MariaSarungiTsehai

Sep 11 2017

Beyond the selfies and glamourized life

What for many is not obvious in a more advanced economy is that social media in a country like Tanzania is not only social media but it is MEDIA. Big difference! Because the Whatsapp app on the phone is not for talking to Granny or Mom but it is a business networking tool. Instagram is not a platform to post (only) selfies at weddings and parties, but a free advertising platform. Twitter is a great platform to vent and share ideas about politics and current affairs but also to provide essential free information on important issues. Facebook allows marketing of goods and now even has added the “shop” function but for many Tanzanians selling their artisanal goods or services, their personal Facebook pages are still the first and foremost tool for earning a living.

Of course no proper writing misses the opportunity to share anecdotes, living examples etc. But cynicisms aside I have personally so many inspirational examples of young people who reached out to me and said: “Hey Sis, this is what I do! How can I improve, get more clients… etc.”

There is Idris who makes charcoal from recycled waste in Tabora and who has taken to Twitter to share his knowledge and market his business. He is now taking orders from many parts of Tanzania, and has other young people helping him produce this environment friendly charcoal.

Then there is Bright who has a passion for tailoring and dreams to become the Yves Saint Laurent of Africa, now dressing Members of Parliament and celebrities after reaching out to a number of us for advice.

And then you have Agnes who makes beautiful accessories from local beads and fabrics – who now has developed to selling and displaying at major fairs and sales.

I talk of them because there are those who also became successful selling imported goods but I see the value of these young people as they could grow to become major businesses that would add to the value chain and increase local content on the market.

This may seem novel and groundbreaking but it is simply about the extraordinary opportunity that social media has offered the millions of young Tanzanians who are mostly unemployed or recent graduates. So what we see now is powerful personal accounts that have considerable following with decent digital marketing skills selling services, ideas and products. How can these individual efforts and personal creativity and enthusiasm be channeled to something bigger and more transformational? First and foremost by making starting a business easier and reducing the cost of doing business. If any young person is interested in starting up officially a business, they will fast find themselves spending the little capital they have, on paying license fees and – something that many parts of the world has not heard of – provisional tax (in short you are estimated to make for example 3 million shillings profit per annum and you have to pay 30% tax on that provisionally. You have not seen a single cent but hey! Pay up in advance!)

As I attend all these fancy workshops and conferences on business in Tanzania, I wonder if ever the men and women in suits (me included) have ever thought of discussing social media entrepreneurship as a “serious” area worth exploring. Instead of forcing these budding businesses to become NGOs in order to gain access to capital in the form of grants, maybe it is time to think more seriously in Tanzania about what has become the buzzword now in the West “social entrepreneurship”. But not in the usual “we-know-better-and-here-is-what-we-think-you-can-do manner” but more in “we-have-money-tell-us-how-we-can-help-you” approach.

I would love to see Idris in Tabora and his charcoal from recycled waste, or Agnes and her beautiful accessories from local fabrics and beads, or Bright and his exceptional suits, getting proper investment and financial advice. Western style venture capital may not be easy to get but we definitely need to come up with better solutions for that. Because at the end of the day we #ChangeTanzania if we start changing our thinking and approach to matters. 

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Sep 09 2017
Apart from being sentimental and of course completely biased in favor of my country – I love Tanzania because of the people’s humor. Of course all nations claim to have a great sense of humor (well maybe not, I haven’t heard the Swiss brag about that or China!), but we really do have a fantastic sense of humor (no room for argument here!).

Tanzanians are often characterized as laid-back, lazy, easy-going, gentle, cowards (these are the negative stereotypes) but because our national language is Kiswahili (called Swahili by the foreigners), our humor is lost in translation to foreigners.

