Sunday, 24 July 2011


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.

The soft spoken seasoned politician was chairman of the opposition party, Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) and already contested as Presidential candidate, twice. He currently chairs the Parliamentary of Public Accounts.   Mr John Cheyo’s calm and polite old fashioned talking, intelligent, genuine manner makes interesting viewing.
As we celebrate 50 years of independence it is timely and imperative to try listening to positive thinking leaders. The Bariadi East MP clarifies on major issues including eradication of poverty (through education) increasing payments to cotton and livestock farmers, improving infrastructure (rural roads, better water supplies) energy and electricity.

When Miss Jestina George enquires on the unending TANESCO problem, Mr Cheyo resorts to nobility and fundamental values. “God blessed us with amazing natural resources. Currently there has been too much planning and structural talk rather than implementation.”
He therefore, proposes a share of the electrical work between the private sector and the government.
Throughout the 30 minute broadcast the MP emphasizes love for the country and pursues the theme through practical examples of the land he knows so well.
Confessing that he follows thoughts of all sections of society including youths on social networking sites, blogs and Facebook he feels that Tanzanians have become negative and continually practise “self assassination.”
 He contrasts this view with British citizens he met during his London visit last month.
“Having been here for a while and meeting a variety of leaders, despite what an organisation like BAE systems has done, despite it being taken to court they still do not say bad things about it. They want BAE systems to continue doing business. We on the other hand are quite negative. We should put our patriotism forward first.”
A serious suggestion.
How much do we love ourselves?
In my travels around the world I have met many refugees and runaways from various troubled nations. Despite fleeing civil unrest, corrupt regimes and mass deaths most tend to be extremely proud of where they come from. They sing songs, dress and hang flags of their countries on their cars, network and help each other in business and social events.  I feel that is what Mr Cheyo is referring to when he says putting the love of your country first.
But why has the love waning?
Despite a legacy of peace which has made Tanzania one of the most unique places to live in the world why are we becoming less patriotic?
Why is MP Cheyo insisting that patriotism should guide anything else? If citizens are feeling robbed and cheated why should they still love their nation?
He tells Urban Pulse: “I advise young people writing in blogs to stop abusing our country. How can you insult your own mother? It’s like abusing principles created by God.”
Approximately five months are left before nationwide celebrations kick off. As we prepare to party and enjoy 50 years of Uhuru many are questioning what has been achieved.  Alongside a glowing dissatisfaction also lies a wealth of goodness that makes Tanzania a wonderful place with abundant natural resources, peaceful in comparison to others who experienced decades of war and madness. This dual point of view is natural. We see it in our own families where despite differences we continue co-existing because of blood ties. That is the reminder being offered in MP Cheyo’s, You Tube interview, via Urban Pulse.
Published in Citizen Tanzania:

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