generate barely between 50,000 and 60,000 new opportunities only.
Besides addressing unemployment, Ms Zainab is also at forefront in helping the surrounding indigenous people, mostly from the Masaai pastoralist community. She has built a school which enrolls children under seven years of age free of charge.
Ms Zainab has not only constructed the school premises and left, but she also runs the facility, with 95 kids from the Maasai nomadic pastoralists pursuing their dreams in life.
She has also developed a unique window for helping marginalised Maasai women in her fresh bid to liberate them from harmful shackles of their traditional norms.
Ms Zainab is single-handedly struggling to address historical injustice compounded by the oppression and exploitation of women.
She has also been financially empowering the Maasai women to buy raw materials for making beads and selling them to foreign tourists.
Hundreds of Maasai women benefit from tourists’ dollars by hawking beads and carvings along the roads heading for important tourist sites.
Thanks to Ms Zainab’s quest for seeing local community members get direct returns for conserving tourist attractions surrounding them for ages.
Ms Zainab has bankrolled first aid training sessions, beginners’ English courses, HIV and AIDS education, and financial management training, to mention but a few, to nearly 900 porters.
She has initiated Zara Charity to stimulate a global movement on sustainable tourism by giving back to the community through the network of travel industry partners, organisations, travelers, and global citizens interested in reaching out to and supporting vulnerable groups in TanzaniaΩ