Arthman's Story

I was born in 1994 in Dodoma, and my parents knew straight away that something was wrong. I had a weak body and no strength in my limbs. My parents travelled around to many hospitals, but they found no one who could help. In 1996 my father died and this was a really hard time for the family. Many of my siblings had to leave to find work, and I was left with my mother and youngest sisters.

When I was five, I went to attend the local primary school, but they sent me home again because I was too short, and they did not believe I was old enough. I remember I cried that day, because all my friends started school without me and I was left behind. I was finally accepted the following year.

Whilst at school, I developed a love of dancing, and became quite popular because of this. I started a dance group and was often asked to dance when guests visited the school. I went on to attend secondary school and completed my studies. In 2013 I moved to Iringa to live with my brother. Here, people had heard of my dancing talent and soon I was being asked to travel all over the country and dance for different product promotions. I enjoyed the work, but it caused some conflict between me and my brother. He was not happy with me travelling with so many unknown people to unknown places. It was also very busy and tiring work.

I used to regularly pass the Neema Crafts centre and dreamt about working there with other people with disabilities. Finally I decided to apply and got the job! I have been working here for 6 years now and I love it. I work in the shop and have enjoyed improving my English and chatting with the customers. Sometimes I still get calls about dancing jobs, but I tell them I’m busy, because now I work at Neema Crafts!