Thursday, 4 December 2014

WATANZANIA TUJIFUNZE KUWEKA AFYA MIKONONI, TUSISUBIRI KUDRA YA WAKUBWA AU MUNGU





 Miaka yote niliyosafiri na kuishi ughaibuni nimebaini siri moja  kuhusu afya. Wananchi wengi duniani hawaijali miili hadi wanapougua.  Zamani kidogo nilikuwa nikiongea na mganga wangu wa Kichina. Nilikwenda kuchomwa zile sindano zao zinazobandikwa sehemu mbalimbali mwilini na kuachwa zimesimama juu ya ngozi mithili ya mishale ya nungu nungu. Accupuncture (tamka “Akapan-kcha”), ndiyo jina lake la kitaalamu. Tiba hii iligunduliwa, kutafitiwa na kuendelezwa maelfu ya miaka kabla ya kuzaliwa Bwana Yesu Kristo na Mtume Muhammad SAW.   Kazi ya sindano hizi  ni kurekebisha na kusawazisha nguvu (au umeme) mwilini. Unapochomwa tatizo si maumivu. Haziumi kama sindano za Kizungu tulizozoea. Kinachochachafya ni vile Mchina anavyotafuta “njia sahihi.” Je, umewahi kushika waya wenye umeme? Unaukumbuka ule mstuko? Ukiwa mdogo, ndivyo  Accupuncture ilivyo. 
 Sindano za Kichina. Picha ya Mtandaoni
 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

RECALLING THE MADMAN WHO CHASED AND FLOGGED LADIES ON SAMORA AVENUE




Ugali kwa mtindi... 

Around 1978 to early 1980s Dar es Salaam, there used to be a man who terrified women.
Those days the word terrorist was not so instantly understood as in 2014. But this thin bloke, (I guess he was around 170 cm, or 5 foot 7, not tall or huge, as you can imagine), ruled one road in Dar. Independence Avenue, re-named Samora Machel Avenue,  homage to the late Mozambican leader. A  bustling street; filled with tourists, students (Forodhani Secondary School nearby), coffee shops, beauty salons, Asian shops, banks,  restaurants, offices, bookshops; a place to be. Hip.
 The chap was always dressed in a black kikoi, tied from waist down like the Sarongs made internationally famous by English footballer David Beckham (pictured below) in 1998.

 Kikoi, indeed, is standard outfit for East Africans, especially in poor areas. This nightmare from hell, wore one, carried a stick and he was as angry as he was menacing. Never to guys, though.
We are talking of pre- internet days. Us in the media wouldn’t even photograph the chap who I soon found out had a mental illness and highlighted his saga in my then weekly column of the Sunday News.
Women feared him. Seriously.

TEZI KIBOFU, AFYA NA KINGA YA MARADHI YANAYOTUKABILI -sehemu ya 1




Wiki hii,  Mheshimiwa Rais J Kikwete, alikuwa Marekani kufanyiwa matibabu ya tezi ya uume, hospitali ya John Hopkins,  Baltimore. Kitakwimu maradhi haya huwafika asilimia 45 ya wanaume walioshapitisha miaka 60.   Ingawa lengo la makala haya si kuzungumzia hali ya Rais, ni vizuri tukitathimini tatizo hili linalowasakama wanaume wengi. Miongoni mwa walioshafikwa ni marehem Nelson Mandela, kiongozi wa Waislamu Marekani, Louis Farahkan, mwanamuziki maarufu hayati James Brown, mwigizaji mashuhuri wa Hollywood, Robert De Niro, nk.
Miaka michache iliyopita niliwahi kuandika juu ya afya ya uume ( na uke vile vile) na kuhimiza haja ya kuelewa namna ya kutunza na kufanya mazoezi kutunza viungo hivi. Kwa wanaume viungo viwili muhimu husika ni mfuko wa mbegu (korodani) na tezi kibofu. Visipoangaliwa vyema husababisha saratani ambayo kihisabati,  inaua mwanaume mmoja kati ya  saba, duniani. Moja ya suluhisho kuu ni kuzifahamu dalili   kabla hazijaota kutu.  
Lakini tezi ya uume au tezi kibofu, ni nini hasa?

