Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"I acted as a man to get work - until I was accused of rape"

Via RedditPili Hussein grew up in a large family in Tanzania. The daughter of a livestock keeper who had many large farms, Pili's father had six wives and she was one of 38 children. Although she was well looked after, in many ways, she doesn't look back on her upbringing fondly.

"My father treated me like a boy and I was given livestock to take care of - I didn't like that life at all," she says.

But her marriage was even more unhappy, and at the age of 31 Pili ran away from her abusive husband.

In search of work she found herself in the small Tanzanian town of Mererani, in the foothills of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro - the only place in the world where mining for a rare, violet-blue gemstone called tanzanite takes place.

"Women were not allowed in the mining area, so I entered bravely like a man, like a strong person. You take big trousers, you cut them into shorts and you appear like a man. That's what I did."

To complete the transformation, she also changed her name.

"I was called Uncle Hussein, I didn't tell anyone my actual name was Pili. Even today if you come to the camp you ask for me by that name, Uncle Hussein."

"I could go 600m under, into the mine. I would do this more bravely than many other men. I was very strong and I was able to deliver what men would expect another man could do."

Pili says that nobody suspected that she was a woman.

"I acted like a gorilla," she says, "I could fight, my language was bad, I could carry a big knife like a Maasai [warrior]. Nobody knew I was a woman because everything I was doing I was doing like a man."

And after about a year, she struck it rich, uncovering two massive clusters of tanzanite stones. With the money that she made she built new homes for her father, mother and twin sister, bought herself more tools, and began employing miners to work for her.

And her cover was so convincing that it took an extraordinary set of circumstances for her true identity to finally be revealed. A local woman had reported that she'd been raped by some of the miners and Pili was arrested as a suspect.

"When the police came, the men who did the rape said: 'This is the man who did it,' and I was taken to the police station," Pili says.

(Link to the 'Not the Onion' rest of the story)


Methadras said...

"I acted like a gorilla" countdown to SJW screeching in 3... 2... 1...

edutcher said...

And the fact she's a black woman would mean nothing.

Mumpsimus said...

Looks like the BBC has also stopped employing copyeditors or proofreaders. The second paragraph of their story states that Pili's father was "the daughter of a livestock keeper."

ampersand said...

STP gender fluid for all your tranny needs.

ampersand said...

Years ago there was a black coworker on the job I was hired into. It took three days to discover she was a woman.