One of Africa’s most influential women has used a TEDx Talk to tell how the breakdown of her marriage spurred her to make a difference to others.
Fatema Dewji is both marketing head of Tanzania-based business conglomerate MeTL and founder of Educate, Empower & Inspire – a platform she uses to inspire those around her.
Speaking about her heartbreak for the first time, she shared her feelings of betrayal after discovering that her husband’s family all knew of his affair with one of her close friends.
A year later she was devastated when her brother, entrepreneur Mohammed Dewji, was kidnapped for nine days. Six months on, her best friend died of cancer – an incomprehensible loss.
She told the audience about her complete despair, her lost sense of humanity and how she could not function.
Watch her powerful talk here: https://youtu.be/AVJrUE53JAw
Turning pain into purpose
She said: “It was an unbearable amount of pain but I am still standing. I am so grateful for this pain that has taught me humility, kindness and made me empathetic so I can connect with people better … this sort of pain builds resilience that no amount of adversity can take down.”
Fatema went on to describe how she found ways to deal with the pain – including keeping moving and learning to believe in herself. Crucially, she found a purpose greater than herself.
She said: “My purpose is to make a difference, to push the human race forward, whether it is to one person or it is to 100. I am so grateful that I found my purpose … and if it wasn’t for this purpose I would not be standing here today.”
Read more about Fatema here