We find humor even in tragic situation and that is not because we have a morbid sense of humor but because that is how we process events (good or bad). And we often apply our sarcastic humor to political situations. A clear example is the horrific attack on opposition Member of Parliament Tundu Lissu (Singida East) who was gunned down in the capital Dodoma on Thursday. He survived the attack and currently being treated in Nairobi after doctors in Tanzania stabilized him and his party flew him out. This was the latest in a string of kidnapping, arson and attacks which were reported to have be done by “unknown people” or in Kiswahili “watu wasiojulikana”

So now the joke is that we have become the United Republic of Unknown People as coined by opposition MP – Zitto Kabwe on social media.

There has been many jokes and memes about “unknown people” , just follow the #WatuWasiojulikana hashtag:

Underneath the humorous posts – there is soul searching, anger and frustration by citizens who want answers to some very serious issues. We may not express ourselves in the usual outraged manner but one can tap the collective mood from the memes and running jokes.

It is worthwhile tracking the running joke, buzzword and top memes to gauge our mood. 

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Dec 09 2015
Nilikuwa najaribu kuangalia tafsiri ya neno “mnoko”. Usishangae maana neno “mshamba”ninahisi nina tafsiri yake ya “country bumpkin” ingawa Google inasema ina maana ya “lout” ila inaweza kuwa na tafsiri ya ziada inapotumika leo hii Tanzania aka Bongoland. Alafu neno “mbahili” pia tafsiri inaeleweka “miser”. Nilikuwa natafuta tafsiri ya ‘mnoko’ ili nijaribu kumwelewesha mtu yeyote ambaye si mtanzania na haongei Kiswahili ni jinsi gani maneno haya yalitumika kama njia ya kuua uzalendo na maadili na kutukuza maisha yasiyo halisi. Hoja yangu ni kwamba leo hii, Unoko ni uzalendo, ubahili ni maendeleo, ushamba ni sifa.

Katika kampeni ya 2015, nilikuwa ninatazama na kusoma zaidi ya kuandika, hii ilikuwa ni sehemu ya kujaribu kuelewa nini kinasukuma watu kumpigia kura mgombea fulani au fulani. Kitu nilichokiona kinarudiwarudiwa ni neno “mshamba” wakati wa kumkosoa mgombea wa CCM, ambaye sasa ni Rais Magufuli. Nikaamua nisome zaidi maoni haya. Inaelekea kutosomesha watoto nje na katika shule za ‘academy’ ni ushamba, kutosafiri sana nje ni ushamba, na jinsi anavyovaa na lafudhi yake nzito pia inashiria kuwa ni mshamba. Lakini tusiwahukumu walioyasema hayo. Ni sawa kabisa kwamba katika jamii yetu ya sasa ambapo tumetilia mkazo muonekano wa nje wa mtu, neno ‘ushamba’ hapa linahusika. 
Rais Magufuli (archive)
Cha ajabu pamoja na ushamba huu, Rais Magufuli sasa anaonekana kweli ni mtu simple ambaye ameishi maisha halisi ya mtanzania na hahitaji kuigiza au kuvaa mara moja moja kama mtu wa kawaida. Ndivyo alivyo. Na tunaanza kuona kuwa wale waliokuwa wanabadili magari kila kukicha na wanamiliki nyumba 73 walikuwa hawaishi maisha ya kweli kwani walikuwa wanavunja sheria. Nadhani muda si mrefu ushamba utakuwa ni sifa na kila mtu atataka awe ‘mshamba’ asiyejua ujanja wa teni pasenti.

Kwenye ubahili ninakumbuka wakenya walianzisha hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo na mwanzoni baadhi ya watanzania huko Twitter waliona kama wanamkejeli Rais maana hata picha na tweets ziliashiria ubahili wa kupitiliza. Lakini muda si mrefu, hashtag ikawa maarufu na hivi sasa wanahabari, wanaharakati na watoa maoni wa nchi mbalimbali wanashauri serikali na viongozi wao kuwa bora wawe kama Magufuli – yaani wajali sana matumizi. So ubahili sasa umekuwa ni suala la maendeleo!