AFRICA’S TRUBULENT TIMES: LESSONS FROM GRANDFATHER ANAELI MACHA






To continue with last week’s theme.
Gloom and pessimism reigns. Even the football contest in January has been affected via Morocco. History, however, proves all continents have gone through mud and snort and fart. Why are Europeans marking 100 years of their slaughter in 1914? They too passed through hell. Lessons.
It is not only us.
 Someone recently, WhatsApped me that we are currently governed by gangsters. Harsh? The guys that led African renaissance were so principled and focussed that they had to be stopped, instantly.  Patrice Lumumba (Congo, 1961), Ben Barka (Morocco, 1965), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana, 1966), Marien Ngouabi, (Congo Brazzaville, 1977), Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso, 1987), etc. Some muddled through. Mwalimu Nyerere (1962-1985) and Nelson Mandela (despite a 26 year, prison sentence), to name a few....
 We have had misfortunes. Truly.
But is it all external? Politics and governments?
Last week I asked this significant question. How does one find courage to carry on?  Where do you unearth hope to work, relax and strive?
One of my personal beliefs is to look into your own kitchen.  Roots. Inspiration through those closest. Family, friends, teachers, colleagues.
My grandfather the preacher, writer, broadcaster, linguist and philosopher  (first right) with President Nyerere President Julius Nyerere (second left) , Dar es Salaam, 1962.  Family Archives Pic

My great, grandfather, Abraham Macha was born in 1840 and died aged 95 in Old Moshi, Kilimanjaro. He lived a long life and had many children. His last kid was a well known preacher.
Reverend Anaeli Macha was born six years before the First Great War began in 1914. At the time Germans were ruling Tanganyika and many Africans had to go die for the vampire. Just like they would against Adolf Hitler in 1939. 

MJADALA WA MADHARA YA UVUTAJI BANGI WAPAMBA MOTO UINGEREZA




Bangi.
Neno lenye maana na majina mengi. Marijuana. Cannabis. Sigara kali.  Spliff. Kaya. Na kadhalika. Kwa Kiswahili asili ya neno “bhang” ni Kihindi. Sina hakika kama zamani kabla ya ujio wa wageni tulilienzi jani hili. Jani lililo mkebe mmoja na “kunguni” wa dawa za kulevya. Heroin. Unga wa Cocaine. Na mengineyo.  Dawa zinazomgeuza mwanadamu dude, afriti,  mahoka,  jambazi. Dawa zenye uwezo wa kuharibu  jamii  kama ilivyo Mexico sasa hivi. Unabisha? Ingia, You Tube.
Uuone uhayawani wa dawa za kulevya ulivyoshawabadili wanadamu   mafisi. Kuwapeleka wake, mabinti na dada za majambazi wenzao mwituni kuwafyeka shingo na mashoka. Tunaambiwa magaidi wa ISIS huko Syria na Iraq, hukata shingo. Mexico hukatakata mwili vipande vipande  kisha wakaviacha viozee vichakani mithili ya vinyesi.
Hebu tafakari  ufisi kama huu ujipenyeze Tanzania. Ndiyo mwisho. Hatuna tena nchi ya amani wala kuingia mitaani wikiendi kula nyama choma; kuzamia misikitini, jamatini au makanisani. Ni harufu ya damu kila mahali. Ulaghai kwisha kazi. Hamnazo.
Sasa bangi...

VITA DHIDI YA KULAWITI NA KUBAKA WATOTO VYAWAKA MOTO UZUNGUNI – Sehemu ya 2





Vitendo viwili vichafu  “vinavyofichwa” na watawala duniani ni biashara ya dawa za kulevya na unyanyasaji wa watoto. Ingawa  vya aibu na ufidhuli vina faida sana kwa wahusika. Dawa za kulevya ni biashara inayotajirisha haraka kuliko zote.
Ripoti iliyotolewa na Idara ya Kuzuia Uhalifu na Dawa za Kulevya ya Umoja wa Mataifa (UNIDOP) mwaka 2011, inasisitiza  asilimia 20 ya  kipato cha dunia hutokana na biashara hii ya ki-Ibilis. Ndiyo maana mtu yeyote anapopambana na ujambazi huu lazima atauawa. Haya yanaonekana Mexico - kilele cha ujambazi wa dawa za kulevya. Video za mauaji – wakiwepo wanawake na vigoli- wakikatwa katwa  kwa mapanga, visu na mashoka zimeselelea mitandaoni.
 Habari za Watanzania waliokamatwa wakibeba unga au “heroin” ughaibuni sasa zimekuwa nongwa.
Unyanyasaji wa watoto hauna faida ya kiuchumi ila ni “jaha” kwa wahusika.  Hali kadhalika ni rahisi kuwatumia watoto  kubeba silaha, mizigo, kuwalawiti nk. 

VITA DHIDI YA KULAWITI NA KUBAKA WATOTO VYAWAKA MOTO UZUNGUNI




 Leo tuzungumzie watoto. Tuangalie afya, mapenzi na usalama wao. Hakuna kipindi cha historia yetu wanadamu ambapo watoto wanafanyiwa  unyama duniani kama sasa.
Mwezi Machi,  Shirika la Umoja wa Mataifa la Hazina ya Watoto (UNICEF) lilisema tangu vita vianze Syria,  watoto 10,000, wameuawa  makusudi. Wengine milioni tano hawana makazi maalum.  Mauaji haya yanafanywa  majumbani,  mashuleni, mitaani na  kambi za wakimbizi. Watoto wanapigwa risasi makusudi na magaidi wa Boko Haram, Nigeria. Miezi miwili sasa wasichana  200 waliotekwa mkuku na wanaharam hawa (wanaotumia dini kama ngao ya uyahawani wao) hawajapatikana. Kila kukicha watoto vijijini na mashuleni Nigeria wanauliwa bila hatia yeyote.

