Profession: Land Rights Activist & Pepper Farmer
Meet Augustina Takah. Augustina is an land rights activist and pepper farmer from Nguti Subdivision in the Kupe Muanenguba South Western Cameroon.
In October 2016, Augustina joined over five hundred women from twenty-two African countries at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and was one of 22 women to climb the highest peak in Africa to make her demands for secure land rights known to the world. The ascent took five days and 11 women made it to the mountain’s highest point – Uhuru Peak. The journey up the mountain symbolized the struggles many rural women encounter in obtaining their rights to land. The initiative was a cumulation of mobilization efforts that were conceived in 2012 by fifteen women from East and Southern Africa who met in Dar-salaam, Tanzania.
The Kilimanjaro Initiative was a cumulation of mobilization efforts that were conceived in 2012 that was spearheaded by rural women from across the continent and supported by a consortium of organizations including Oxfam, ActionAid, International Land Coalition (ILC) and Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) among others.
Augustina, shared her experience, preparing to scale up Mt. Kilimanjaro and her determination to get to the peak and make her voice heard.
“For me, beyond pursuing my land rights as a woman, I truly value my early experiences at the Kilimanjaro Initiative on women leadership. I remember myself struggling to climb and it wasn’t easy, this memorable experience prepared me to withstand heart-ache, hardship, and pursue what I want in life. As I look back, I was called “just a woman.” I have been struggling to access land because traditional leaders in my community refused to allocate land to me because to them I was just a woman and can’t own land because it’s a taboo. Today I’m very happy and can’t help smiling to myself through my voice. I now own my own land, as a farmer. I use my land for farming, which is my biggest source of livelihood. I am pepper farmer which is highly consumed by our Cameroonian population and neighboring countries. Through my pepper farming I am able to provide for my family and support my extensive family. I am hoping in future I will be a big scale farmer and want to continue helping other women raise their voices”