Rais Magufuli akiwa chuo kikuu

Mwisho kabisa narudi kule nilipoanza kuhusu unoko! Ah! Neno “mnoko”! Ukiitwa mnoko shule lazima ulie! Ina maana wewe ni yule ambaye utawasemea wenzako wanaopiga kelele, utanyoosha kidole wa kwanza kujibu swali, mkiambiwa mkafanye usafi utakuwa wa kwanza kupanga mstari na fagio lako na utavaa sare zako safi kila siku bila kukosa. Na bila shaka utakuwa unakaa mstari wa mbele shuleni na unajitahidi kusoma uwe unaongoza darasani, ukikosa maksi uliyokusudia kidogo unalia. Sasa ukishaingia miaka ile ya kuanza kupevuka kimwili, unoko haukuwa sifa nzuri. Maana wanoko hawakupendwa na hawakuvutia. 
Baada ya masomo, kama mtu mzima kama uliendelea kuwa mnoko utaonekana mbaya kwa majirani, wafanyakazi wenzako na hata bosi wako. Wanoko hawapandishwi cheo na ni nadra wao kuonekana na viongozi wao na kuchaguliwa kuongoza. Ingawa wanoko wengi ni viongozi wa asili. Wanataka vitu viende vizuri kwa manufaa ya wengi, kila mtu afuate sheria hata ye na familia yake, na tuheshimiane wakubwa kwa wadogo. Kwa maelezo haya, nahisi sitakosea kusema Rais Magufuli ni mnoko. Yaani vijana wanasema, “Dah! Huyo ka Dingi wako basi atakuwa mnoko!”. Lakini leo hii hakuna anayelalamikia unoko huu wa Rais Magufuli. Ghafla wote tunasema ni muhimu sheria zifuatwe, tujenge taifa, tusimamie na tushirikiane usafi siku ya Uhuru na muhimu ‘kumsemea’ anayevunja sheria, haya yote ni vitu vizuri. Sasa tunasema Unoko ni Uzalendo.

Kwa kumalizia ni hivi, naamini kuwa ni wachache ndiyo walituaminisha kwamba eti ukitaka kusimamia haki, ufuataji wa sheria, kusimamia matumizi mazuri na sahihi binafsi au ya serikali au kuhamasisha jamii basi wewe ni mnoko. Ni wachache ambao walitaka tuamini eti Tanzania ya leo ni aibu au ushamba kutomiliki gari hata kama wewe ni binti wa miaka 20 na hatua pekee uliyopiga maishani ni kushinda mashindano ya urembo. Ni wachache waliotuaminisha kuwa usipofanya sherehe kubwa ya harusi basi ni mbahili au mshamba. Lakini watanzania tulio wengi tulikaa kimya. Tuliendeshwa kwa kiasi lakini wengi tulibaki watazamaji zaidi na tulikubali kuwekwa katika kundi hilo la washamba, wabahili na wanoko. Tulikuwa tunasubiri siku ambapo kejeli hizi zitageuka kuwa sifa.

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Dec 08 2014
Huwa tumezoea kusikia kuwa Mabadiliko ni mimi, ni wewe (Twaweza.org), ya kuwa tunatakiwa tuwe chachu ya Mabadiliko. na – tokea 2008, baada ya kampeni na ushindi wa Obama – ‘Mabadiliko huanza na wewe’.

Cha ajabu ingawa tunarudiarudia sana maneno haya na kuyasikia, bado kama Taifa na wananchi, sisi watanzania tunasubiri mabadiliko YALETWE na mtu au kikundi cha watu. Tunamsubiri Nabii wetu wa Mabadiliko, tunamtafuta Obama wetu wa 2008. Wengine wanasubiri Nyerere mwingine au Sokoine mwingine. Tunasubiri Nabii huyu ajitambue, azinduke, apate nguvu na ujasiri, ajitokeze na kisha atuongoze .. kuelekea wapi hatujui ila tusibaki hapa tulipo.