Friday, 10 October 2014

LONDON WELCOMES AND SUPPORTS ANTI FGM CAMPAIGN IN TANZANIA

....Wednesday 15th October 2014...
A tiny delegation of well educated women; modest and intelligent will be welcomed into one of the most powerful rooms in the northern hemisphere. First is Mrs Rhobi Samwelly, mother of four kids, hailing from Butiama, Mara, Tanzania.
Mrs Rhobi Samwelly with High Commissioner's wife to the UK, Mrs Joyce Kallaghe at the fund raising evening, Central Hall, Westminster, last week. 

Mmmh.  
Butiama is legendary. Home of father of the nation, the late Mwalimu Nyerere. His widow, Mama Maria, is a staunch supporter of the cause and reason that has sent Mrs Rhobi Samwelly trekking to London.  By her side,  Ann-Marie Wilson, Executive Director of 28 Too Many, a London charity working to end female genital mutilation, i.e. FGM. Third shall be Comfort Momoh, a mid wife treating women affected by FGM at Guy’s Hospital, London.
The three are part of a large, complex chain of events and campaigns,   across the world.
 One of the events was steered by members of the Tanzania Development Trust Fund and British Tanzania Society - BTs,  Janet Chapman, Petronella Mwakatuma and Jonathan Pace with other colleagues.

Janet Chapman  with Jonathan Pace...who have dedicated  alot of time and effort to the fundraising events...

  In May and now October (2nd and 4th), fundraising concerts were held here in London to help build a safe house for young girls fleeing FGM in Mugumu, Mara.

Friday, 29 August 2014

MEET BUSINESS LADY MERCY KITOMARI- PRACTICAL TANZANIAN DREAMER


I cannot remember the exact date; but, it was a sunny day.  Some sort of conference. Huge hall.  Smooth floor. Comfy chairs.  Everyone smartly dressed. Some more than others. We of the media slightly casual. It is a busy environment and as a reporter you need to move around a lot. Interviewing. Jotting down names...
 And somewhere along the throngs of participants, she sat. I noticed her because she kept smiling. Speaking to her was easy. No airs, no innuendos.   There are strangers you encounter and feel as though you knew them before. Mercy Kitomari (pictured above) sounded and looked familiar although I had never spoken to her in my life.  She was a young, clever lady and eyes did not miss her. But that caused no arrogance at all. Now I know what Kitomari’s modest manner meant.
 Charisma.

Friday, 22 August 2014

STINGING NETTLE LEAVES AND THEIR AMAZING QUALITIES

A young learner at one of the many lush gardens cared for by students at Mwandege Secondary School, Dar es Salaam, 2009. Pic by F Macha

Africa is filled with eternal wonders.
 The rich continent is a sweet, giggling giant. Most things about it are magical, generating millions of cash from tourism and business. Her wealthy ground has enriched millionaires with mineral deposits. South Africa and Congo – the two countries that have had most bleeding histories are like pregnant mothers. They contribute most of the world’s 75 per cent of global platinum, chromium and diamonds. Congo has seen no peace for over hundred years. The brutal murder of democratically elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in January 1961 was a climax of non-stop, theatre of mass abuse.  South Africa has seen most bloodshed. So many other Patrice Lumumbas have been buried here ...Mangaliso Sobukwe, Steve Biko, Sharpeville massacre and Soweto uprising victims; not forgetting the unfair imprisonment of  Nelson Mandela for a quarter of a century.
 Many mouths have been feeding on Africa’s resources for 500 years. Like pangolin, the anteater (Kakakuona in Swahili); giant mining companies love our minerals. Last year, The East African paper claimed 40 foreign mining companies made 150 percent profit in 2010 while governments only got 40. 
But the continent’s resources are not just stones and chemicals.

Monday, 18 August 2014

KWA WANAOLILIA MAPENZI NA WAGENI AU WAZUNGU- Sehemu ya 2...


 Karibuni rafiki yangu Mzungu alikuwa Afrika.
Taaluma yake ni uanahabari.  Anaipenda sana Afrika na watu wake. Zamani babu aliishi India na alipinga sana ukoloni. Ana mke  na watoto wawili. Shughuli zake humzungusha kila sehemu.  Analijua bara kuliko hata tuliozaliwa huko.  Baada ya  sifa na vicheko, ghafla alisuta mapenzi.
“Ningekuwa mmoja wa babu zenu zamani Bwana Freddy ningenyaka wake ishirini. Kila  nilikokwenda sikukosa sahiba.  Wanataka niwatumie tikiti za ndege. Waje Ulaya waishi raha mustarehe. Ni vigumu sana kuwahimiza dada hawa kwamba maisha yangu si ya kitajiri. Hata ningekuwa tajiri kwetu Ulaya ndoa za mitala haziruhusiwi.  Na mke wangu hatofurahi akisikia nina wake wengine!”
Inachekesha alivyosema, lakini ndiyo kichuguu cha mchwa hicho.

