Kilimanjaro race not ‘just a mare’ marathon

Kilimanjaro race not ‘just a mare’ marathon

That “HER” again! Mind you, it is the man shaving a woman, albeit a young girl. Possessive adjectives match the gender of the possessor not the possessed. So the caption should read to the effect that Mr Salum is shaving HIS daughter (and not “her” daughter). Hopefully, this mix-up will now be dead and buried. On the same page 7, we find the “Barometer” column with a “thumbs-up” for Simba Sports Club (one of the giant local football teams) “for beating Kiyovu Sports Club from Rwanda 2-1 in the football ‘mach’ during the weekend”.

No medals for pointing out that by ‘mach” the writer meant “match”. But a caption under a picture related to that football match on p. 8 of the same paper is alarming: “Simba Streak Amir Mafth control the ball to Kiyovu goal keep.” (Photo by SL). It is better to reserve comments on this caption but hope that you can at least afford a smile after reading it. We put the Expression aside but continue following up on sports news as reported in the my-African (March 5, p. 22).

“Simba squeeze ‘pass’ Kiyovu” is the headline. There is an illustration in form of a photograph with a caption reading as follows: “Simba Striker, Emmanuel Okwi (right) dribbles ‘pass’ Kiyovu player during the second leg match of the Confederation Cup played on Friday at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Simba won 2-1”. (Picture by AS). In both cases, “pass” should read “past”. Thus the identified Simba player is dribbling “past” Kiyovu players.

For sure, he, after that, passed the ball to another player. On page 15 of the my-African is an article titled: “We promote tourism but miss out on medals”, on the recently held 10th Kilimanjaro Marathon. The writer is totally disenchanted with local athletes: “So much was expected from the local athletes on the 10th ‘anniversary’ of the Kilimanjaro Marathon. By the way, this is not ‘just’ a ‘mare’ marathon but an internationally acclaimed race”.

Although the Kilimanjaro Marathon was being held for the 10th time since it started, the activity of running was not an anniversary”. An anniversary is a date on which something special or important happened in the pervious year but which is being celebrated today. You can for instance talk of the 10th anniversary of your wedding, meaning that you got wed 10 years ago today. It would possibly have sufficed to refer to “the Kilimanjaro Marathon, now in its 10th year ......”.

What about the writer’s assertion that the Kilimanjaro Marathon is not “just a mare” marathon? .For sure it was not a “mare” marathon. A mare is a female horse or donkey, and it is not horses or donkeys that did the running, but human beings, from various countries and of all ages.

What the writer wanted to emphasise was that the Kilimanjaro race was something more than a marathon. It was not a “mere” marathon but an internationally acclaimed race. In the interest of saving on words it was not necessary to say “just a mere” for, if you say: “It is not just a marathon” or “It is not a mere marathon” you are saying more or less the same thing. Thus to use “just” and “mere” together is over-prescribing.

The writer notes that the Kilimanjaro Marathon promoted tourism. As a result: “Hotels in Moshi town were all booked. That meant prices in accommodation for a single night went up than the usual price. ‘Merchandises’ were sold in various ‘curios’ shops”. Now, “merchandise” is an uncountable noun meaning goods that are being sold. We therefore do not talk of “merchandises” but of “merchandise” being sold in various “curio shops”.

We move from sport to something else. Transport. These days you have a choice of walking, bicycling, taking a taxi or taking a motorcycle, a Bajaj or a daladala. The choice is yours. Sometimes however, life is not easy for those who operate transport vehicles.

This is demonstrated in a picture in the my-Africa (March 5, p. 3) showing a motorcyclist sleeping his time away, resting on his bike. Look at the caption: “A motorcyclist takes ‘A NUB’ as he waits for passengers along Morogoro road in Dar es Salaam region......”. Taking a nub? I beg your pardon. It is taking a nap. A nap is a short sleep especially during the day. Bye for now.



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