Hii ndo hali halisi na tupo tayari kuijengea hoja tena kwa nguvu na kutetea hali hii. Utamsikia msomi anayekaa mjini akisema, “Tatizo letu sisi watanzania wengi ni maskini..” “Tatizo ni mfumo wetu wa elimu” na tunachopenda kurudia sana sote ni: “Ujinga wa watanzania ndo mtaji wa viongozi wetu wabovu” Utamsikia mwenyekiti wa jumuiya ya kijamii (al maarufu kama CBOs yaani Community Based Organizations) akilalama, “Tunahitaji kuwezeshwa”. Wapo wanaosema “Wewe umefanya nini?” kana kwamba kutofanya kitu kwangu ndo sababu nao kukaa tu kusubiri kuletewa mabadiliko. Basi tu sababu lukuki. Mfano mzuri ni jinsi tulivyojaribu Change Tanzania kuhamasisha watu tukusanye sahihi kutaka uwajibikaji kamili katika kesi ya Tegeta Escrow. Wapo wanaohoji, “Itasaidia nini? Haisaidii kitu.” Basi tuendelee kukaa tu?

Ninawaheshimu sana na kuwapongeza wanaochangisha jamii kununua madawati, kujenga mashule, kuelimisha watoto nk kwani hata kama ni watoto wawili tu wananufaika na juhudi zao, ni hatua kubwa kuliko kutofanya kitu na kulalama. Tatizo tunalolifahamu sote ni kuwa bila mfumo mzuri wa utawala, misaada hii ni tone la maji katika bahari. Lakini juhudi zote ni muhimu tusizibeze.

Kwani tukibeze juhudi hizi ndogo na tukikubali kuwa sisi watanzania ni maskini, wajinga na tuna maradhi chungu mbovu.. swali ni je, kwa hiyo tuendelee kusubiri Nabii ajitokeze miongoni mwetu ambaye hatakuwa mjinga, maskini na atakuwa buheri wa afya?

Kwa leo sitaki kuingia katika suala la vyama vya siasa au kutaja majina ya viongozi, ninachotaka kufanya ni kuwachokoza watanzania wenzangu, hivi wenzangu hamjachoka? Mi naona hakuna Mkombozi atakayeshushwa kutoka mbinguni. Hakuna Sauti ya Mungu itakayosikika hadharani ikitupa mwongozo tufanyeje, kwa sababu sote tulipewa dira (compass) mioyoni mwetu na Mungu. Hiyo dira inatakiwa ituongoze na kutupa mwelekeo. Dira yangu inaniambia tupo njia isiyo sahihi kama nchi. Kama taifa tumekosa uadilifu, nidhamu, utu na upendo kwa binadamu wenzetu. Tumekuwa nchi iliyokata tamaa. Lakini naamini kukata tamaa ni kosa na nina matumaini kuwa kila mmoja wetu alizaliwa mtanzania kuishi mwaka huu na nyakati hizi kwa sababu tumepangiwa kazi. Hivi ndivyo Nyerere, Sokoine, Gandhi, Mandela na wanamabadiliko mashuhuri walivyofikiri. Waliamini hawakuzaliwa katika mazingira yao kwa bahati mbaya. Tuko hapa duniani kwa malengo makubwa zaidi ya kupata mkate wa kila siku.

Kila mmoja wetu akitambua hili, ndipo Taifa litazinduka na ndipo tutaona kuwa nchi itageuzwa na mabadiliko yatatokea. Na watu wa mataifa mengine na wanahistoria watajaribu kutafuta mashujaa wa kuwapa sifa zote na kuwatunuku nafasi hii ya kinabii, bila kutambua kuwa mabadiliko haya yaliletwa na kila mmoja wetu na kila mtanzania. Hii labda ni ndoto, achene niote tu.. bora niendelee kuota kuliko kukata tamaa na kukaa kuangalia mbinguni nikisubiri kishushiwa Nabii wa mabadiliko.

