Friday, 23 December 2011

KINDLE, E-BOOKS AND THE FUTURE OF TANZANIA’S POOR READERSHIP ...

I was chatting to a shop assistant at one bookshop in Zanzibar two months ago. Like Casey bookshop in Arusha, this is the best in town yet on the shelf were mostly school text materials and very, very few Swahili authors. Yes, I saw one or two copies of Professor Said Ahmed Mohammed, the late Mohammed Said Abdullah and Adam Shafi 
Famous author and promoter of Swahili literature and language Adam Shafi  when he visited the UK in 2007. Pic by  F Macha

Had I been a foreign tourist searching for Tanzanian literature I would have been disappointed.  No Ismael Mbise's “Blood on our land”(1974), autobiography of former cabinet minister Edwin Mtei (From Goatherd to Governor, Mkuki 2009) or historian Mohammed Said's The life and times of Abdulwahid Sykes (Minerva, 1998).
 It is like visiting a country that has just experienced war; no writers, no stories to tell. The shop assistant quipped: “Our people do not read anymore. Now imagine this. If I am one of those citizens who do not read, what will happen if I become a political leader? Will I suddenly promote reading and buying books?”
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Monday, 19 December 2011

INAHITAJIKA TENA KAMPENI YA “MTU NI AFYA” KUHIMIZA VYOO VISAFI AFRIKA

Kuna mambo ambayo kila jamii duniani huyahisi muhimu kuliko mengine. Kwa Mzungu akipita akaona mbwa yuko radhi achutame kumpapasa na kumpa  maneno mema. Kwetu kusalimiana wanadamu muhimu kuliko hidaya kwa wanyama.

Basi la "Baharia" mjini Moshi. Picha na F Macha

Ndiyo fikra inayonizonga nikiwa safarini Arusha kwenda Dar es Salaam. Mabasi yetu Bongo ni ramani nzuri ya kuujua utamaduni na jiografia ya miaka 50 baada ya Uhuru toka kwa Mwingereza. Ukiwa visiwani utasikia Taarabu na Kaswida; hapa Arusha hadi Moshi dereva katuwekea muziki wa Injili. Kama ile Kaswida inayoghani swalaa mbalimbali za Adhana (alfajiri) ya majogoo na Isha (mwisho jioni); nazisikia sifa kwa Yesu Kristo zikiliiza kwa jazba.
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Friday, 16 December 2011

SELF DESTRUCTION AND THE CATACLYSMIC NATURE OF 2011

Psychology describes self destructive behaviour as a combination of self harm and abuse to oneself. When repeated over a period of time, it becomes a habit. And how do you avoid such behaviour? Writing a letter to his son in July 1969, while still in prison Nelson Mandela advised Makgatho:
“Never allow yourself to be discouraged by difficulties or setbacks, and never give up the battle even in the darkest hour.”
Nelson Mandela -photo from Jokero Blog

Whether he listened to his father or not, Makgatho died in 2005 aged 54. Unashamed, Mandela revealed publicly that his second son had died of HIV. Fighting the stigma that has mystified African society, Mzee Mandela declared on television: “Aids is no longer a disease, it is a human rights issue.”
 Mandela’s life has been a brave fight against snags, snags and more snags. He was in jail for 26 years, lost his marriage, two sons and most recently his great grand daughter, Zenani.
Why did he not booze, take drugs and kill himself, i.e.  Self destruct?
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Friday, 2 December 2011

TANZANIA’S 50TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS START ROCKING IN THE UK

 
It could have been bigger than this; maybe it should have started six, seven months ago; the buzz, I mean; but as they say, better late than ever. Things switched to high gears last Saturday when Kinondoni based Twanga Pepeta band rocked London’s Club 2000 Banqueting Suite. The venue is close to the famous Wembley Stadium; hard to locate, but easy for those who were keen to search the North West part of this city. Even if you had no car, taxis were hired, friends offered lifts and public transport is rarely a problem in London. Most important thing was that attendance during this inaugural night was passionate if not positive.
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Sunday, 27 November 2011

MACHALARI MGOMBANI MOSHI NA NYAMA CHOMA ZA ARUSHA


Dunia yetu ina kila aina za udongo.
Udongo wa Mpirani nje kidogo ya Moshi mjini unanikumbusha wa Kigoma ambapo rangi yake inakurubia wekundu. Mimea ya Mpirani ni migomba, mapera, machungwa, ndimu, maembe, kahawa na gari analoendesha dada yangu Juliana linakwenda taratibu, likikwepa mashimo shimo ya udongo huu.


“Unaona ule msikiti?” naulizwa. Nikiwa mdogo haikuwepo misikiti mashambani Moshi.  Kidesturi migombani kwa Wachagga hujazana makanisa.
“Wapo mangi wengi Waislamu siku hizi,” dereva anafafanua.
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Sunday, 13 November 2011

CHUCKING NAPPIES IN THE SEA AND PLASTIC FEEDING GOATS

  I am taking photos of a young goat at a busy Dar es Salaam road. The animal is standing on its hind legs her extended light brown body stretched like rubber. Such an agile creature.  Goats, deer and gazelles are athletic animals; and you know what? Delicious too.
No time throughout the history of Tanzania have I seen so much roasted goat meat in our bars and restaurants. The craving and availability of Nyama Choma is as versatile and as fascinating as the goat I am photographing.

 Might I be an angry vegetarian who loathes killing animals? Is my intent highlighting the athleticism of Tanzanian goats?
 Hardly.
This lithe, elastic and agile goat has interested me because she is feeding on a piece of plastic hanging on an electricity pole.
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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

SANDUKU YATIMA NA SAFARI YANGU DODOMA KUELEKEA ARUSHA

Nilipokua nikiulizia basi la mikanda  Dodoma mjini;  jamaa mmoja akanicheka:
“We siku yako ya kufa ikifika utakufa tu…”
Na mimi pia  nikacheka nikikumbuka manabii walioandika maneno ya Mungu. Ndani ya sura ya saba ya Biblia mlango wa Mtakatifu Matayo tunashauriwa :
“Ombeni nanyi mtapewa; tafuteni, nanyi mtaona; bisheni, nanyi mtafunguliwa; kwa maana kila aombaye hupokea ; naye atafutaye huona; naye abishaye atafunguliwa.”
Niko Dodoma.
Nnasubiri kukata tiketi ya basi nielekee zangu mikoa ya kaskazi.
Uvaaji mikanda ndani ya magari bado unapuuzwa sana kwetu Afrika na nchi zinazoendelea...
 Baada ya kuzoea kuyapanda mabasi ya Kizungu niko kwetu Bongo nikizozana na itikeli, itikadi na desturi kidogo tofauti ambazo ingawa nilizaliwa na kukua nazo naziona kiasi fulani ngeni, za kutisha. Watanzania wenzangu wanakubali tu lile linalotokea na litokee. Mstari huo umezoeleka  kana kwamba Mtanzania anadhani maisha yake hayana faida tena; liwalo na liwe. Ni kama keshakata tamaa; ari ya mapigano inaanza kumnyauka; hana moyo.
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Monday, 7 November 2011

HOTEL MNARANI AND HOW INVESTORS CAN HELP TRANSFORM TANZANIA


Nungwi has in recent times been infamous for the boat that capsized and killed hundreds. However, Nungwi is also re known for very welcoming and friendly people where thousands of tourists and visitors flock to enjoy the beautiful seaside and Zanzibar’s elegant coastline.
“Everyone here was affected by MV Spicer’s tragedy,” Mr. Nassor Maharouky, director of Hotel Mnarani right at the heart of Nungwi tells me. Although born in Pemba, Nassor has made Nungwi his home as any true Zanzibari businessman would.  The 40 plus year old is one of those rare individuals whose passion for life usually transforms communities.


