- Published on Saturday, 18 February 2012 04:57
- Written by Lusuga Kironde
- Hits: 1957
As is normal, we are slowly forgetting about the floods that hit Dar es Salaam in December 2011. We know of the government’s decision to resettle some of the dwellers in valley areas who were adversely affected by the floods.
While some of these people are happy, others claim that they have been forgotten by the public authorities much as they suffered extensive damage from the floods and need relocation. This is captured in an article in the Good Citizen (21st January 2011) titled: “Sorrowful tales of forgotten flood victims”. In the article two tales are presented, one of a woman and the other of a man.
The man, one Mr Salehe, tells how water flooded his house in an instant. Mr Salehe’s wife was expecting and she was in danger of being swept by the floods. So what did Mr Salehe do? The writer captures this: “Mr Salahe carried ‘her;’ pregnant wife on his ‘shoulder ‘and managed to whisky her out of the two-bed roomed house”.
Now, this must be the umpteenth time that we point out that in English, possessive and other adjectives are gendered. So why do local writers sometimes ignore this as in the case cited above? The answer could be that the writers think vernacular and write English. In Kiswahili for example, possessive adjectives are not gendered. “Jina lake” means “her name” or “his name”.
The possessive adjective “lake” is the same whether you are referring to a male or a female subject or object. For a man, a husband for that matter, “to rescue ‘her’ pregnant wife” may appear as correct as saying “to rescue ‘his’ pregnant wife”. In Kiswahili and in many of the local languages there would be no need to think about the gender when using adjectives.
Furthermore, I would say Mr Salehe carried his pregnant wife on his “shoulders” instead of “on his shoulder”. Bravo Mr Salehe. I hope the government gives you a piece of land in the resettlement area of Mabwepande or elsewhere.
We must admit that, on the sports scene, the women’s national soccer team, Twiga Stars, needs more support that it is getting. They should make me Bill Gates, or any other lesser but rich, mortal. I would support Twiga Stars with generous cash, honestly. It does not make sense that despite the fact that these young ladies have won one game after another, they are not attracting substantive sponsorship. This must be intriguing.
Twiga Stars travelled to Namibia and defeated their hosts 2-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek in early January 2012. Towards the end of January the Namibians team travelled to Dar es Salaam to face Twiga Stars in a return match. Twiga Stars only needed a draw to sail through to the next round. However, in an article titled: “Namibia Team arrive Friday” (Good Citizen, 25 January, p. 39), Twiga Stars coach, Boniface Mkwasa is reported to have said: “My players are in high spirits, looking forward to ‘turning tables’ on their opponents”.
The phrase: “to turn tables on somebody” means to change a situation completely, so that someone loses an advantage and you gain one. The Namibian team, The Brave Gladiators, had no advantage whatsoever compared to Twiga Stars. They were down 0-2 following a tournament that had been played on their home ground. To the contrary, it is Twiga Stars who had the advantage. They did not need to turn the tables against the Namibians.
The same writer who had said that Twiga Stars needed to turn the tables against the Namibians, was right when he wrote a few days later, in an article titled: “Twiga look to finish off Namibia” (Good Citizen, 29 January, p. 40) that: “Namibia have vowed to turn the tables and stun the hosts”. Yes, it was the Namibians who needed to turn the tables against Twiga Stars, not the other way round. In the end, the Namibians were defeated 5-2, by Twiga Stars.
The Namibians failed to turn the tables against Twiga Stars. There are many African political leaders who are not happy with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, claiming that it targets Africans as compared to Americans and Europeans. However, a columnist in the Sunday Blog (Star Magazine February 5, p. 6) in an article titled: “ICC good for African leaders” does not buy that argument and thinks ICC is doing a good job. In the case of Kenya for example, he laments that after the 2007 election: “many people lost lives and property and up to date some still live in internally displaced camps in Kenya”.
For sure, it is not the camps that are internally displaced. It is the people who are internally displaced who are living in camps. The sentence therefore should read something like: “many people lost lives and property and up to date some still live in camps for internally displaced persons in Kenya”.