THE use of the words “historic” and “historical” can, many times, be confusing. This can be gauged from this Editorial in the Good Citizen of 3 October, titled: “Heed calls to preserve Dar’s ‘historic’ buildings”.
The writer opens his piece as follows: “Located on the Indian Ocean shore, along the East African coastline, Dar es Salaam is rich in historic and historical terms. Dar es Salaam, now a sprawling metropolis with more than 5 million people, dates back to the mid-1880s when it first ‘begun’ as a sleepy fishing outpost known as Mzizima.”
Here we need to emphasise that Dar es Salaam first ‘began’ (or, ‘started’) as a sleepy fishing village.
“Began”, not “begun” [Remember the drill: begin, began, begun?]. Halfway through, the writer educates as follows: “The historical part of Dar es Salaam aside, even more ‘historic’ are the City’s architecture and related infrastructures that are rich in cultural heritage”.
Yes, Dar es Salaam has a historical part, the like of Zanzibar’s Stone Town, though not as spectacular, but the architecture cannot be described as “historic”. It is historical. “Historic” is something that makes history at a particular moment, or time, or era.
For example, the event of Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan becoming President of Tanzania was historic. This is because she is the first woman to assume such a position in Tanzania’s history.
On the other hand, “historical” means somthing belonging to the past. The architecture and buildings to which the writer is referring are “historical”. They were built or crafted very much in the times bygone. Bearing that in mind, the Editorial’s heading should change from: “Heed calls to preserve Dar’s ‘historic’ buildings,” to: “Heed calls to preserve Dar’s ‘historical’ buildings.
Now that the national power supply company, TANESCO, has a new person at its stewardship, we can say without fear that the country is going through a power rationing phase. The now transferred MD, on the other hand, pushed for: “power deficit.” In an opinion column appearing in the Good Citizen and titled: “Wielding power: The challenge of energy leadership in Tanzania,” the writer warns that: “The repercussions of ‘power outages,’ lasting up to a staggering 18 hours daily, cast an ominous shadow over countless lives and businesses.” “Power outages” are not planned. What we are suffering from is planned power disconnections, or load shedding, lasting for hours. Lord help us!
The National Institute of Transport (NIT) is becoming a major centre in training in anything transportation. That may be the reason why a Good Citizen reporter wrote a brief article titled: “NIT dream to become centre of excellence in aviation boosted”.
In the last but two paragraphs, the writer hints at what the government is doing to prop up the NIT by quoting a ministerial official: “The government has given NIT the land at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) to build a hanger that will be used for aviation studies, including pilots.” Well, well, well! Pilots are not aviation studies.
The writer needed to make this clear and re-write the sentence as follows: “The government has given NIT land at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) to build a hanger that will be used for aviation studies, including the ‘training’ of pilots.” In response, we are told: “NIT will build a ‘flit school’ at KIA, but in the meantime, it will make use of the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) for practical training.” What is a “flit school,” we wondered.
“A flit” means: “the act of moving house or leaving one’s home, typically secretly so as to escape creditors or obligations.” Is that what the writer had in mind? We doubt very much. Chances he or she had “flight” in mind. “NIT will build a ‘flight school’ at KIA, but in the meantime, it will make use of the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) for practical training.”
All the best NIT.