I first bumped into Mr. Maharouky (pictured top) in London a couple of years ago when he came to represent Tanzania at the annual trade fare in the UK city.  Held in November Excel international fare has had several Tanzanian tourist representations, lately.
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Monday, 24 October 2011

US AND TOILETS –WHY DO WE DISLIKE EACH OTHER SO MUCH?

Just contemplating on the above subject is enough to give one jitters.
Without self analysis and critical examination, one cannot be honest. Honesty is a very expensive piece of information.

Like some proof?
Ask any wealthy person to give you the price for honesty…tell them you want truth at any cost. Watch their faces; listen to the tone of their voices. You will observe a certain degree of discomfort in their reaction.
Truth is annoying and that is why we had the hacking scandal via News of The World earlier this year. The owners of News of The World kept denying. Denial is the best weapon for avoiding the truth.
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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

JE, KWANINI OMBI LA WAPALESTINA KUJIUNGA NA UMOJA WA MATAIFA NI MUHIMU KWETU SOTE?

Wiki iliyopita kiongozi wa Wapalestina, Mahmoud Abbas, alipigiwa makofi alipotoa hotuba ya dakika 35 kuutaka Umoja wa Mataifa uwatambue wananchi wake kama taifa huru.
“Wakati umefika, “ alieleza, “kwa wanaume, wanawake na watoto wetu kuwa na maisha ya kawaida. Kulala salama wakijua wataamka bila woga wa nini kitatokea kesho yake asubuhi.” 
Wapo waliompinga; mathalan Hamas, iliyodai kuna njia  bora zaidi kuwasukuma Wayahudi watambue haki za Wapalestina. Hamas ilisema Wapalestina lazima watumie nguvu kujikomboa badala “ya kuupigia magoti” Umoja wa Mataifa.

Mahmoud Abbas akiwa na bango la kiongozi maarufu wa Wapalestina Yasser Arafat....

Mrengo huo wa mawazo  unathibitishwa na Wamarekani walioshasema dhahiri kwamba watatumia kura ya “veto” ndani ya Baraza la Usalama kuzuia Wapalestina kuwa taifa huru. Kihistoria kura ya “veto” ilishatumika miaka ya nyuma kuyatia kabali masuala mbali mbali ya kimataifa. Iko mikononi mwa mataifa matano: Marekani, Uingereza, Urusi, Ufaransa na China.
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Friday, 16 September 2011

GREED HAS EVOLVED INTO A DANGEROUS MONSTER POST 1967 ARUSHA DECLARATION ERA

Monument symbol of the historical declaration in Arusha 1967 that changed  Tanzanian course for many decades...

Prior to the 1967 Arusha Declaration it was common for the new African political elite to party and enjoy. An expression that evolved in Kenya via then President Jomo Kenyatta applauded greed.
Enjoy the fruits of Uhuru” the late Mzee Kenyatta is quoted to have said.
The late Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya, he died in 1978.

 Political critics coined the word “Wabenzi” to describe the African ruling class because of their preference to the luxurious German Mercedes-Benz. Mwalimu Nyerere had written in his 1962 book on
Ujamaa that after winning Uhuru we cannot accept a society of “haves and have-nots.”
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BRAND TANZANIA, 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF WORLD ATHLETICS

Think about this.
You are seated watching recently ended World Athletics in Daegu, South Korea. Every time you see a group of Kenyan and Ethiopian runners win medals you clap. You yell loudly when the TV presenters say “look at those amazing East Africans.”
Which over joys you. But you are not quite content. Of course you are happy for the Kenyans who also speak Swahili. Yes. East Africans are doing very well. On a global level they are up there amongst the Americans, Russians and Britons. Kenya where images of starving children and women have decorated world wide television suddenly means glory, glory, glory.
Are you still watching?
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“STAYCATION” AND HOW WAZUNGU ARE COPING WITH CURRENT DIFFICULT ECONOMICS

“Portmanteau” is a blending of two or more words to form one; for example smog (smoke and fog), brunch (breakfast and lunch), Wikipedia (Wiki and Encyclopaedia) or to be more familiar Tanzania (Tanganyika and Zanzibar).
Linguistically speaking, portmanteau was popularised by English author and mathematician Lewis Carroll in the 19th century, very fond of playing with words. German poet and journalist Heinrich Heine of the same era also loved the lingual form and created at least 60 “portmanteaux” (note the French plural form). In Kiswahili portmanteaux are quite common too, e.g. Lelemama (a traditional East African coast dance), Darubini (microscope), Runinga (television), etc.

German writer, Heinrich Heine, fond of portmanteux...
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Sunday, 28 August 2011

KIFO CHA MWANAMUZIKI AMY WINEHOUSE NA FUNDISHO KWETU BONGO

Moja ya nyumba zilizoporwa wakati wa ghasia mjini London majuma mawili yaliyopita ni ya  mwanamuziki maarufu wa Kiingereza , Amy Winehouse aliyefariki mwezi Julai.
Ingawa uchunguzi wa nini hasa kilichomuua ungali ukiendelea hadi Oktoba, Amy Winehouse alifahamika kuwa mchapa pombe kali na dawa za kulevya wakati wa maisha yake mafupi ya miaka 27.
Mwanamuziki huyu Myahudi alikuja juu 2003 kutokana na kipaji chake cha sauti nzito ya kupendeza juu ya utenzi wa maneno  aliyoyaandika kwa ustadi sana.
Akiwa shuleni alifukuzwa sababu ya tabia ya bashasha, kutosikiliza aliloambiwa, kutoboa pua. Aliimba kila mara darasani akawakera waalimu. Ingawa hakuwa bado mlevi ufundi  wake wa muziki (alipiga pia gitaa) ulimpatia nafasi ndani ya vyuo mbalimbali vya sanaa ikiwepo Sylvia Young Theatre School.


