A miner was accused of r*pe by his fellow miners, in Tanzania, and the authorities have arrested the culprit. But everyone was shocked to find out that the accused was actually a woman!
Pili Hussein was born into a large family in Tanzania. Her father had six wives and 38 children, including Pili. She was well looked after, but ran away from her abusive husband when she was 31.
After running away from her husband she made her way towards the Mererani mines at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, where the rare violet-blue gemstone called tanzanite was mined. She was told that women were not allowed in the mines. After watching the men dig for raw tanzanite, she decided that she could also do the job as well as the men.
Pili ditched her skirts for trousers and long sleeved shirts, while a ski cap hid her hair and a part of her face. To make it more convincing, she also changed her name to Mjomba Hussein (Uncle Hussein). She worked alongside men for 10-12 hours every day, going down 600 meters into the mine to find tanzanite. Uncle Hussein adapted their habits. No one suspected that she was a woman.
“I drank Koyagi (local gin) and joked with the men about which village women I liked. I was also able to convince them to stop harassing the village women,” she said.
However, a local woman was r*ped by some miners, and Pili was arrested a suspect. The men who did the r*pe pointed her as the culprit.
Unfazed, Pili asked the police to physically examine her and prove that she was not responsible for the crime. She was soon released, but her fellow miners were still incredulous.
After a year of mining, Pili struck gold when she found two clusters of tanzanite stones weighing 1000 and 800 grams. She bought more tools and employed miners to work for her. Pili also bought farmland, and sent some of her family members to school. Still, the money was more than enough to buy mining license and to her surprise, the law didn’t restrict women from mining!
However, she doesn’t want her daughter to follow in her footsteps. “I want to make sure that my daughter goes to school, gets an education and then she is able to run her life in a very different way, far away from what I experienced,” Pili stressed.