Mar 15 2014
This is my first English language blog entry since I was nominated by President Jakaya Kikwete to the Constituent Assembly in February. And I do not intend to spend any time discussing events that took place so far. Instead I want to point out one pertinent matter or idea that I believe we should all embrace inside and outside the Assembly.

How we got here or this far in this historic process of writing a new constitution can be a topic to fill tomes of books but what I would like us to focus on is not the past but rather the future. Consider this: despite the fact that this Assembly consists of delegates who did not vie nor were we elected by citizens to be part of the Assembly, there is an interesting mix of delegates, albeit mostly favoring the powers that be. But who would have thought that someone as controversial as Reverend Mtikila will be part of this Assembly? Many delegates are uneasy and even fear Reverend Mtikila who has published his paper calling on the dissolution of the Assembly. Yet despite his avid stance on the revival of Tanganyika, Reverend Mtikila has taken the oath to be faithful to the United Republic. There are pastoralists, farmers, religious leaders and many others. Another interesting personality is Esther Milimba a Maasai woman from the pastoralist community, who in her full Maasai outfit represents the bold, industrious women of Tanzania. Then there are the elders including Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru –a stalwart CCM member and functionary with a wealth of historic information, but there is also the octogenarian John Lifa Chipaka who was political rival of Nyerere since the 50s and jailed for charges of attempted coup d’etat. These two elders have a totally different experience and view of history that may prove valuable in this process.

What we all have to realize inside and outside the Constituent Assembly is that we have a historic opportunity to finally transform our nation and get it right! We have been experts at criticizing and complaining about many things and here we have this unprecedented chance to act on it. This is the chance to unleash the potential of our people, our youth; to overhaul the system that has held back our development; to ensure that services are delivered properly to all citizens; to ensure that we have a well informed and educated citizenry… what we dreamt about can become reality.

But this can only happen if collectively and individually we put aside our cynicism and bring back our idealism. This is the second awakening of Tanzania .. let us aspire and dream big! In the words of the Founding Father Mwalimu Nyerere: “That is the way we ought to look at this constitution. We got to have a little amount of faith…. Democracy is a declaration of faith in human nature”. Call me naïve, call me an idealist but I have a lot of faith in human nature but most importantly I have a lot of faith in Tanzanians.. it is this faith of mine in the incredible generous and patriotic spirit of the citizens of Tanzania that our movement of #ChangeTanzania  has become a movement that cannot be ignored and that has given me this responsibility to represent the people of Tanzania. So I believe and trust, I have faith in the individual and collective nature of Tanzanians, let’s make history by changing our course and create a better future founded on equality, freedom and justice.

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Feb 28 2014
Katika mjadala unaoendelea katika Bunge Maalum la Katiba nilibahatika wiki hii kupata nafasi ya kuchangia na nilizungumzia suala la ubabe wa walio wengi au kwa kiingereza “Tyranny of the Majority”. Nilitumia hoja hii ya msingi kuelezea kwa nini katika mchakato wa kurekebisha rasimu ya katiba tunahitaji kura ziwe za siri. Ila kutokana na ufinyu wa muda sikupata nafasi ya kujieleza kirefu na pia sikuwa na lengo la kuanzisha darasa kwa sababu mi si mwalimu wala haikuwa nafasi yake hapo.