Amy akiwa na babake Mitch Winehouse. Picha  Shaun Curry wa Getty Images.
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Friday, 26 August 2011

POSITIVE LESSONS FROM LONDON’S TANZANIAN EMBASSY

I am not an expert on the holy Quran.
 However, words from Sura 2- The Cow (the oldest of the Medina Chapters said to have been revealed in April 622) may illuminate today’s topic about Ramadan.
 “Oh believers! A fast is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may fear God.”

"Sala" or prayers during the Futari at the Embassy last week. Pic by Urban Pulse

Fear of God is one of the most revered words in all religions. And this fright was better elaborated by Sheikh Mohammed Nassor (of East London mosque) when closing a Futari dinner at the Tanzanian High Commission last Saturday.
 Insisting on unity and love the esteemed Sheikh explained: “You should not fear God but rather stay closer to Him.”
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Friday, 19 August 2011

DID BLACK CULTURE AND HIP HOP ATTITUDE INFLUENCE RECENT UK RIOTS?

Discussions and conclusions continue to be drawn following the England riots a fortnight ago.  Prime Minister David Cameron promised war on “moral decay”, since majority mobsters were youths with low regard to law, authority and social values.  His critics are doubtful. Some say he and his ruling circle are “just talking.” Certain callers on London radio stations charge his leadership is “out of touch.” How can Etonian tutored elite know what “commoners” are feeling?

British PM,  David Cameron
 Six hundred years old Eton is considered the most famous distinguished public school in the world.  According to Wikipedia at least 19 British Prime Ministers have been here.
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Conservative leaders Mr Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson are Eton educated.

Friday, 12 August 2011

UK RIOTS AND LESSONS ON YOUTH, RESPONSIBILITY AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR


She says: “I am 29 years old and probably belong to the last generation of people who respect and fear authority.”
The broadcaster asks her to elaborate.
“Just observe the situation. Most of the youths that were breaking and looting are fearless. They don’t care. They know nothing will happen. No punishment.”
The conversation is one of the many ongoing public dialogues this week. Since riots began last Friday after the shooting of a young black man (Mark Duggan) in Tottenham north London, every day has been a thrill of discussions.
  Leaders rushed from overseas  holidays , police were recalled from their off duties, media pundits  and almost every one has had something to say including the very youths who have been leading the “ burning  and looting” ( to paraphrase a Bob Marley song). 
Mark Duggan, the 29 year old's death sparked the riots...
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Saturday, 6 August 2011

PRESSURE OVERSEAS GROWS TO STOP CORRUPT AFRICAN LEADERS STEALING MONEY

One of the questions thrown at our Foreign Minister and International Co-operation His Excellency, Bernard Membe during the London Diaspora conference in May came from a student. Amidst applause the UK based young fellow charged that money from the poor tax player is squandered by corrupt leaders who then send their children and families to foreign countries.

Mr Membe (above) started by asking if among present hundred plus delegates were any children of rich politicians.  No-one raised a finger. The Foreign Minister then explained that these days there is so much transparency involved in putting money overseas that it is getting harder for African leaders (or any leaders from other parts of the world) to stash millions in overseas banks like the old days. There was no further questions regarding the matter, but then grievances across the continent continue growing.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

ANNA LUKINDO: MBUNIFU MAVAZI NA MITINDO ANAYEKUZA JINA LA WANAWAKE WA KITANZANIA LONDON

Hebu turudi nyuma miaka 30.
Tanzania ndiyo imemaliza vita kumwondoa Jemadari Idi Amin Dada ; maisha magumu maana serikali imetumia mabilioni ya shilingi kununua silaha kujenga jeshi imara kuwasaidia Waganda. Bidhaa adimu madukani. Hata chakula kinacholimwa nchini (mathalan unga) kazi kukipata. Utata.
 Licha ya kitatange na mahangaiko maelfu ya wakimbizi wamekaribishwa nchini toka  Afrika Kusini, Angola, Namibia na hiyo Uganda yenyewe. Kisiasa Watanzania waungwana sababu ya uongozi wa Mwalimu Nyerere aliyeujua wajibu wake wa kijadi kwa Waafrika wenzetu.  Ni kipindi hiki ndipo miye na wenzangu watatu tulipounda bendi ya mseto wa fasihi na muziki tukaiita “House of Africa.” Ilikuwa vigumu kumpata mwanamke maana enzi hizo jamii yetu iliwabeza kina dada waliofanya sanaa.
Imetolewa pia safu ya "Kalamu toka London" kila Jumapili, gazeti la Mwananchi:
Waliitwa mabahaluu, wavuta bangi, machangu doa; kuimba jukwaani hakukuwa na heshima wala ajira kama walivyo Kizazi Kipya leo...Wakati sisi tukihangaika, Anna Lukindo alikuwa akionyesha mavazi hoteli ya Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam siku za wikiendi. Kikazi aliajiriwa na kampuni ya kusanifu nyumba barabara ya Mkwepu. Bado mdogo ana miaka 19, lakini mchapa kazi ile mbaya.
Anna Lukindo akiwa kazini. Anayevalishwa ni mwanamitindo, mpiga picha na mwanabloga, Jestina George . Picha na See Li.

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Saturday, 30 July 2011

A TRIANGLE OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS SPELLING BURNING ISSUES OF OUR TIMES

Recent days have been clouded with intense news of death, destruction and sadness. It is even strengthening the resolve of some of those who always moan that they hate watching news; that news is always bleak, dark and horrible. Truth is news is human reality...
  This week a triangle of three major catastrophes form an axis between East Africa, Norway and London. The Norway corner is the most upsetting and surprising as it came out of the blue on Friday 22nd through the madness and determination of a white guy with very extreme views as those espoused by Al Queda and the like but from a different perspective.  Day after was death of the talented London musician Amy Winehouse while East Africa continue to loom in a famine that rekindle memories of the 1984 Ethiopian starvation. Are these awful events new? Hardly.
Amy Winehouse in action in 2007 (pic from Wikipedia)

A few months ago Japan experienced a terrible earthquake while freedom demonstrations erupted in the Middle East. Endless episodes; as continuous as our rotating earth. Nonstop.
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Monday, 25 July 2011

BLOG LA “MWANAMKE NA NYUMBA” MFANO WA UANDISHI UNAOANGALIA MAHUSIANO NYETI YA MTANZANIA...