KWA WANAOLILIA MAPENZI NA WAGENI AU WAZUNGU...- Sehemu ya 1

Miaka ya karibuni  wananchi wengi- hususan vijana- wameulizia mahusiano ya kimapenzi na wageni  hasa Wazungu. Hayakuanza leo, jana wala juzi. Yamekuwapo daima. Ukweli idadi fulani ya watu wa mataifa yote duniani hutaka kuwa na mahusiano na wageni. Mosi, kutaka kuondokana na udhia wa wananchi wenzao; pili, kutafuta maisha bora; tatu,mapenzi na ndoa na nne, udadisi (kipya kinyemi).
Mwandishi nikitumbuiza ngoma wakati wa  Carnival  la London, Agosti, 2012.

Miaka arobaini au hamsini iliyopita nakumbuka waliopenda mahusiano na wageni walikuwa zaidi wanaume. Wanawake waliojamiiana na wageni waliitwa malaya, na wachache ni wale tu waliofanya kazi mahoteli makubwa ya kitalii kutafuta ajira. Mathalan nakumbuka miaka ya Sitini na Sabini, Tanzania ilijazana wakimbizi. Sera ya TANU na siasa ya Azimio la Arusha ilisaidia walioathirika na udhalimu wa kikoloni, ubaguzi nk. Toka Kongo, Afrika Kusini,Palestina, Malawi, Marekani, Uganda, nk.

Friday, 11 July 2014

LONDON CHIPS, SOCCER AND THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN



 We had just watched an entertaining game. France and Nigeria. As immigrants we always go for France, boosting two thirds of players from Africa. But Nigeria is an African team so the allegiance was complex and tricky.
“Go Nigeria! Go!”
A Kenyan pal chanted.
“I don’t particularly like Nigeria,” Maggie, his five months pregnant girlfriend protested.  “They treat women very badly. The government has been sitting ducks while Boko Haram grabs school girls and keeps them in forests for months.”
We kept our mouths shut.
 Unblinking, Maggie was dead pan, serious. Fact is she was not even bothering watching the football. She was here to give company to the father of her unborn baby.

Monday, 30 June 2014

CITIES SMELL, BUT EACH HAS ITS OWN PARTICULAR AROMA

Cities smell. This is normal. And...
 Each has its own scent. Just like the legendary Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, wrote at the beginning of “Anna Karenina” (a novel published 1873). “All happy families are alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”


Mkokoteni pusher - Magomeni, Dar es Salaam, 2009.

First time I arrived in Dar es Salaam in 1970, aged fifteen, I recall the smell of the sea salt and water. Nothing else. These days Dar stinks of dust, smoke and car fumes. The sea salt and fish can only be found closer to the beaches of Kigamboni, Jangwani, Kunduchi, etc. These palm trees (below) are hard to find in the mid city today.

 City smells tell you something about inhabitants and their activities. When I first set foot in Copenhagen in 1984 I recall the pleasant aroma of bread, cakes and alcohol.

Monday, 23 June 2014

THE ANTAGONISTIC MAN, HIS GIRLFRIEND AND MARIJUANA...


Well. We cannot really call her a girl, although she is very small, petite, short and thin. She is a grown up woman. He  is a wiry and skinny matured guy; spindly almost, as though permanently twisting and wriggling around a spider’s web. The two shuffle inside fast,  since trains hardly wait for over a minute. They seem relieved. Rain is pouring down. Angry rains. Annoyed angels, someone is heard joking among the travelling passengers.

“Ha! Ha! Did you see their bloody faces?” The man’s voice booms in the silent, crowded train, making every passenger sit up and wonder. His female companion clasps her hands firmly on her chest, as they sit. The train starts rambling on battling the rain storm. It is around nine o’clock at night; still light and clear, like north hemisphere’s summers are.
The man keeps blinking his eyelids rapidly: “That was a good smack in the face!” He booms arrogantly; a bassy voice ejected out of his skinny frame. The volume is loud, the manner crass and rude. She cuddles up to him. 
He kisses her sharply and passionately on the neck then booms again:
“You liked it when I smacked him didn’t you, darling?”
She giggles.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

