It is well known that children like to play sports and games. And due to the importance of playing, the English people came up with the famous proverb that “All work, and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.Add a comment
AMERICAN politics matter to everyone in the world. No one can ever ignore what is taking place across the Atlantic, even if you are in the Indian ocean.Add a comment
THE hunt for the original certificate is on. And by on I mean ‘full steams ahead’ type of on. The situation went from zero to mwendo-kasi in no time. I believe it climaxed when Uncle John called for all his regional commissioners to present their original school certificates.Add a comment
IN my general understanding of artificial intelligence programming, robots are made so that they should not harm humans and they should protect themselves from harm.Add a comment
AM today penning this column from Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region, where I have come to attend a religious feast at Karmeli Catholic Parish. Father Richard Haki, the youngest brother of my dear friend Sylvister Kazi is celebrating Holy Mass after he was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Zanzibar early this month.Add a comment
MWALIMU J.K Nyerere will be remembered for many things but Ujamaa’s philosophy still rings a bell. Tanzanians have continued to practice the policy of Ujamaa na Kujitegemea (Socialism and Self Reliance) for decades now despite the fact that it was ‘arrested, jailed and eventually killed’ in Zanzibar more than 25 years ago. So why the heck now?
The answer to this is by no means mystery. We practice it unconsciously for social banking. As you might be aware, human beings are faced with many challenges in life and because of that they have to devise strategies to overcome them.
One of the strategies which many have resorted to in recent years is the formulation of social groups. People with common interests join hands and establish a small group which could either be formal or informal. The main purpose, however, remains to socialise and savings.
In these groups they are usually led by a group constitution, by-laws, values and traditions. A close look at it, you could only see ‘Ujamaa’ of some kind at play! Does this kind of Ujamaa has anything to do with our historical background as a people?
After Tanganyika got its independence from the British in 1961, the late father of the nation went on to set the foundation of a one solid nation we live in today. It was based on the principles of unity and equality.
He made us Tanzanians-a people of one nation-by bringing together more than 120 tribes to live and respect each other irrespective of one’s religious and cultural beliefs and orientation. To attain that, he creatively synchronised strategies and approaches such as admission of students from, let us say, Northern Zone to Lake Zone and vice versa. So, in all secondary schools there was a good mix of students from almost every region in Tanzania.
The national service (JKT) bolstered his Ujamaa philosophy. It was a melting point where ‘the rich and the poor’ met and received equal treatment. Yes, the experience and the sound of it was whimsical!
Talking of JKT, it takes me through time and space and brings fond memories despite the fact that the conditions were militaristic and harsh to those who were opposed to the initiative. Conversely, for the big part of the majority, JKT was a ‘Life Skills College’. It only required a clever mind, daring nerves and guts to overcome all the odds.
At JKT, we learnt to be ‘professional’ contractors, butcher men, pruners, mechanics, football players and the like at a blink of an eye brow. To survive the ‘temperature’ of the ‘hand hoe’ at Gendagenda in Mgambo JKT or Dunia in Oljoro JKT one had to develop skills overnight to work as a plumber, football player, pruner or mechanics! Indeed, it was a nice ‘college’ for girls too.
It taught them to be tact and tough to the rough world. Those who had thought it was easy to crack an ‘oyster’ they found it completely different. Unfortunately, the ‘music’ did not match the beats, so it was abysmal to try dancing.
JKT changed their thinking in many ways and grew thick skinned. Until this piece, we crack jokes on that whenever we get time to chat with the then ‘minazi’s’ and frankly speaking with no hard feelings at all. We understand where we came from, where we are and where we are going.
Such were the good old days in the 90’s for those of my generation. With the advent of new technology and its numerous applications such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to mention but a few, many groups have been created and a lot of social banking is underway.
The social groups have brought together old school boys and girls, college mates, professionals as well as tribesmen and women. Apart from serving as vehicles for information, the social groups have synchronised the needs and aspirations of members and have generated a sense of belonging amongst members.
Some groups have formulated constitutions that provide a roadmap on various issues and engagement. Like Mwalimu’s Ujamaa philosophy, members are equally treated, their views are respected even if they are conflicting, provides space for free market of ideas and enhances creativity and innovation.
In case a member is in a difficult situation and or moment, group members mobilise themselves and come to his/her rescue in time without necessarily have to meet physically. A typical ‘wajamaa’ in Ujamaa Villages.
I am convinced if Mwalimu was around today, he would have advised our leaders to capitalize on the presence of these social networks to channel government developmental agendas and catalytic funds instead of reinventing the wheel.
The social networks are composed of people with common interests, with vision and mission, are well coordinated, accessed and reached. In the media fraternity, for example, we have “Tasnia ya Habari” network.
The network has 254 members until this piece. It has strong leadership which has enabled it to be one of the most outstanding social networks in the country. There is a high degree of professionalism amongst members as well as cooperation.
So far, it runs two funds: Social Welfare Fund and Wanahabari SACCOS Fund. The funds come from monthly contributions, entry fees and shares. It is in my opinion that if such groups could receive recognition and attention from the government, social funds and credit facilities they can be able to realise their strategic goals in the near term.
