Meet the characters of The Team: Tanzania!
Can gender issues be entertaining?
With edge-of-your-seat drama and nail-biting suspense that make you beg for more each week, The Team: Tanzania entertains while it educates. The hope is the TV show will spark up discussion on gender issues and heighten understanding in Tanzanian communities.
Despite the existence of women’s rights laws, women are still marginalized and vulnerable in Tanzanian society. Most women are aware of their legal rights, but are unsure how to advocate for themselves in the face of heavily patriarchal norms.
Malaika Wito: A courageous and determined secondary school teacher who sets out to empower her students by coaching the school’s female soccer team. In a place where gender division is an issue, Ms. Wito brings unity, understanding, and positive change to the community.
Upendo: Outspoken, stubborn, and strong willed, Upendo is a natural leader among her peers in Ms. Wito’s class, though her personality often gets her into trouble. She joins Ms. Wito’s soccer team and quickly becomes their star goal keeper. Her parents are Baba Upendo and Safari.
Sophia: When she joins Wito’s soccer team and becomes their striker, Sophia is marginalized by her peers and her boyfriend tries to forbid her from participating. She dumps her dead-beat boyfriend, but can’t dump her questions about cultural norms in her family and her society. Through the series Sophia struggles both with her sense of identity as well as her roller-coaster friendship with Upendo.
Baraka: Upendo’s cousin who is also a member of the boy’s soccer team member. Baraka believes women and men have set roles in society and sports, and when Sophia dumps him because of these values, he turns around and sleeps with Sophia’s sister.
Waridi: Sophia’s sister who is forced into an arranged marriage after Baraka gets her pregnant. She doesn’t share her sister’s questioning attitude towards social norms. Instead, Waridi sees a woman’s value through marriage and family.
Baba and Mama Sophia: Mama Sophia is a very outspoken and strict parent, especially when it comes to keeping Sophia off the soccer team. Aside from believing that it will encourage her daughter to behave badly and act like a man, she blames Waridi’s pregnancy on the game as well. Mama Sophia dominates her husband, Baba Sophia, and what she says goes in the household.
Mr.Kalalu: The womanizing coach of the boy’s soccer team, and Ms. Wito’s #1 enemy. He strongly believes that Wito’s determination to make the girls’ soccer team a success will ruin the school and their community.
Mr. Mwaipopo: The school principal who cares about capability, not gender. He values and supports Ms. Wito’s plan to make a girls’ soccer team, especially since it will keep contractors from illegally seizing the soccer field for development.
Jumbe and Aunty Salome: Jumbe is a journalist along with Baraka’s father and Upendo’s uncle. He supports his niece’s drive on the soccer field, and his wife, Aunty Salome, is a close friend of the hot-tempered Mama Sophia.
Want to know what happens with all these characters? Click here to learn more!