Hata hivyo nilimsikia siku inayofuata kaka yangu Peter Serukamba akijaribu kujibu hoja yangu kwa kusema demokrasia ni ya wengi wape. Hii ni hoja ambayo wajumbe wengine pia waliibua. Na imenisikitisha kwamba pamoja na wajumbe hawa tumekusanyika nao katika bunge hili maalum la katiba na hawana uelewa mzuri wa maana pana ya demokrasia. Hawaelewi kwa nini kuna wawakilishi wa asasi zisizo za kiraia na vikundi vya kijamii katika bunge hili maalum la katiba ambao kazi yetu ni kuwasemea watanzania wasiosikika – watoto, akina mama, walemavu, wavuvi na kadhalika. Hawaelewi kwa nini rasimu yetu ya katiba ina haki za binadamu na haki za raia. Kama demokrasia ingekuwa “wengi wape” tu, katiba yetu ingekuwa ina ukurasa chache sana na tungeweza hata kuendelea kuwa na chama kimoja na mgombea mmoja. Lakini sivyo ilivyo na sivyo watanzania tunavyotaka kujenga nchi yetu.


Hoja yangu ya ubabe wa walio wengi huanzia kabla kura hazijapigwa na baada ya kura kupigwa. Umuhimu wa kura ya siri ni kuwalinda wale ambao wanaweza kutishiwa kwa njia moja ama nyingine yaani “protection from intimidation”. Lakini pia kuna hoja ya kuwa ni haki ya msingi ya kila mtu yaani haki ya uhuru wa mawazo na maoni. Kura ya siri inampa uhuru huu kila mtu. Lakini kwa mwonekano wangu hoja zaidi ni kama wataalam wengi wanavyoshauri kuwa kura ya siri ni muhimu pale ambapo uwezekano wa kutishiwa au kushurutishwa upo. Katika mazingira kama haya basi ni njia mwafaka wa kupata maamuzi. Bila kupoteza muda ningependa kurudi kwenye hoja wa “walio wengi” kwani hata dhana hii inabidi tuijadili zaidi.


Kusema wingi wa kura pekee ndo demokrasia ni mwonekano mfinyu. Hebu nifafanue kidogo kwa faida ya wale ambao uelewa wao haujapanuka kwa nini nimetoa tahadhari aliyoitoa James Madison na John Adams – moja wa vinara waliotunga katiba ya Marekani – kuhusu ubabe wa walio wengi.


Hoja ya “walio wengi” (majority) si lazima iwe hoja yenye maslahi ya taifa kutokana na ubinadamu wetu. Na John Adams alifafanua vyema maslahi haya kuwa yanaweza kuwa maslahi ya familia zao, vitongoji vyao au vyama vyao. Hivyo alisihi kuwa kuna haja ya kuweka vifungu katika katiba itakayotetea mfumo wa haki, kuwalazimu wote kuheshimu maslahi ya pamoja na ya taifa dhidi ya maslahi binafsi au ya kichama: “If a majority are capable of preferring their own private interest, or that of their families, counties, and party, to that of the nation collectively, some provision must be made in the constitution, in favor of justice, to compel all to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law, in preference to all private and partial considerations”


Hivyo basi John Adams alisisitiza kuwa vifungu hivi vya katiba yaani Bill of Rights ndivyo vitakavyomlinda mtu binafsi kutokana na kile kinachoitwa ubabe wa walio wengi. Haki hizi ni pamoja na uhuru wa maoni, uhuru wa kupata hifadhi, uhuru wa dini na kadhalika


Katika chapisho la “Federalist papers” maandiko yaliyokusanywa ya wale vinara walioshiriki kutunga katiba ya Marekani, James Madison pia alionya na kutoa hali halisi iliyokuwepo wakati huo katika siasa za Marekani. Alieleza ni jinsi gani wananchi wengi wanalalamika kuwa serikali haziaminiki, na maslahi ya umma yanawekwa pembeni kutokana na ushindani wa vyama vya kisiasa; na vitu vinaamuliwa si kwa kufuata misingi ya haki na kulinda walio wachache au wasio na sauti (minority), lakini kwa kufuata nguvu kubwa ya walio wengi wenye maslahi binafsi.

“Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.

