Sunday, 24 March 2013


Karibuni, Baraza la Waganga Uingereza lilipitisha sera ya kutomruhusu daktari wa kigeni kufanya kazi bila kufuzu mtihani wa Kiingereza fasaha. Ina maana ili kutibu wagonjwa lazima uimanye lugha ya wenyeji vizuri. Wenyeji wanathamini sana lugha yao mama- bila kuichanganya nganya na kuibandika  bandika viraka.
Mwandishi maarufu wa Kiswahili fasaha, Adam Shafi akiwa Uingereza mwaka 2007. 
Picha na F. Macha

Msemaji wa Baraza hilo alipohojiwa na runinga ya “Sky” alijitoa mwenyewe kama mfano:
“Nilisoma Kifaransa nikiwa sekondari. Ninaweza kuongea Kifaransa cha kuombea maji. Ila nilipofanya kazi kwao  kama mganga nlikua na matatizo maana sikuyajua maneno au misemo ya taaluma ya uganga ipasavyo. Ikabidi niende kozi. Ni hatari sana kutibu watu kama unaboronga lugha.”
Akiwa na maana kujua lugha juu juu au sawasawa ni mambo mawili tofauti. Wenzetu waliondelea wanathamini sana kufahamu lugha sawasawa badala ya kubabaisha.
Nimetathmini sera hiyo ya Waingereza ili kuongelea suala la Ki-Swanglish ambacho kinaendelea kuzaa chawa Tanzania. Miezi michache iliyopita nilikua kwenye kikao na kundi la Wabongo wenzangu hapa Ulaya, mzalendo mmoja akauliza: “ Bwana Macha hapendi sana kuchanganya changanya maneno ya Kiingereza na Kiswahili.”
Kitabu kipya cha Adam Shafi- kinachoendeleza Kiswahili Fasaha. Picha toka Blog la KiSwahili Afrika Mashariki

Friday, 22 March 2013


Professor Dame Sally Davies is one of UK’s most distinguished medical professionals. She is England’s Chief Medical Officer and was Director General of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and National Health Service. Actively immersed in the business of disease and hospitals since 1972 when she qualified as a medical doctor in Birmingham, the 63 year old Professor is also a “dame” which is the feminine equivalent to “sir”; titles given for highest services in this Queen’s nation.

 Apart from numerous ranks, Professor Dame Davies (pictured in 2011) has been engaged in research for sickle cell disease where red blood vessels assume an abnormal, rigid bent shape and shorten lives. Majority of affected are blacks and people from sub tropical, Saharan area, or where Malaria is common.  Listing her brilliant credentials and activities here will reduce this column to some biographical data which many in East Africa may find irrelevant; but, here comes the reason.
Two weeks ago, I caught the professor giving a very stern caution on television regarding the state of the health service today.

Friday, 15 March 2013


We all know fungi. They grow out of soil, plants or decaying organisms; when they develop in our bodies we call them parasites.  Fungus can be a symbolic way of describing what is going on around our beloved continent today.

I was watching African news via the French international channel – TV 5- beaming last weekend’s slaughter of hostages in Nigeria by Ansaru. A French terrorism expert was asked whether Africa is too risky to work for foreigners.
Without flinching the expert said yes, certainly, some regions are getting dangerous.
 Later I listened to a Nigerian guy on a London street, who said he was  Igbo.  Alongside Yorubas and Hausas, Igbos are considered the main tribes of this very interesting West African nation.
“You Tanzanians,” the soft spoken, articulate man started, “supported us during the Biafra war. We shall never forget that. Nyerere’s type of leadership is rare these days. General Ojukwu died around a year ago. Did you know that?” His eyes were shining.