So, instead of duplicating efforts by establishing new initiatives, relevant authorities should turn the serious virtual groups into development clusters. If nurtured well in the long run these clusters could turn into big initiatives and a revenue source for the government.
You may recall that Mwalimu’s Ujamaa created high literacy rate in the country than was ever before, it halved infant mortality through access to medical facilities and education. In addition it untied Tanzanians across ethnic lines and left Tanzania untouched by the ‘tribal’ and political tensions which affected the rest of Africa.
Mwalimu did this way back in 1964 through 1985 when he stepped down voluntarily. According to Alistair Boddy- Evans, An African History Expert, the process started slowly and was voluntary, by the end of the 60s there were only 800 or so collective settlements.
In the 70s, Mwalimu’s government moved people into Ujamaa villages. By the end of the 70s there were over 2,500 of these villages. Evans recounts that, the idea for collective agriculture was sound because it was possible to provide equipment, facilities, and material for a rural population if they were brought together in ‘nucleated’ settlements, each of around 250 families.
It made the distribution of fertiliser and seed easier, and it was possible to provide a good level of education to the population. n the same vein, JPM’s government could start with a few social networking groups in selected regions, districts, county and villages as champions and see how his catalytic fund would bring about development to the groups, members, community and Tanzania as a whole.
My take is that, if we all work definitively, decisively and aggressively we surely will win the battle!
Jacks Meena, Freelance Media and Communications Consultant. E-mail: email@example.com cel. +255 655 280 355Add a comment
FEW years ago people of Japan were entwined in a debate when a girl of mixed race, hailing from Japan, was crowned miss universe. In a battle of nerve between two groups, one comfortable with the result but the other very angry because they thought that Japan was at the verge of losing its identity.Add a comment
IN the last fortnight, those watching global news on their TV sets at the peace of their respective homes in this country must have been startled if not alarmed with the frequency of the brutal attacks between blacks and whites in the United States specifically between members of the country’s police force and citizens of that country who happen to be black.Add a comment
THE heading of this article is a quotation from a presentation by Bitange Ndemo (Associate Professsor at the Nairobi University’s School of Business), which was published in the CITIZEN of Tuesday, July 5, 2016.Add a comment
NINETY-FOUR years ago today – July 20, 2016 – the US-based League of Nations awarded the mandate of ‘Tanganyika Territory’ to the United Kingdom (UK) in 1922. That was roughly three years after the Nov. 11, 1918 Armistice, and the 1919 Treaty of Versailles which statutorily wound up the 1914-18 Great War.Add a comment
The Minister for Home Affairs, Mwigulu Nchemba, on Monday this week officiated at the Vodacom Premier League prize giving ceremony in Dar es Salaam during which he touched on a number of problems that afflict the league. For instance, the minister spoke on corruption in the league that expresses itself through match-fixing, use of performance enhancing drugs and other problems.Add a comment
I went to see my advocate and disclosed all the details of a sensitive case. We did agree on fees and I paid a certain amount as advance. It has been many months and the advocate has not performed thus far. I hence withdrew instructions and transferred my file to another law firm. The previous advocate is now threatening to disclose information that I released to him. Is this information not protected? GF, DarAdd a comment
IN Rural Tanzania, as is the case for most rural Africa, education is one of the social services which are poorly rendered. This situation is engendered partly by lack of resources, but also by the fact that rurality in most of Tanzania does attract most educated people to stay there. Other social services which also suffer includes; health, water, and transport.Add a comment
TANZANIA was in the news for the wrong reasons. A ship carrying cocaine, nabbed in the UK flying the republic colours. Apparently it had 3.2 tons of the white powder with an estimated street value of 500 million pounds. Has the ship docked in Tanzania this year?Add a comment
THIS week, the People’s Daily of China, which is the number 1 newspaper of China and official media group of China ruling party, asked my opinion on the issue of South China Sea in which Filipinos applauded moments after the UN International Arbitration Tribunal ruled in the country’s favour.Add a comment
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to some of the African countries is seen as a comeback strategy to Africa. It did not just come as a surprise but it was well calculated strategy which started long time ago, only waiting for the opportune time to take off.Add a comment
LAST week through this column we saw how the prejudiced white storks are turning their backs on Africa, leaving the population of rodents and venomous snakes in the savannah unchecked.Add a comment
AZIKIWE Street in the heart of Dar es Salaam city is having a face lift. It is unusual in Dar es Salaam that a street can take so much attention and time of the authorities. But there is a meaning to it and the authorities are trying to send a message.Add a comment
THE Daily News of Tuesday, June 28, 2016, carried the following news item under the heading ‘’TLP SUPPORTS MAGUFULI ON POLITICAL RALLIES : “The Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) has thrown its weight behind President John Magufuli’s directives for political parties to shun endless political rallies, forums and demonstrations, in order to allow the citizens to engage in productive activities”.Add a comment
RECENTLY, I read somewhere that President John Pombe Magufuli is Tanzania’s modern-day ‘Robin Hood!’ (For details: Google ‘President Magufuli: Tanzania’s Robin Hood,’ by Global Risk Insights, published on June 17, 2016).Add a comment