Na ndiyo maana hata James Madison alizungumzia umuhimu wa vifungu vya katiba vitakavyolinda haki ya mtu binafsi yaani Bill of Rights.


Ni dhahiri kuwa hao “walio wengi” leo, kuna siku lazima watakimbilia kutaka kulinda haki zao kwa mfano haki ile ya “kila mtu anastahili kuheshimiwa na kupata hifadhi kwa nafsi yake, maisha yake na familia yake na nyumbani kwake, kutoteswa au kudhalilishwa na pia heshima na hifadhi ya maskani yake na mawasiliano yake binafsi”. Kila mmoja wa “walio wengi” atapigia kelele haki zake binafsi kwa sababu kuna uwezekano mlio wengi mkawa wachache. Historia ina mifano ya kutosha.


Hivyo basi huwa napenda kusema kuwa historia ina mengi ya kutufundisha na wala tusidhani kuwa eti tumevumbua sisi demokrasia au suala la katiba. Kama tumeamua kuwa Tanzania iwe nchi inayoheshimu demokrasia basi tufuate misingi yake na tujikite kuelewa vyema misingi hii.

Ubabe wa “walio wengi” inategemea hao walio wengi ni kina nani na katika mazingira gani. Je “walio wengi” ndani ya chombo maalum kinachoandika katiba ndiyo kweli “walio wengi” Tanzania? Je hawa “walio wengi” wana wingi wa nini na je tunaweza kuwaamini kuwa watakuwa na wingi huo siku zote? Je tunaweza kusema kwa uhakika kuwa “walio wengi” wanasukumwa na maslahi ya umma na kila mmoja wao ataheshimu siku zote msingi wa haki? Jibu ni hapana. Na si kwamba hawa “walio wengi” sasa ni wabaya sana kuliko wengine lakini ukweli ni kuwa kama nilivyowahi kusema katika siasa hakuna malaika wala shetani. Hivyo kama mchakato wa sasa wa katiba mpya iko katika chombo ambacho kimetawaliwa na wanasiasa basi tujue hapo tunatakiwa tuwe makini sana. Tujikite kutetea haki za wote na tuweke misingi itakayohakikisha kuwa maslahi binafsi au ya kichama hayatawali.


Sasa kwa nini niliibua hoja hii ya ubabe wa walio wengi? Niliibua kwa sababu kabla hata hatujaanza mjadala kuhusu rasimu ya katiba, tukiwa bado tunajadili rasimu ya kanuni zitakazotuendesha, ubabe huu umeonekana na ni hatari kwa mustakabli wa taifa. Kwani inaashiria kuwa ubabe huu utaendelezwa mpaka kwenye mijadala ya hapo mbele kuhusu rasimu ya katiba bila kuelewa vyema kilichotuleta pamoja hapa Dodoma.


Hivyo kwa mtazamo wangu, walio wengi wasijitetee na wasitake kutushawishi kuwa ni malaika, na mimi binafsi pamoja na wengine hata tusipokuwa na mitazamo iliyofanana nao tusitake kuwafanya “walio wengi” ni waovu, ila tutambue hali halisi na tufuate misingi ya demokrasia.

Kwa kumnukuu Edmund Burke mwanasiasa na mwanafalsafa wa Uingereza: “the greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse” yaani jinsi nguvu inavyozidi kuwa kubwa ndivyo dhuluma inaongezeka. Basi nguvu ya walio wengi isiwe ya ubabe na dhuluma, bali iwe ni nguvu ya kweli na yenye kujitambua inayotaka kujenga utaifa na kujali raia wote na haki zao. Kama msanii wa kifaransa, Paul Cezanne alivyosema “the awareness of our strength makes us modest” yaani kutambua nguvu tuliyo nayo hutufanya tuwe wa kawaida au kujishusha. Mtu mwenye nguvu ya kweli na anayejitambua kamwe hawezi kuwa mbabe na siku zote hutafuta njia ya kuwasaidia wasio na nguvu. Si kwa sababu ya huruma, lakini kwa sababu anaelewa nguvu yake imetokana na nini.  Hawa “walio wengi” leo watakapopata jibu kuwa nguvu yao imetokea wapi wataelewa kuwa misingi hii ya demokrasia na utaratibu tunajijengea sote kwa sababu hata kama si leo au kesho lakini hatimaye mpanda ngazi hushuka.