For those too young to remember (I was only twelve) Lieutenant Chukwuemeka Ojukwu (pictured above) led the region of predominantly Igbo people in East Nigeria to form Biafra in 1967. A three year civil war, followed.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Are you sentimental?
Are you one of those people who grieve about the good old days? This would be measured in terms of age. The older you are, the bitter and bigger the sentiment. What about if you are eighteen years old, or twenty five? Maybe eighty. Or approaching sixty like me? I am not one of those people who think past times were better - because life has always been the same; same old problems and joys, governments in crisis and doom mongers predicting end of life. So I won’t weep over history. It’s like shedding crocodile tears.
Sunset on waters of the west Tanzania. Pic by Revo Meza...

According to myths, the idiom, shedding crocodile tears, means the crafty, dangerous reptiles weep in order to trick their victims...  Idioms are the salt and sugar of any given language. I think the fantastic great past is nothing more than crocodile tears for what is going on in the present.  Having washed my hands, let us rock and rewind the clock for a few seconds and picture 1960s and 1970s Tanzania.
Reading was very fashionable.

As a teenager around 1967 to 1975 it was common for us to have a novel in the pocket and compete and show off what you have been reading. Back then we wiped off a lot of novels.


London has been extremely cold during the past few weeks. Sometimes the weather bites like a hyena’s teeth wading through your bones. Part of the upsurge of this abnormal ice cold madness is the winds. It is no surprise hearing a tornado swept through Kigali, Rwanda a few days ago. Our earth has freaky weather moods.  TV climate experts said gales drifting from the Arctic Circle, Iceland and Siberia brought this very cold London spell.
Tanzanian mountain climber, Wilfred Moshi was the third African to conquer the tough gruelling Mount Everest in May 2012. A perfect  example of mind winning over matter. Pic courtesy of Wilfred Moshi Blog....

 Many years ago I was walking through a chilly, snow filled Copenhagen after a late night gig.  I passed through Istedgade, an interesting part of the city. Nowadays Istedgade is slightly different. I saw a group of men chattering and drinking.  They did not look Danish.
Pic courtsey of Panoramio...

A few days later I strolled through the same area with a Tanzanian friend who was living in Copenhagen for a long time.
“Who are those people?” I wondered.
“Eskimos,” he said quietly.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


Anna Lukindo ( "Anna Luks")Christine Mhando ( "Chichia London"), Jacquilene Kibacha ("Heart 365"). Three stars who rock this week and not just by smiles but sheer sweat, nerve, brains and talent.

They say it’s been on high gears, since 1984 - twice a year- Milan, Paris, New York and here in London- February and September- promoting and showcasing skills, business and innovation. Whenever this gig happens, the paparazzi, modelling enthusiasts, fashionistas- are there to chronicle one of the best events in popular global culture. Yup. 

 London International Fashion Week is among four best on earth. And since last Friday, Tanzania participated- for the first time ever.  I was witness. Not as a mere reporter and blogger ready to record the news, but also as a musician playing at our London Embassy where the reception was held and rejoiced. As I held my guitar and strummed melodic strings –a realisation surfaced that this was indeed a national and international celebration.


Continuous, repetitive media broadcasts may help measure the culture, psychology and thinking of a country. Last week major news here in London was about gay marriage and horse meat. Traditionally, homosexuality is a taboo subject - a minority’s private life style- uninvolved in the endless natural reproduction of human species.  Gay marriage discussions and debates dominated the UK government with such intensity that a vote was made in parliament.  400 votes were won against 175 and so legislation to allow same sex marriage was victorious by 225 seats.

 Of those openly against gay marriage, Lord David Stoddart of Swindon(pictured), independent Labour peer (member of the nobility), said it was “completely and utterly unnecessary” for the Prime Minister to introduce gay marriage while the country faces unresolved economic problems. “Marriage was devised a long time ago to protect women and children-to tie the male to the family so that the children could be brought up and protected by two loving parents. That does not really apply in the case of homosexuals,” Lord Stoddart was quoted saying. 
Others questioned why an issue that only affects one percent of the population should loom over political decisions with such intense, ferocity.