KISWAHILI NA MAHUSIANO YETU NA UTAMADUNI WA KIARABU


 Shangwe zilizoenea Ulaya nzima sasa hivi ni mashindano ya soka, Brazil.
 Ila wasiwasi uliowashika wanausalama wanaojua mikunjo kunjo ya shuka na kanzu za ulimwengu wetu ni tafrani kali zinazoendelea Syria na Iraq. Wasiwasi wa  mashushushu na wanasiasa Majuu ni hatari zitakazoenezwa na migogoro hii. 
 Uingereza mathalan imedai  vijana 400 wazawa  hapa, wanapigana Syria. Wakimaliza watarejea na kusambaza ugaidi  ulimwenguni.  Vyombo kadhaa vya habari Uingereza vimeonya jinsi mamia ya vijana wake wanavyomenyana pia Iraq,  Libya, Afghanmistani, Kenya na Somali  alipo mwanamke wa Kizungu anayetafutwa kuliko fedha.
Samantha, mmoja wa wanae na mumewe gaidi aliyehusika na mauaji ya London 2005. Picha toka gazeti la Mirror

 Samantha Lewthwaite, alikuwa mke wa mmoja wa magaidi wanne waliolipua mabomu na kuua  watu 51 mjini London mwaka 2005. Inadaiwa Septemba 2013, magaidi wa Al Shabaab (walipoua  67 na kujeruhi 175),  Nairobi, Mwingereza huyu mwenye watoto wanne alihusika.  Inadaiwa keshasilimu (anaitwa Sherafiya) na kuolewa na mmoja wa viongozi wakubwa wa Al Shabaab, Hassan Maalim Ibrahim.  Al Shaabab maanake ni “vijana” kwa Kiarabu, ilhali  Boko Haram  ni Elimu ya Kizungu ni Haram.
 Mauaji ya makundi haya  hufanywa  kwa madai eti yanatukuza Uislamu.

Monday, 16 June 2014

USIKU KUCHANGIA JENGO LA WASICHANA WANAOKWEPA UKEKETAJI TANZANIA


Niko hoteli kubwa la The Russet, katikati ya maskani ya wafanyakazi wa kawaida, kaskazini ya  London. Nimealikwa kutumbuiza ngoma za Kiafrika. Mauzo ya sherehe hizo yatasaidia kijiji kimoja Tanzania. Watayarishaji ni shirika la urafiki baina ya Uingereza na Tanzania, BTS yaani British Tanzania Society. Janet Chapman na mwenzake Jonathan Pace, ni wale wazungu wachache wanaofikiria mazuri tu kuhusu Waafrika, hususan Watanzania.
  Watu wa makamo.
Miaka 30 iliyopita  Janet alifanya kazi ya ualimu Sudan,  vijijini; akichanganyika na wakulima na wafugaji maskini. Kati ya jambo ambalo hakulipenda ni mila ya kuwatahiri wasichana wadogo au kwa Kiswahili cha kileo, ukeketaji.  Janet anasema kwa kuwa mwenyewe alikuwa na mabinti wadogo wawili- ambao leo wameshakuwa watu wazima- yalimgusa sana. Baadaye aligundua adha hii imeenea nchi nyingi   bara Afrika, Mashariki ya Kati na Asia.

 Takwimu za shirika la Afya duniani (WHO) zinakadiria wasichana na wanawake milioni 91 na nusu barani wamekeketwa. Kati ya hawa milioni 12 na robo wana umri mdogo wa miaka 10 hadi 14.  Tovuti la habari za ukeketaji (FGM) linadai nchi 26 za Kiafrika, ikiwemo Tanzania zinabeba bendera ya ukeketaji. WHO inafahamisha kati ya wanaotetea adha hii ni mama wazazi waliokeketwa na  baadhi ya wanaume.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

WHY ARE SO MANY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IN LONDON SMOKING?


 I am walking down the road at a steady pace.
 Busy road.  London, late morning. Ahead of me is a woman in high heels, red jeans and matching red jacket. Her shoes are going clack –clack- clack, like a duck song. Beautiful woman. Her pace is similar to mine, if not faster and self confident. There is one problem, though. She is blowing smoke my way and adding to the menace of London’s polluted air, I can hardly breathe.  
“Many women are smoking, nowadays!” I moan to the other lady strolling beside me. Steady and springy and also click -click clicking her shoes.
“So what?” She brushes my question as though an unwelcome fly hovering over a cup of honey.
We carry on.

Friday, 25 April 2014

HOW IS COLOMBIAN WRITER, GABRIEL MARQUEZ RELEVANT TO US IN EAST AFRICA?






Gabriel Marquez busy at his desk.  AP photo from First Post....

Over forty years ago when I was at Ilboru Secondary School, teachers encouraged education in various ways. Take Mr Hopland from Norway. During my form two year he offered weekly prizes if you read many books. I recall getting my share of glory. It has since helped me in pursuit of knowledge. Or the beloved literature Zimbabwean lady, Mama Victoria Chitepo. She used to sit in front of our form three class, shouting sternly:
“Boys! I want you all to look at my face! Boys! Come on!”
It was slightly intimidating to keep a steady stare. Think. We averaged 16 and 17 years and uneasy about females.  The age of broken innocence- when you begin viewing women other than respectful mothers, aunties, sisters and grandmothers.