Nov 26 2013
Hivi karibuni kumekuwa na matukio mbalimbali kwa upande wa chama kikuu cha upinzani CHADEMA kinachonisukuma kusema kuwa tunachoona hivi sasa ni historia. Bila kupoteza muda mrefu kujaribu kuzungumzia matukio naona kuwa watanzania tungefaidika zaidi kuelewa vyema zaidi nini hasa tunachokiona.

Lazima tukubali kuwa lengo moja kuu (kama si lengo kuu pekee) ya chama chochote cha kisiasa ni kuingia madarakani. Vyama hivi vinaweza kutushawishi kuwa wanataka madaraka haya kwa sababu wanataka kutusaidia na ni haki na wajibu wetu kutathmini na kuamua ni chama kipi kitatusaidia kama jamii kufikia malengo tutakayokubaliana nayo. Lakini kwa kifupi wanataka madaraka. Tukishakubali hali hii, basi tunaweza kuangalia tukio lolote la kisiasa kama ushindani wa kutwaa madaraka. Na ni muhimu tutambue hili bila kujaribu kudai kuwa eti mwanasiasa au chama fulani kinatupenda na kutujali zaidi na kadhalika. Hilo ni suala la mtazamo na kwa sasa tuliweke pembeni.

Ninachotaka tujaribu kuangalia ni kuwa ushindani huu wa kutwaa madaraka pia yapo ndani ya chama chochote cha kisiasa. Na ni kitu kizuri sana. Naamini ndani ya CCM, CHADEMA, CUF, NCCR tutaendelea kuona malumbano kwa sababu ya uchaguzi mkuu 2015. Ni uchaguzi wa kihistoria kwa sababu rais aliyopo madarakani hatagombea tena (hakuna incumbent) hivyo hata mgombea wa CCM atakuwa ‘mgeni’ kwa wapiga kura. Hivyo vyama vya upinzani vina nafasi kubwa sana wakicheza karata zao vizuri. Lakini pia ndani ya CCM, hakuna mteule mpaka sasa – kwa hiyo yoyote anaweza kuibuka kuwa mgombea. Tukishaweza kuangalia hali ya kisiasa kwa jicho hili tutaona kuwa ndani ya vyama kuna makambi ambayo yanaona kuwa wao wakiendesha chama sasa wanaweza kukihakikishia ushindi chama chao. Hivyo uongozi wa chama nao unawaniwa. Na ninarudia hakuna ubaya wowote tena ni kitu kizuri. Kwani asiyekubali kushindana si mshindani – na ukweli ni kuwa mgombea ambaye atateuliwa tu na chama chake bila kupitia ushindani mkubwa ndani ya chama chake, mara nyingi hawi mgombea mwenye ushwawishi mkubwa.

Ninakiri kuwa mi ni muumini wa ushindani katika nyanja zote kwani ninaamini ushindani hatimaye huleta matokeo mazuri kwani maoni mbalimbali yakigonganishwa basi tunaweza kupata kitu bora. Kwa bahati mbaya, ushindani katika historia ya nchi yetu haikuwa neno zuri au dhana iliyokubalika – katika sekta ya uchumi na hata siasa. Tunaweza kukaa na kuongea na kuleta nukuu za Baba wa Taifa kuwa alipenda ushindani lakini ukweli halisia ni kuwa kulikuwa hakuna uhuru wa kusimama na kum-challenge yeye kama kiongozi, au chama (mfumo wa chama kimoja), ushindani wa kibiashara nk. