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Female farmers are Tanzania's latest TV celebrities

by Benj Binks | Thomson Reuters Foundation

While sex, fights and confessionals draw viewers to most reality television shows, it's the revolutionary portrayal of women as "heroes" that makes one in two Tanzanians watch a homegrown series aimed at raising the profile of women farmers.

More than 3,000 women vied to star in the fourth series of Mama Shujaa wa Chakula, or Female Food Heroes in Swahili, which was filmed in August.

The 18 women who are selected live together for three weeks on a specially constructed farm, their every move scrutinized by more than 20 million viewers in the east African country.

The audience will vote for their favorite, who wins 20 million Tanzanian shillings ($9,525), as well as farming and fishing tools.

But the women's real prize is their new clout as local celebrities.

Read the full story here: Reality TV hooks Tanzania as women win fame, fortune and farm tools