But Mama Chitepo  (pictured in the middle) had a peculiar manner of teaching. She was also foreign.  Around that time, Ilboru Secondary School- late 1960s to early 1970s... was a “palace” of international teachers. We had Scandinavians, Americans, British, West, East and South Africans, not to mention Tanzanians. Years of serious, serious education.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

TIMES ARE HARD BUT TOO MUCH BOOZE WON'T RESOLVE THE ISSUE...



I was in a late, late night bus heading home after a gig; tired but, satisfied that we had played our music well. Gratified that we had got paid too. These days being given wages promptly after any job can be a hassle. Money is a “tough ride.”
Dude,  I was slightly annoyed by unusual noises coming from the upper deck of the bus, but not too surprised though, as this is a normal scenario when you take a  London bus in the wee hours of the morning, to paraphrase the Scottish expression.
 Drama, melodrama and verbal theater.

Friday, 4 April 2014

WE SHOULD ALL SPEAK OUT AGAINST FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION !!!


For decades now some of us have been disgusted by the cruel tradition of chopping off private parts of young girls, technically known as female genital mutilation (FGM). In mid 1980s when well known names began raising their voices against FGM, African American writer, Alice Walker, stood out. The award winning Ms Walker eventually published “Possessing the Secret Joy” a novel (below) describing “a fictional African nation where female genital mutilation is practised.”

These protests however, have no effect without government and law enforcing institutions.
Known as “ukeketaji” in Tanzania, the illegal practise has been condemned by high authorities since the times of  Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and his widow, Mama Maria Nyerere.

MWANAMKE WA LONDON ALIYEOANA NA MBWA ANATUKUMBUSHA NINI?

Amanda Rodgers akimbusu mbwa aliyefunga naye ndoa. Picha ya Medavia

                  

Majuma mawili yaliyopita habari za mwanamke wa London aliyeoana na mbwa wake aitwaye Sheba zilitangazwa  na gazeti la Metro. Metro hutolewa bure,  kila siku, kwa wasafiri miji mbalimbali ya Uingereza. Baadaye Bi. Amanda Rodgers alipohojiwa na  ITV mjini London alidai : “Nafahamu ndoa yangu na Sheba haitambuliki kisheria. Lakini ilikuwa njia nzuri ya kuonyesha ninavyomthamini Sheba. Sheba amekuwa nami miaka mingi, hunichekesha na kunifariji ninaposononeka.  Sikuweza kumpata mwenzi mwingine wa maisha kama huyu.”
Huyo ni Mbwa  anayeongelewa, babu eh.
Mwenzenu alishachoka, aisee.

Monday, 17 March 2014

VITAMBULISHO TANZANIA NA HOJA YA UGHAIBUNI...

Baadhi ya wananchi karibuni wamelalamikia suala jipya la vitambulisho. Wanadai linakera; eti  watu wameuawa. Kuna upendeleo. Ugumu, nk.
Kabla ya kusafiri ughaibuni miaka thelathini iliyopita  wakati wanamgambo walipokuwa wakisimamisha simamisha wazalendo mimi vile vile  nililiona suala la vitambulisho  ni unyanyasaji wa serikali. Ila baada ya kutembea na kuishi nchi nyingi duniani nimegundua  vitambulisho ni jambo la kawaida. Tofauti ipo namna vinavyoulizwa au vipi sera hii inavyotekelezwa na vyombo husika.
Tunavyojua suala la vitambulisho liliasisiwa Tanzania mwaka 1968 kwa sababu za kiusalama baina ya nchi jirani marafiki- Afrika Mashariki na Kati. Baada ya Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki kuvunjika (kutokana na sababu mbalimbali mojawapo kufariki Rais Jomo Kenyatta wa Kenya, 1978 na serikali dhalili ya Jemadari Idi Amin wa Uganda iliyoangushwa 1979), sera ilifyata. Hadi leo suala hili  limekuwa likifufuka fufuka na kutoweka, bila kujikita na kukaa kitako muda mrefu kama ilivyo mataifa mengine. Ndiyo maana leo  ni jambo geni na kero kwa raia, hasa vijana.
Idi Amin na Jomo Kenyatta -  miaka ya Sabini. Picha ya Kwekudee Blog

Mamlaka ya vitambulisho Tanzania(NIDA)- imeorodhesha vipengele kumi na moja vinavyoelezea faida zake kuu. Ndani ya orodha –  kipengele cha saba kinaahidi vitambulisho “vitafanikisha kuhakikisha kuwa mtu anapata stahili zake za jamii. Kwa mfano, kupata malipo ya pensheni, haki za pensheni, haki za matibabu, haki za kujiunga na masomo ikiwa ni pamoja na stahili zozote ambazo raia Tanzania anastahili.”
Kimtazamo ni ahadi nzuri na muhimu. Naomba nichangie namna mambo yanavyokuwa huku Ughaibuni. 



