International mindedness: A photography exhibition of Tanzania and 6,000 masks

Royal High voices

By Rania, Year 13

Central to my tenure as a lifelong student of the International Baccalaureate (IB) is the concept of “International Mindedness” which cultivated within me an interdisciplinary ethos, crucial for a degree in International Relations (IR).

The desire to make a change in the world has been a goal for me. For instance, for my personal project in Grade 10, I created a website and documentary. I interviewed a diverse group of Tanzanians from local fruit vendors to the first lady, Mama Maria Nyerere, and was able to not only challenge the Western gaze of East Africa, but also deepen my peers' knowledge of my country and Africa in general.

This year, I continued my passion in promoting my country and my photo exhibition Watu Wa Tanzania (People of Tanzania in Swahili) – was accepted and showcased on 6-8 August 2020, at the prestigious Alliance Française supported by the French Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The keynote speakers at the exhibition were, His Excellency Dr Ndumbaro, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Ambassador Frederic Clavier, Ms. Devotha Mdachi, Managing Director of Tanzania Tourist Board and the Alliance Française management.

The exhibition captured the ethnic diversity, complexity and spirit of Tanzania in a sensitive, emphatic and thought-provoking way. I donated the exhibit photographs to the Tanzania Tourist Board to help promote the country as a unique destination and to help boost tourism.

On top of her commitment to international mindedness, Rania has been working hard in lockdown to help others by making over 6,000 masks with the help of volunteers and donors.

Rania first started making masks in April as a response to the nearby police station’s short supply. Within weeks, demands for her beautiful masks had increased rapidly and her organisation, Barakoa Tz, made and donated thousands of masks to essential workers, medical professionals, law enforcements, first responders and those most in need.

Rania’s exhibition and mask organisation has had national media coverage. You can see some of her fantastic photography in this image gallery.