Uandishi wa mablogu wahitaji tarakilishi. Tarakilishi ni neno fasaha la Kiswahili linaloimanisha Kompyuta. Na hiki si chombo tu cha kuandikia. Huendesha simu za mkononi; taa zinazoongoza magari barabarani, mitambo ya ndege, mahospitali, runinga, nk. Dunia ya leo inaongozwa na tarakilishi. Hili ni bado somo jipya Tanzania. Kidunia mtandao kama tunavyoujua una miaka 15 ingawa sayansi hii ya kihabari imekuwepo kwa takribani miaka 30. Awali ilitumiwa na watu wachache hasa wanajeshi na majasusi kulinda matakwa ya serikali mbalimbali.
Rosemary Mizizi, blog lake Mwanamke na Nyumba linazungumzia mahusiano nyeti kati ya wanawake na wanaume  kwa undani sana katika jamii ya Tanzania leo.
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Sunday, 24 July 2011

MP CHEYO INTERVIEW AND A REMINDER OF WHAT 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE IS ALL ABOUT

Up coming UK based media organisation, Urban Pulse, beamed an exclusive interview with Member of Parliament Mr. John Momose Cheyo, last week. Formed two years ago in Reading (a few miles from London) Urban Pulse is run by young British educated Tanzanians:  Frank Eyembe, Nocha Sebe and Baraka Baraka.
Their light hearted but in depth half hour chat was done by another London based Tanzanian  photographer, model and blogger, Jestina George and can be viewed  on You Tube.  Jestina is also presenter for Africans in London TV ...
As part of a group of Tanzanian MP’s in the highly publicised trip to the UK to sort out money from BAE systems, Mr Cheyo represents Bariadi East.

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Monday, 18 July 2011

GAZETI MAARUFU NA ZEE KUSHINDA YOTE DUNIANI LILIVYOTINGISHA SERIKALI NA MAISHA UINGEREZA...

Habari zilizotanda Uingereza majuma mawili yaliyopita zimehusu gazeti maarufu la News Of The World. Lilifungwa wiki jana baada ya  mashtaka ya uhalifu. News of the World ilikuwa ikipata habari kwa kuingilia barua pepe na simu za watu maarufu ili kuwaiba. Miongoni mwa waliokuwa wakifanyiwa wizi huo ni Malkia Elisabeth, mwanae Prince Charles, Waziri Mkuu wa zamani Gordon Brown, viongozi mbalimbali na wacheza mpira mashuhuri. Mwishoni  gazeti liliwaudhi wananchi zaidi ilipofahamika lilikuwa limekita makucha yake kusikiliza habari za watu waliouliwa au kufa. Kati yao ni wasichana watatu waliouliwa kinyama Milly Dowler, Jessica Chapman, Holly  Wells na ndugu za waliofariki Julai 2005 kutokana na mabomu ya magaidi  mjini London.
Suala la  kutafuta habari hata za maiti lilikuwa kilele cha uhalifu na gazeti lilifungwa na mwenyekiti wake Rupert Murdoch.
Mzee Murdoch na mkewe mzawa wa China,Wendi Deng, aliyezaliwa mwaka 1968...
Picha ya Gettys...
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Friday, 15 July 2011

POWER AND ROT OF MEDIA: LESSONS FROM LONDON’S NEWS OF THE WORLD

I have met individuals who do not watch television or read newspapers. Others say media is a waste of time; that it is propaganda by those who own the world; control our minds and sell us stuff we don’t like.
Some say they admire former President Nyerere for delaying television in Tanzania.  For young people born post 1990, television is obvious but not us who grew up under Ujamaa and experienced television late.
A few days ago an old school mate visiting London touched on the same subject:
“Remember when we first saw television in Nairobi in 1971? At that time we hated Ujamaa and Nyerere. Now looking back the old man was right. How can a peasant living in a village thatch without enough food and electricity afford a television set?”
Yes. Arguments against television vary.
Powerful billionaire media chief, Rupert Mudoch

Sunday, 10 July 2011

SOMO KUTOKA MAISHA NA KIFO CHA MWANAMUZIKI GIL SCOTT-HERON

Je, pana faida gani kusikiliza habari za Mmarekani mweusi Gil Scott- Heron aliyefariki mwezi uliopita? Sidhani wapo Watanzania wengi seuze Waafrika waliomjua msanii huyu aliyetoa albam 15 za muziki na vitabu vitano; vitatu vya mashairi na riwaya mbili alizochapa akiwa bado shuleni. Gil Scott- Heron alipofariki Ijumaa Mei 27 akiwa na umri wa miaka 62, alibeba taji la mwasisi wa muziki wa Hip Hop na “Bob Dylan Mweusi.”
Gil Scott-Heron akitumbuiza na bendi yake "Amnesia Express" ukumbi wa Jazz Cafe, London mwaka 1999. Picha na F Macha
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Thursday, 7 July 2011

HOW MISTREATMENT OF “WAZEE” DEMONSTRATES A VANISHING TRADITION AMONGST RICH SOCIETIES

While in Africa the issue of age is sacred; in most developed countries it is considered “just a number”, if we may paraphrase a common Mzungu expression. To demonstrate a growing cultural trend many celebrities are nowadays applying anti aging substances such as Botox treatment and creams to look younger.
Botulinum Toxin is a potent neuro toxin which may affect and even poison nerve cells. In past twenty years Botox or Dysport, (its commercial name) has been used cosmetically.  When you look at the faces of some celebrities who have taken these very expensive treatments you sense their smile is no longer natural; their facial muscles have been altered.

In December 2009, former Miss Argentina, Solange Magnano died due to a “gluteoplasty” procedure to change her buttocks. Early this year a 20 year old black British student died after receiving silicone injections to enlarge her buttocks.
The whole Botox phenomenon is connected to age psychology.
Presenter, Miriam O'Reilly who won £150,000 against age discrimination, pic by Roland Hoskins.
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Friday, 1 July 2011

HAS NEOCOLONIALISM CONTRIBUTED IN MAKING US DISTRUST OUR LEADERS WHETHER GOOD OR BAD?

All languages and cultures have proverbs about leadership. One from Madagascar says: “When leaders are wise, so are the people.”  
Good leadership is the most needed element in Africa today. Not only are our leaders mistrusted, they are either despots or total fools; a nice one is considered manna from heaven. Think of those who resigned peacefully like Leopold Senghor of Senegal, Mwalimu Nyerere and Mzee Mandela who represent African substance, humility, joy, wisdom.
A demo against Arms trade. Pic courtsey of Haki Ngowi Blog

During these past 500 years, history has seen our mysterious, rich continent being turned into a lucrative playing ground for foreign powers. Mandela’s South Africa was under whites for 400 years. Back then only ten percent of the population ruled 80% majority non whites. When Madiba left jail twenty years ago, we expected sweet revenge. It had happened in Mozambique in 1975, so why not? However, being the unique leader that he was and surrounded by spiritual geniuses like Bishop Desmond Tutu, he chose truth and reconciliation. Mandela aimed to heal rather than antagonise the four centuries scar.