Thursday, 6 March 2014

TANZANIAN PUBLISHES BOOK ON RUSSIAN EXPERIENCES DURING SOCIALIST ERA...


Some books have to be written. They must be published not for ego, money and fame - but future generations.
 “An African Student in Russia- Soviet Union” by Dr Onesphor Kyara is that type. Having failed to find a publisher (one of rejection slips hurled back by the mighty Penguin) Dr Kyara decided to self-publish. Thanks to our golden era of internet and information technology self publishing is easy in 2014.
 Available on Amazon,  E-bay, Apple i- books, as well Burns and Noble /Nook, “An African Student in Russia-Soviet Union” will soon reach  Africa based readers if Dr Kyara’s efforts succeed through  Mkuki na Nyota, local bookshops and South Africa’s Kalahari.
These are  early days.
It has only been two months...
 At the height of Ujamaa policies and the international cold war it was taboo to say certain things. 

Kyara and Marina at the height of their romance and subsequent marriage. The interesting book tells it all...

Thursday, 13 February 2014

UBORESHAJI LUGHA NCHINI WATEGEMEA SANA WANAHABARI NA UJUZI WA FASIHI -1




Mzee Adam Shafi, mwandishi nguli aliyeanza shughuli zake kama mwanahabari zamani. Leo lazima kumsoma. Umahiri wake wa lugha hausemeki. Picha na F Macha, 2007.


Wiki iliyopita kulikuwa na mdahalo na majadiliano moto bungeni. Lugha ipi itumike kufundisha watoto wetu mashuleni? Tatizo hili si ngeni kwa nchi zinazotumia zaidi ya lugha moja kimawasiliano. Wakati ninaishi Canada miaka iliyopita niliepuka matatizo kwa vile kitongoji nilichoshukia kiliongea zaidi Kifaransa. Nilikuwa nimekwenda kusoma  mwaka mmoja. Kawaida Mtanzania unapofika  nchi isiyozungumza Kiingereza- hubidi utumie wastani wa mwaka mmoja kujifunza lugha. Haya yamewasibu wanafunzi waliokwenda Urusi, Ujerumani, China, Cuba nk.
Mwandishi nikifanya shughuli ya kutengeneza bustani, Canada, mwaka 1995...picha na S Vanessa.

Canada inazo lugha mbili : Kiingereza na Kifaransa.  Bahati  yangu wakati nikifanya kazi magazeti ya Uhuru na Mzalendo,  nilijifunza Kifaransa na ingawa ujuzi wa lugha hiyo si mzuri kama Kiingereza, ilinisadia sana masomoni.

MORNING CHAT WITH A FABULOUS, FRAIL ENGLISH OLD LADY


A good day becomes evident in the morning...so the Swahili proverb goes.
It was ice cold but the sun was shining. That means much to folks living in the Northern Hemisphere.  I had rushed to the bakery to get fresh bread. Now hold on. In East Africa eating bread is not that preferred as Maandazi, Vitumbua or Sambusa.
Maandazi - pic from Taste of Tanzania

Bread is the queen of light meals and breakfast in places like London.
I had just purchased a fresh loaf- still hot and soft and smelt so tantalizing that I  needed all will power to stop, slit a chunk and well...eating while rushing is not healthy, they say. Speaking of health, I had to pop into a pharmacy to buy something. This needed further will power because there was a queue. Next pharmacy was a further ten minute walk. So I decided to join the line. Gave my order, paid, bingo; told to wait.
“How long is it going to take?”
The sales clerk gave me a certain disapproving stare.
“Only  joking, sorry.” I quickly said. The annoying and menacing queue spoke volumes. 

