2016 / 15 minutes

Directed by
Nick Lunch
Country of production

This film was made by a group of women from the Mara region, North Tanzania, who practise an old tradition called Nyumba Nthobu, by which childless (or lonely) women known as ‘Mamas’ can legally marry another woman in order that she will work as a surrogate, providing children for the Mama. The women explored the practice, the positive and negative impacts and identified potential alternatives to end this practice which causes them a lot of suffering, isolation, poverty and hard work. The sexual partners are chosen by the Mamas (often according to their perceived ability to father male children), and are often married men, which can bring conflicts.The most significant issues arise when a Mama dies, leaving the woman and her children without inheritance.

In the 2017 RAI Film Fest
Language and subtitles
Swahili, Kuria
Location(s) depicted
Mara Region, Tanzania