Rare beauty: Meet ONE Mom Nancy Sumari, former Miss Tanzania

Rare beauty: Meet ONE Mom Nancy Sumari, former Miss Tanzania


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She’s beautiful, she’s giving, and she’s smart – a rare beauty, indeed! 

I recently got to chat with the amazing and talented former Miss Tanzania, Nancy Sumari. She’s new to the ONE Moms community, and I wanted to learn more about what motivates this author, mother, businesswoman and passionate advocate. In our interview, Nancy talks about her new children’s book, what it’s like being a mother, and the advice she has for women and mothers everywhere. Nancy writes for her personal blog Mama Zuri’s Chronicles, contributes to World Mom’s Blog, and is the co-founder of the Tanzania Women of Achievement Awards.

What do you want our ONE Moms community to know about you?
I am a working mommy of one. I draw inspiration from my beautiful country, Tanzania. I am passionate about causes to do with education, children and women empowerment, and I have a healthy appetite for life!

What do you write about? Why do you blog?
I write mostly about my everyday experiences as a mom: my journey as a mother, the things that I learn from and teach to my daughter. I blog because sharing my story and hearing from other parents on issues that we all go through is very important to me. The blog has become a great platform where moms and some dads share and learn from each other. It truly has been an amazing experience.

What is your cultural heritage? Where do you live now?
I was born to Maasai parents, (the last of the existing indigenous tribes) in Arusha, which is in the northern part of Tanzania. I currently live in Dar es Salaam – which is by the coast – with my family.

What is your daughter’s name? What do you enjoy most about motherhood?
My daughters name is Zuri. I am enjoying the never ending changes as she grows; one minute she couldn’t sit up, then she did, and then she crawled and walked and spoke and is going to play-school, RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES! Amazing.

Can you talk a little about your book? What does the title mean? What inspired you to write it?
My book is titled “Nyota Yako” which is Swahili for “your star.” It is a children’s book that targets the girl child and speaks about role models in our society here in Tanzania. The book touches on the lives of various women in  history and their resilience and ability to be able to rise above challenges, work hard, and succeed. It inspires the reader and also challenges her to aspire for greatness.

Congratulations on being named Miss Tanzania in 2005! What did you learn from your time in Miss Tanzania and Miss World?
Thank you. I was very fortunate and blessed. It was great to have met so many young, talented people from around the world. For me, the best part about it was being afforded this great platform to be able to make my voice heard about the causes I am passionate about and raise awareness for them.

What is one piece of advice you have for other women and mothers around the world?
“Make it Count” – be it your journey, life, endeavors, passion etc. We are charged with maybe the most important role to play in life as women and as mothers. We really run the world! So lets make it count.

What do you think is the biggest social issue facing your child’s generation?
Quality education – the lack of. It is a national crisis.

Do you have any personal goals for 2014?
I would like to finish my second book before the year end. I have also just taken up tennis on the side and would like to go pro (fingers crossed). And I want to get better at cooking and baking.

Nancy Sumari at the 2013 Social Good Summit with (left to right) Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon of Third Eye Mom, Jennifer Barbour of Another Jennifer, & Phil Carroll of Save the Chldren. Photo Credit: Jeannine Harvey.

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