WAALIMU NA WAHADHIRI WANALO JUKUMU KUBWA KUENDELEZA ELIMU AFRIKA


Kufuatana na kampuni maarufu ya huduma za uhasibu, Ernst na Young, yenye makao makuu London, kuanzia mwaka 2,000 hadi 2015,  Afrika iko katika maendeleo makubwa  kiuchumi. Ingawa sisi wenyewe tunajihisi hali mbaya, ulimwengu mzima unalitegemea bara  kwa mali asili na hali ya hewa.
Na hayakuanza leo. Baada ya mkutano maarufu wa Berlin ,  1884- chini ya uenyekiti wa Mfalme Otto Von Bismarck- wakoloni walikuja, wakaondoka.  Watawala wenyeji wakaendeleza uzi ule ule wa kikoloni: kupora; wakishirikiana na wakubwa; wakihadaa kwa maneno maneno na bunduki. Dunia nzima inatushangaa vipi, sisi matajiri wa mali ghafi, bado tunategemea misaada; vita vya wenyewe kwa wenyewe, magaidi wanaua hadi wanafunzi na watoto : Nigeria. Wanawake wanabakwa, Kongo, Sudan na Jamhuri ya Afrika ya Kati.  Kwa maskini asiye na mali au nguvu za kisiasa, elimu tu ndiyo ubwabwa uliosalia.  
Asili mia ndogo sana wanafikia shahada ya mwanzo  (Bachelors) au  Diploma; na  kidogo zaidi kuendelea shahada ya kati (Masters), uzamili.
Kama Francis Magomeni(jina la bandia) aliyekuja kusoma shahada ya uzamili (uchumi), London, karibuni.
“Nataka niwe kama akina Profesa Lipumba, Profesa Palagamba Kabudi,  Profesa Muhongo. Si lazima niwe Waziri, lakini niwe fresh.  Nchi yetu yahitaji wataalamu.  Wakenya, Uganda, Burundi wanachukua kazi zote, kwa vile sisi hatujasoma.”

Hayati Nyerere. Mwanaelimu na mwalimu maarufu kuzidi wote katika historia ya Tanzania.
Picha ya Wikipedia....

Friday, 7 February 2014

A THING OR TWO ABOUT KENYAN ACTRESS LUPITA NYONG'O




 Lupita Nyong'o being interviewed by ABC presenter Jimmy Kimmel in January 2014...

One of the biggest talks across London and the Uzunguni world this past week has been the film “12 Years a Slave” by black British director, Steve McQueen. Among its award winning cast is an actress from neighbouring Kenya who is brightening the northern hemisphere like a full, sparkling moon.  She has not only been praised for her brilliant acting abilities, but her character, looks and taste of clothing.  The Western media is in love with her so much- that every other day something about her is been published. She is a breath of fresh air bubbling positive African news in the rich world. Just watch one of the numerous television interviews she did with Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC, on You Tube, for example to see what I mean. When Hollywood star Leonard DiCaprio, stopped to kiss her on her cheek, photographers could not stop snapping. Yes. She is a star and an East African at that. But, hold on. Who is she? What …is she called? To start with her name is a mouthful.
Lupita  Nyong’o.
Lupita is easy, but Nyong’o- for non East Africans- is like teaching them to say “ng’ombe” (cow), ng’ang’ania (cling) or “ng’ambo” (other side)…how do you pronounce that? 

Friday, 17 January 2014

WHAT IS ETON COLLEGE DOING IN TANZANIA?


I never imagined meeting someone from Eton College.  
It is a place you only hear on the news and movies. They include famous writer, Ian Fleming– creator of James Bond- who died aged 57 in 1964. James Bond is as part of British mist, fog, horses and rain, as is the Queen, Beatles, Spice Girls, Fish and Chips and of course Eton.  The said establishment has on its hit list, 19 Prime Ministers – past and present.

Famous  journalist and author George Orwell  who wrote such masterpieces as Animal Farm and 1984, studied at Eton. Pic from Telegraph Site...

These are the chosen few, upper class, royalty. Cost to enter Eton is in the region of £30,000 per year; more than three times the cost of an average University annual fee, which majority students find hard to foot; and if you heard of the 2010 student- fees riots, you can imagine the colour of money, smell of cash.  Currently many foreign students are looking elsewhere in Asia and Latin America or just local universities to study.
Yup. Eton is something else.
 A boys’ only boarding school; it was founded by King Henry V1 in 1440- a very long time ago, indeed. The school has been referred to as the chief nurse of England’s statesmen, and a saying goes: “the British Empire was built on the playing fields of Eton.”

Saturday, 11 January 2014

LONDON GIVES POST ACHIEVEMENT AWARD TO SHAABAN ROBERT



Shaaban Robert's grand-daughter, Amina Wazir, collects award for her genius grand-dad from  Mr Frederick Sumaye. On the right, seated is His Excellency High Commissioner of Tanzania, Hon. Peter Kallaghe.   
 Pic by Jestina George

The writer Shaaban Robert, who died aged 53, in June 1962 was a very  “popular read” during the 1960s and early 1970s. Somewhere along the line, he was almost forgotten. Early 1990s, the newly launched Mkuki na Nyota revived this eminent Kiswahili genius, and thanks to the hard work of its founder Walter Bgoya,   many of Shaaban Robert’s masterpieces are readily available in bookshops across East Africa today.  For those unfamiliar with the author, I would recommend “Maisha Yangu Na Baada ya Miaka Hamsini” (My Life After 50).  The book sums most of the Tanga born thinker’s qualities:  essays, personal recollections, poetry, thoughts on life, racism in Tanganyika of the 1930s and 1940s, TANU and Nyerere, duty to society, role of writers, etc.
Kusadikika, his most famous novel which is said to have partially inspired late President Nyerere's Ujamaa  policies.