Monday, 27 June 2011

FINANCIAL CUTS ARE ABOUT TO TRANSFORM OUR LIVES DRASTICALLY

A few days ago a good friend phoned to borrow some money. He had a small problem with his car and the law. Usually in such circumstances a person would be anguished, but the guy was laughing:
“You know what I just realised, Freddy? You are the seventh person I am calling. Despite most of us driving cars,  having nice TV’s at home and eating regular meals; despite all this, none of us has any money. I am in dire straits, I might go to prison you know. I am desperate but no one can help me. I might be stupid saying this but I think back home in Africa they have more money than us. These cuts are very bad.”
Is that right?
That people back home have more cash?
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Monday, 20 June 2011

RAZA PAINTING EXHIBITION IN LONDON OPENS THIS WEEKEND

This Friday, London, will be experiencing a little of Tanzania.
It won’t be your usual conferences by respected executives, diplomats and political heavyweights. It won’t be a representation of athletes, cricket players, and football teams. Not a fashion show with entertainment via singers Lady Di, Ray C or Taarab music. Nothing of the sort. Not even contemporary Bongo Flava of Mr. Two, TID Zeze, Mr Nice, Diamond and traditional music from late Hukwe Zawose, Wananjenje, Twanga Pepeta or the late Remmy Ongala’s Bongo Beat. These are the sort of things we are used to. When such acts visit London Tanzanians normally flock in dozens to cheer and dust off homesick blues.
But painters? A painting exhibition?
I beg your pardon. This is news.
Raza Mohamed was born in August, 1946. He started sketching with charcoal in 1952.
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Sunday, 29 May 2011

ADULTERY, THE INJUNCTION LAW AND HOW CITIZEN’S MEDIA IS CHANGING OUR WORLD...

 I have learnt some new interesting English words, recently.
 Normally I expand my vocabulary through novels, films, newspapers and people’s speech. First is injunction which according to the Oxford dictionary, means “an order saying that someone must or must not carry out a certain action.”
Injunction is synonymous with ruling, directive, command, instruction and mandate. In Kiswahili it is simply, “amri ya kisheria iliyoandikwa” and “amri ya kukataza.”
Then there is tweet and twit.  Tweeting is a chirp of a young bird; while twit indicates a silly person and an informal way of “teasing good-humouredly.”   
Three weeks ago a very pretty glamour model from Wales, called Imogen Thomas started appearing frequently in the press.  One paper said a famous, respected, married footballer had won a super injunction to prevent Imogen from exposing his affair with the model.

Imagen Thomas - pic from Bing..

The word, gagging order, was also used. Gagging is a piece of cloth put on someone’s mouth to stop them from speaking.
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Thursday, 19 May 2011

30 YEARS AFTER BOB MARLEY DEATH : LESSONS OF A HARD-WORKER...

 Two weeks ago I argued in this column that individuals are shaped by their circumstances. That personalities (like recently killed Bin Laden) do not rise out of dust, religion or dollars but from real conditions. The gnawing problem of Palestine sits at the heart of an unresolved issue that has for over sixty years produced anger, frustration plus bloodshed in an unending Middle East crisis with its nemesis: global religious terrorism.
Yes, history is shaped by individuals and their surroundings.
And so we must look at the music of Bob Marley.
Bob Marley...

Exactly thirty years have passed since the charismatic songwriter died of cancer. He would have been 66 years old today and probably performing like fellow Jamaicans Jimmy Cliff, Toots and The Maytals and his former band mate, Bunny Wailer; all still musically active.
I remember May 11th 1981 very well.
The day was misty and slightly wet in Dar es Salaam....

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A BOLD MP FROM STONE TOWN AND RAZA, ICONIC PAINTER IN LONDON

During last week’s Diaspora 3 conference in London two fascinating trivial things occurred. The bigger things have already been reported in various sections of the media. Speeches and pictures of Foreign Minister, Mr Bernard Membe expressing how the nation values the economic and technical contribution of overseas based Tanzanians; promises of government involvement in speeding the process of dual citizenship was amongst highlights of his applauded speech. The Foreign Minister was simply, spot on. I spoke to several Tanzanians during the conference. I spoke to those who support such events. They warmed up to the man. I spoke to a chap who had asked a question and was impressed by the answers he got. I spoke to a lady who distrusts political leaders.
“That Minister is excellent,” she said shaking her head. “It was like attending a University lecture. He defined things and elaborated stuff without sounding pompous.”
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Wednesday, 11 May 2011

MTANDAO WA VIJANA TANZANIA : MAHOJIANO NA MICKEY “MIKIDADI” JONES MKAZI DENMARK NA LYDIA MKUDE ANAYESOMA, UGANDA...

Hali ngumu ya uchumi na maendeleo imezusha vijana wengi wasio na kazi; wanaranda randa ovyo barabarani, wakitega  na kusogoa vijiweni, wakijaribu hili na lile. Watoto yatima hawana wazazi kutokana na maafa ya maradhi ya Ukimwi na jamii yetu inazidi kukuuza wananchi wasiokuwa na matumaini. Yote haya yanaweza kumea hasira, kero na ghasia tupu.
Miezi michache Mickey Mikidadi Jones alikuwa likizo nyumbani. Hali ilimkuna sana.
Leo Mickey Mikidadi  Jones,  kaamua kujihusisha  na mtandao wa kuwaunganisha vijana  wa ughaibuni na kwetu Bongo kuboresha maisha yao. Mara nyingi nilipomhoji Mickey alimtupia maswali dada Lydia Mkude, ambaye ni mshauri mkuu wa MMVT ("Mtandao wa Maendeleo ya Vijana Tanzania").


Solomon Gaddi (mwenyekiti wa MMVT) akihutubia kikao. Kushoto kwake ni Haruna Mbeya (mwakilishi , Ughaibuni) na mwanzo kabisa Mshauri na mwakilishi wao wa kimataifa mtandaoni, Mickey Mikidadi Jones.   Picha ihsani ya MMVT.

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Friday, 6 May 2011

THE MOTHER AND A SON WITH A NAME THAT SOUNDED LIKE OSAMA BIN LADEN’S...

When I watched Sky News announcing death of “head of the snake of terror” (as one presenter put it) during the early hours of Monday I remembered two sensitive stories ten years ago. It was after September Eleven and the whole world was still in shock; nearly 3,000 dead in New York including the 19 hijackers. Few moments after one of this (most publicised) event in history a man wearing a turban targeted by an angry mob in the USA was badly beaten up. Mistaken for a Taliban activist he was in fact, a Sikh. 
File:Sikh pilgrim at the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar, India.jpg


Since then various Sikhs have been assaulted randomly in various cities of the USA. While these attacks have more to do with ignorance and racism we all know it has a psychological connection to Al Qaeda and the man who was killed by US military forces early this week.
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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

VIPI KISUKARI KINAWAUA WATANZANIA MAARUFU?

