Cholo “Tembo” Selemani

          Tabora, Tanzania

   Cholo “Tembo” Selemani

            Tabora, Tanzania

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Born Nasoro Seulemani, otherwise known as  Cholo or Tembo is one of 25 children (four mothers). He left home for the streets of Dar es Salaam at 17.  Earned a driving permit and drove an unregistered taxi when I met him. Currently driving for a medical team.


Advertises dealt with:

  1. -Poverty

  2. -No education past 5th grade

  3. -Lived on streets of Dar es Salaam

  4. -Overcame pot addiction

  5. -Lack of English


Dream

- Direct  program for street youth and elderly care.

- Complete Formal Education


Age: Around 30 (birthday unknown).


How ADEA wants to help:

  1. -ADEA Boot Camp 2012 - training to prepare him to return to Dar es Salaam to begin his street youth program.

  2. -Purchase mini-bus with a lease own contract allowing Cholo to generate income will supporting his Street Youth and Elderly Care Program.

 

Nasoro (or Cholo) was born in Tabora, Tanzania sometime between 1982-1985. He is one of 25 children, born to his fathers fourth wife.  By the time Cholo was the age of preschool, his father had retired from his work with the railroad. Without no retirement funds became tight, and his father more abusive, Cholo was forced to drop out of primary after 5th grade to help generate income for his mother.  At around age 17 Cholo left Tabora for Tanzania’s main city – Dar es Salaam to escape the troubles at home.  For several years, Cholo lived on the streets of Dar. He able to earn his driving permit, and supported himself as an unregistered taxi driver.  That is when I met him.  Cholo had a thoughtful and wonderfully genuine spirit – one that I would later learn was exceedingly honest and compassionate. Soon after my initial meeting with Cholo during a trip to Dar, Someone hit the car that he leased on a daily basis.  The car owner had lied about the validity of the insurance, and Cholo spent a painful week in jail. The humiliation  and abuse he experienced there unjustly made an impression on him.  As my now preferred taxi driver when visiting Dar our friendship began to grow. I was able to help him buy a bicycle which would allow him to do deliveries and outmaneuver the city traffic.  He shared with me his life story, some of his challenges, and his aspirations (like returning to school and learning English).  On one visit I found Cholo very quiet and solemn, after a few rides together, I confronted him.    In 2009 Cholo was offered the job of being a driver for a medical project in Mtwara.  He decided to accept the position, for though the pay was poor, it was steady work, and he felt he could gain from the experience.  Though, the low pay, and 24 hours on call nature of the work has been demanding, having him living in Mtwara has allowed our relationship to deepen.


Through discussions I learned that Cholo is exceedingly bright and observant as he would  explain to me life on the streets of Dar es Salaam.  He was aware of government corruption, villainous philanthropists, police rackets, the prostitution and drug rings, and the plights an struggles of those living on the streets.  He was even friends with the Bongo Flava pop stars of Tanzania.  I also learned of his charitable heart as he would take girls and boys from the streets to the hospital as needed, and help look after elderly people who had be ignored by their families. He hates crime, and is partners with the local police to locate people involved in criminal activity (when Cholo feels the police are acting with integrity – which is not always the case). 


Because of this low pay, I (ADEA) have been able to help him make ends meet with financial gifts, or day work.  ADEA also provided the funds he needed to return to Tabora once to visit his ailing money, and again to attend the funeral of his sister who was tragically killed by a run away truck. And more recently I have lent him the money to renew his drivers permit. 


Cholo’s dream is to return to Dar es Salaam to begin a program to help street youth. He feels that though there are some organizations (with varying levels of credibility), he feels there they lack true understanding of their needs. 


While previously in Dar, Cholo was hiring a mini van. The daily fees were so high, and user agreement so ridged that in nine years he was  never able to save enough money nor have a break from his user agreement  to return and visit his family in Tabora.


Though ADEA Boot Camp 2012 Cholo will be coached in computer literacy, money management, project planning and management, cross cultural relations, and fund raising to prepare him for his dream project Dar.  ADEA will eventually help him seek funds to buy a mini-bus so that he can combine his work with the street youth and elderly with income generation.  

Dreaming to make a difference on the

streets of Dar es Salaam

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