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Tanzeela Qambrani becomes Pakistan’s first lawmaker of African descent

Tanzeela Qambrani, whose ancestors come from Tanzania, was nominated by Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) to a women’s reserved seat in the regional parliament of southern Sindh province, reports BBC Africa.

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This makes her the first person of African descent to hold a seat in Pakistan’s parliament.

She comes from the Sidi community which is a small ethnic group of African descent concentrated in the mountainous regions of Pakistan.

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The group has been immensely overlooked in social, political and economic life in Pakistan.

They are thought to be the descendants of slaves who were brought to the region by the Portuguese.

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Qambrani recently told BBC;

‘As a tiny minority lost in the midst of local populations, we have struggled to preserve our African roots and cultural expression, but I look forward to the day when the name Sidi will evoke respect, not contempt.’

She added:

‘I can already feel the weight,’

‘I’m a Sidi, and all these middle class, lower-middle class and working class Sidis know that I’m one of them.’

Qambrani is a computer science postgraduate with three children.

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Most noteworthy, she is bringing hope to a community that has dealt with widespread marginalization in Pakistan for centuries.

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