Habari kuhusu tiba ya Loliondo zimezigusa hisia za Watanzania wengi. Huku nje suala la mzee Mchungaji Ambilikile Mwasapile; halijafahamika vizuri. Wanahabari wachache tumefuatilia mambo ya “mti wa Loliondo” mitandaoni lakini si jambo la jazba kama nyumbani.  Suala lolote linalowasaidia wanadamu kuondokana na matatizo yao ya kimaisha huwa na umuhimu katika jamii. Loliondo imewika kutokana na afya zetu kuzidi kuwa mbaya. 
Waafrika tunatafuta majibu ya haraka.

Waingereza hutumia neno “Quick Fix” kuelezea ufafanuzi wa kupinda kona. Wabrazili husema “um jeitinho” (tamka, jeichinyo) kufumbua matatizo upesi upesi. Ni kama mtu huna hela ya chai ukala kiporo. Wachagga tuna chakula kinaitwa “Ikato”  (mseto wa maharage na ndizi);  badala ya mkate au maandazi.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

A DINNER FOR BUSINESS , PROFESSIONAL AND INVESTMENT CONCERNS...

If you were to enter the well furnished room you would be facing a bunch of well dressed people feeding on Indian food.  They might remind you of well off Third World executives in Europe. Photographs from the Holiday Inn last Wednesday might be dismissed as those typical casual hedonistic dinners.
 Holiday Inn is a world wide franchise with over 1,300 hotels catering to 100 million guests every night. This particular one in Brentford, West London a few kilometres from the international Heathrow Airport, however had a different twist.

Hon Kallaghe speaks, on his right is Chairman, Kamu Khaki- Pic by Rashid Dilunga 

Various professionals and the hosts, UK-Tanzania Business Group, gathered to hear guest speaker, Ambassador Peter Allan Kallaghe. He was once personal assistant on foreign affairs to the former President Benjamin Mkapa for six years then represented the country in Cuba and Canada till they brought him to London recently.
“London is dynamic and intense,” he told his audience, all sipping water or orange juice.  Most fled during the Ujamaa era. 
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Monday, 11 April 2011

ADAM LUSEKELO-TRIBUTE TO A VERY SPECIAL TANZANIAN WRITER

When people  die we tend to focus on their good sides and forgive the horrible.  Adam Lusekelo made us laugh and think at the same time. He was one of the funniest, cleverest guys. No wonder when I heard his passing, instead of tears I reflected on his jolly character.
Last time I sat with Adam at Nyumba ya Sanaa (May 2009) with blogger Michuzi muffling down Ugali (while avoiding chocking himself with laughter); the humorous columnist kept blowing his nose starring disgustingly at his handkerchief.
"That is a lot of snort,” he said grinning; it was his way of mocking his disease.
Yes. Adam had diabetes for many years, he was thin and I could not believe how emaciated he had become.

(Adam "Njinja" Lusekelo, inside Nelson Mandela's famous cell at Robben Island)
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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

KITABU KINACHOELEZEA YALIYOWAFIKA WAPINZANI TANZANIA CHATOKA UINGEREZA...

Kina kurasa 272.
Toka nchi yetu iwe huru miaka hamsini sasa hajatokea Mtanzania akaandika kitabu cha aina hii.  Watanzania tunaogopa. Hofu hiyo imeenea miaka mingi na imetushika hata sisi wanahabari wenyewe.
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Sunday, 20 March 2011

MEETING AND LEARNING FROM LIVING LEGENDS: HOW TO LIVE A LONG LIFE...

Meeting living legends is as good as getting hospital treatment. Being amongst people who have experienced great moments of history recharges your batteries. It is healthy...
I am seated with an eighty one year old man whose colourful traditional attire reminds us how our brothers in West Africa tend to be proud of their cultural heritage. James Barnor was born in Ghana in 1928 and became a photographer from a very early age. He witnessed the independence of Ghana in 1957 and got closely attached to the then acclaimed first President Kwame Nkrumah as well as Jerry Rawlings. Rawlings led a military coup in May 1979.
As a photo journalist Mr Barnor not only worked with the national press in Ghana but also for the excellent historical Drum magazine.
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Drum was hatched in 1951 in South Africa and throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s featured various aspects of African life including politics and glamour. Drum took a principled stand against apartheid, too.
Yes, I am seated with a legend.
Believe it or not, despite all what I have just told you above, I never heard of the man before. In the media world, it is rare for photographers to be as well known as reporters, television presenters or radio broadcasters; I have to therefore, be reminded of his achievements.
It is Ghana independence celebrations in London hosted by Greenwich’s Global Fusion Music and Arts. After the national anthem has been sung a trio of musicians play Ghanaian music. One of the performers is Alfred Kari Bannerman a guitarist who once worked with the renowned Osibisa. Osibisa was founded in 1969 under the leadership of Ghanaian saxophonist Teddy Osei. According to Wikipedia “it was one of the first African bands to become world wide popular leading claims to creating the World Music...”
James Barnor’s photographs are on exhibition here subsequently, he is the guest of honour. His images captures his amazing life from when he set his own studio in Accra in 1949 with portraits, glamorous models and politicians in the 1950’s and Muhammad Ali the esteemed boxer preparing for a fight in London in 1966. Termed “Ever Young” the exhibition is a matter of Ghanaian pride as well as an international event. Research for archives and photos have been set by Autograph a charity supported by the British Heritage Lottery Fund and has already been displayed at Rivington Place in London.
In other words Barnor’s work running over sixty years is finally being recognised and highlighted.
Without such exhibitions people from far away lands (like you and me) would not have known who James Barnor is.
“Etiseng?” I salute in typical Ghanaian greeting.
“Bokor,” he answers lightly.
Although Ghana has around 79 languages, Twi and Ga are the most widely spoken. Alongside Tanzania, it is one of the few countries in Africa with little tribal conflict. Many have attributed this lack of strife to the political vision of Kwame Nkrumah and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
And I wonder if he knows Mwalimu.
He is quiet, thinking hard, reflecting past times.
“I recall meeting and photographing Nyerere yes. He was very, very calm and polite...”
As we chat there is an interruption by either a young photographers or journalists asking him questions. He is accosted and loved. He also runs a charity for young people in Ghana. Yes, a soft spoken Mzee who smiles, easily.
“What is the secret of living such a long life?”
 “My secret?” Mr Bannor muses leaning forward.
“Happiness. I don’t let things bother me. You see if someone would take a photo of us as we sit now speaking, in fifty years time the picture would be priceless. You know why? Each time we do something we should enjoy that moment. As a photographer I believe that a picture captures the moment. No one is going to remember what is happening now as we speak. But a picture will preserve the occasion. So my philosophy is to always enjoy what you do at that time; do not be anxious by thinking about something else, tomorrow or next week.”
Soon he is grabbing a young woman and dancing happily. Everyone claps and pictures are taken. Watching him you wouldn’t believe this is an Octogenarian. He is behaving like a little kid.
More info visit: www.autograph-abp.co.uk




