Entrepreneurial Resilience Unveiled: Mwana Khamis Kombo's Success Tale

By Rebecca Jacobs, Posted on November 16, 2023

In the vibrant colours of Wete Market, Mwana Khamis Kombo shines as a testament to entrepreneurial prowess and unwavering determination. Juggling the roles of a farmer and a market vendor, Mwana defies conventions, making her mark in both agriculture and trade.

Her business acumen extends beyond local boundaries, with Mwana Khamis strategically sourcing produce from nearby farmers and occasionally venturing to Tanga when local supplies dwindle. The transformation of tomatoes into sauces stands as a testament to her entrepreneurial vision, a journey she embarked upon with guidance from Omar and Sada at Community Forests Pemba (CFP).

Mwana Khamis Kombo (left) sells CFP’s Sada Segeja a bag of dried baobab from her stall in Wete Market, Pemba.

In a market landscape where female traders are a rarity due to societal norms, Mwana Khamis, along with her sister, breaks barriers. The CFP training not only equipped her with practical skills but also instilled the confidence to overcome financial constraints.

Her product portfolio now boasts cinnamon from Kisasinyu and black pepper from Finya. Operating a large pot with a capacity of 700 litres, equivalent to processing 1000 kilograms of raw tomatoes, Her signature 5-litre bottles of tomato sauce have become a local sensation, generating a weekly income of one million Tanzanian shillings.

Mwana Khamis Kombo (left) shows CFP staff around her processing hub, explaining how she makes her signature line of tomato sauces.

However, Mwana Khamis envisions more than her present success. Her ambitions include expanding her product line to feature chilli, pickles, and achari. To realize this, she has sought government assistance in securing land for a dedicated processing space. Moreover, her sights are set on the global market, aspiring to export her products beyond national borders.

For Mwana Khamis, entrepreneurship is more than financial stability; it’s a pathway to empowerment. She advocates for women to step into business roles, challenging stereotypes that confine them to domestic spheres. Mwana Khamis’ journey is a compelling narrative of transformation, underscored by education, training, and an unyielding spirit to defy conventions, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of economic independence.