WHAT CAN BE LEARNT FROM GONGO LA MBOTO VICTIMS DONATION APPEAL IN LONDON

Speaking on behalf of Tanzanians and Africans living in London early this week, blogger, presenter and Tanzanian fashion model, Jestina George touched on many aspects of the recent Gongo la Mboto incident.
Miss George who presents for Africans in London TV (www.ailtv.com) helped us focus on four major aspects of Gongo la Mboto funds appeal. Although the unfortunate incident will not be resolved by charity but by our politicians addressing other deeper issues, we can still ask questions and learn a few lessons.
First was the scepticism and cynicism.
We have always heard of humanitarian aid being held in red tape queue, delayed even re sold or completely taken away from its destination. 
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Thursday, 24 February 2011

DAR ES SALAAM BLASTS- OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT KIKWETE

Dear Your Excellency,
Greetings from London.
I hope you are well and in good health because we need you very much. Never has a leader of our country been under so much pressure and scrutiny. However, since being under the microscope is nothing new to all Presidents let me start by saying we wish you the best. We are on your side. You won a landslide in 2005 then faced a slightly harder election last year. That is to be expected.
Democracy is the name of the game; you and CCM have allowed it to happen; we are not a 40 year old dictatorship like some of our brothers in Middle East countries.
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As long as you allow free and fair elections; you should experience positive pressure (like a parent expected to provide food to his children). But if you are a thief, a political liar it shall be negative pressure. The opposition will not shut their mouths; this means sleepless nights, locking people up, secret killings, political cover ups, a cynical media and so forth.
This democratic freedom should be one of the best things about Tanzania and her interesting history.
While many African countries mourned and buried thousands through civil war we assisted our brothers and sisters to hoist flags in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Eritrea, Biafra and Uganda. We allowed numerous camps to be built to house fugitives from Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, you name it. In 2002, the UN named Tanzania amongst top refugee hosts on the continent alongside Ghana, another bacon of peace and harmony.
We have come a long way. The last time any major hostility was battled on Tanga Nyika plains was in 1907 when the colonists tried stamping out the Maji Maji resistance. Even the writer Ebrahim Hussein (hope he is well) created a play regarding the Ndengereko-Zaramo hero, Kinjeketile. Yes, your Excellency. You govern a special country.
Our military history is unique; our army used to be respected and feared at the same time. Not only because we blew out butchers like Idi Amin in 1979, but also stood fearlessly, to protect our continental family. Even though the former South African apartheid regime possessed nuclear armoury we stood stoically and supported our bleeding cousins. Poor we were and relied on imported weapons but we had one thing Mr. President. A disciplined army. We had soldiers who were trusted by the people. Soldiers who lived amongst citizens without suspicion or Juju ghosts. Our askaris were considered an army of the people and the phrase Jeshi la Wananchi (TPDF) signifies just that.
You are the chief of this army. An army that has not attempted to disobey nor topple your government, TANU or CCM; since the 1964 failed rebellion. That is a long time. An obedient faithful army.
Now you must finally sense where we are going with this letter. Many have already spoken their minds regarding the Gongo la Mboto and Mbagala accidents. Some have called for the army bosses (chief of staff and Minister) to resign; we have listened to you calling for the modernisation of the army. Oh yes. We are all concerned and worried. Here in the UK we are currently collecting small funds to help the victims; a tiny gesture expressing how we care.
A final question Mr President.
Do serious accidents happen twice? We have heard bus accidents happening over twenty times and the police force doing nothing about it. When the bombs exploded at Mbagala in 2009, killing 24, it was an accident, definitely. Then there were calls for an investigation but a report never materialised. Twenty four civilians dying due to a military accident is a serious matter. But to occur again and causing over twenty deaths (Gongo la Mboto) plus extra civilian fear is not just a grave but also a national security issue.
Potential enemies (I hope we do not have enemies, we have been good guys; always caring for our neighbours) might be wondering how efficient Tanzania’s security is. If we keep stabbing our fingers with our own knives, what will happen if extremists decide to sharpen their swords? In other words if this so called peaceful Tanzania cannot keep her own bombs securely and end up harming civilians, what would happen if malicious elements (inside and outside) decide to do a little mischief. You have, probably, thought about that of course.


- London, Monday, 21st February, 2011.
Published in Citizen Tanzania:
http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/editorial-analysis/-/8556-blasts-an-open-letter-to-president-kikwete

Sunday, 20 February 2011

OMBA OMBA NA WALEVI WA KIKE MITAANI LONDON...

Niko dukani nimepanga foleni. Hakuna kitu kinathaminiwa nchi hii ya Waingereza kama foleni. Mara nyingi huwaona wageni waliofika jijini London toka nchi zisizozoea kujipanga. Utamkuta mtu wa aina hiyo akivuka mstari, kabla hata hajaingiza mkono kutoa pesa alipie wenyeji watampigia kelele.
“There is a queue!” (Ipo foleni).
Basi nimo.
Mbele yangu kuna mama mmoja kibonge, tinginya, umbo la gunia. Kibonge nakwambia; mweusi, mchangamfu, sauti kubwa; ana lafidhi ya Kiingereza cha Kijamaika kinachoitwa Patois (tamka Patwaa).
Mwanamke huyu mcheshi ananikumbusha kina mama wanaouza bidhaa sokoni mjini Mbeya. Wakubwa wakubwa, waliojaa bidii, wachapa kazi.
Kabeba vyakula mbalimbali na vinywaji kama wiski na bia ya tangawizi wanayopenda Wakaribian. Wakaribian ni watu weusi toka visiwa kama Jamaika, Trinidad, Grenada, Haiti, Cuba, Montserrat, Barbados, nk. Wamejazana Uingereza. Zamu yake sasa; anapayuka:
“Duu! Nimesahau pesa nyumbani.”
Mwenye duka ni Mhindi toka Sri Lanka.
“ Paundi 25!”
(Kama shilingi elfu sitini).
Mama Gunia, gubeli, bado anafukua pochi.
Anasonya. “ Ah, hizi hapa! “
Anatoa pesa akicheka.
“Nna pesa ! Nna pesa! Unadhani sikuwa na pesa bwa’ mdogo? He! He! he!”
Shere nyingi; analipa, hatimaye. Wapo wanaotabasamu; wapo wanaoudhiwa na vigimbi vyake. Jiji hili huwa na kila aina ya mijeledi. Ni saa tano asubuhi walakin mama keshauchapa. Kinyume na walevi wengine kabeba viazi vikuu, magimbi, ndizi mbivu za manjano kubwa ambazo baadaye atazikaanga (Wakaribian huziita “Plantain”). Sasa n’naongozana naye maana anakaa mtaa mmoja nami. Kachangamka, bado anabonga, utadhani redio.
“Nimeshakaa nchi hii miaka 50! Nilikuja hapa mwaka 1960! Wakati huo weusi tulifananishwa na majibwa. Kuna sehemu ukipita Wazungu wanakupiga kama mwizi. Ilikuwa nisome miaka miwili kisha nirudi kwetu; nikasomea uuguzi, nilipomaliza sikurudi tena.”
Kwanini?
“Ah, nlikutana na brazameni ulimi wa sukari akaniloanisha mapenzi.(Anacheka kwa nguvu) Baadaye wakazaliwa watoto. Sasa wote washakuwa watu wazima, wamezaa, miye nakula maisha tu.”
Tunakumbana na yule dada niliyewaeleza juma lililopita; mnamkumbuka, Vivian? Bado yuko pale pale tulipomwacha; bado anaomba hela, nje ya benki ya Barclays.
Kavalia ile ile suruali yake ya Jeans iliyoshapauka yenye matundu na mabaka mabaka meusi kama masizi. Bado kavalia viatu vyake vile vile vya raba ya Tennis nyekundu vilivyofungwa kwa kamba chafu nyeusi; awali zilikuwa nyeupe sasa hazieleweki. Tena bado anajikuna kuna mapele makubwa mekundu usoni. Ananyoosha mikono yenye kucha ndefu chafu akimpungia Mama Kibonge.
“Queeeen Mary!”
Kibonge anamchekea.
“Yes, Vivian.”
Wanatazamana. Omba omba kakaa pale chini kajikunyata, akipigwa baridi ya Ulaya, Queen Mary (Malkia Maria) anapekua begi lake. Anatoa mkebe mmoja wa bia; anamkabidhi Vivian.
Utadhani Vivian kajengewa nyumba mpya maana tabasamu anayoitoa anapokiona kile kikopo cha bia, maalum! Ajabu pamoja na kuvuta fegi, kulala nje na kuogelea katika ulevi bado meno yake masafi meupe. Ama kweli! Mungu hupambana na shetani; hachafui vyote.
Tunaendelea na safari.
Malkia Maria bado analonga na kutoa mastori, kila baada ya hatua haachi kumsalimia mtu, kumpungia yule kule, akicheka kwa nguvu; juu yake ongezea ile tabia yake ya uchangamfu na nishai ya adhuhuri; basi nadhani wasomaji mnamwona.
“Ungegombea ubunge, Queen Mary,” namkoga.
Anabanja ghafla.
“Bwa’ mdogo. Wakiniona wanadhani mi mlevi; jimama jizee linene, kwisha kazi. Hawan’jui. Siku hizi watu humu mijini hawaangalii watu wakoje; wanaangalia tu walivyovaa wanavyotembea, wakawasema wako hivi na hivi. Ukitaka kujua kitabu kizuri usiridhike na jalada. Kifungue ukisome.”
Anacheka na kubanja tena.
“Nishapitia kila kibaya na kizuri. Nilipohama kwetu nilisemwa, mtoto wa kike nakimbiliaje Ulaya? Nikawaambia wazee msijali, n’najua ninachokifanya. Nilipofika hapa sikuwasahau nyumbani. Baada ya kuhitimu masomo ya unesi nikawa natuma pesa nyumbani. Ilikuwa nirudi lakini bahati mbaya nikakutana na yule mshikaji tuliyependana. Tuliishi pamoja miaka kumi; nikamzalia watoto watatu. Watu wazima sasa hivi. Nina wajukuu saba na kitukuu kimoja.”
Namuuliza kama baba watoto yuko hai.
“Mungu keshamchukua. Alikuwa freshi sana. Ila alifanya kosa moja. Hali kabla ya kunywa; na akinywa hafanyi kazi. Mi bado nachapa kazi za kujitolea hospitali za wazee ingawa nimeshastahafu. Mwezi ujao natimiza miaka 70. “
Anacheka.
Kwanini hakurudi kwao visiwani, Jamaika?
“Mi si Mjamaika. Unaona mlivyo mabwege? Mkimwona mtu mweusi mnasema anatoka Nigeria au Jamaika. Kwetu ni Montserrat. Unapajua?”
Ni kule mlima ulipotoa volcano mwaka 1997?
“Huko huko. Nilitaka nirudi Montserrat lakini kwa kuwa mambo ya volcano yameanza tena; nitafia hapa hapa Uingereza.”
Anacheka.
Tumefika kwake.
Namuuliza vipi akakatiwa jina la Malkia Maria?
“Yule binti ananjua...Namfahamu toka akizaliwa. Wazee wake matajiri lakini babake alikuwa fisi. Alikuwa akiwapiga wote, mama na watoto. Watoto wote wa yule mzee wameharibika. Yeye mwenyewe kahamia Hispania. Aliwaachia nyumba na utajiri lakini kutokana na hali ngumu aliyowafanya wakiwa wadogo akili zao hazikuwa nzuri; wakapoteza hela katika dawa za kulevya.”
Kesho yake ninapompitia Vivian namwangalia kwa macho mengine.
Nchi hii tajiri lakini ina kila aina ya mambo.
Kwetu Afrika umaskini hutokana na wachache kuwa na mali na kutowapa wengi. Hutokana na viongozi wasiojali watu wao na kujilimbikizia mali kama ilivyokuwa Misri. Mbabe yule katawala toka mwaka 1981 bila kukubali uchaguzi; akiwafunga waliodai haki yao, akiwapendelea wenzake na ndugu zake; akijaza mabilioni ya pesa nje ya Misri aliyodai anaipenda. Hicho ndicho kinachotudidimiza Afrika; kujenga umaskini ndani ya bara hili tajiri kushinda yote duniani.
Sasa linganisha na ufukura ulioko nchi zilizoendelea.
Omba omba na maskini wapo.
Mna hohehahe lakini si wote wanatoka familia maskini za matabaka ya chini. Ufukara, huzuni au ukiwa wao husababishwa na mambo ya kila aina.
Vivian alizaliwa mwaka 1986. Babake alikuwa mfanya biashara mkubwa. Kutokana na hali yake ile alipenda sana kazi kuliko watoto. Kwa kuwa akiwa nao watoto anakuwa amechoka huonyesha mapenzi yake kwa kuwapa zawadi na pesa. Na siku moja moja mkewe akimkorofisha anamnyuka. Watoto wakilia anawatandika vile vile. Hatimaye mkewe akatoroka na mwanaume mwingine. Akamwachia watoto wale; wawili wa kike, mmoja mwanaume. Baba mtu alivyokuwa punguani akawa anawaharibu, analala nao. Ndivyo alikoanzia hadi leo binti kageuka omba omba, kaharibikiwa.

-London, Jumatatu, 14 Februari, 2011
-Ilitoka Mwananchi, 20 Feb, 2010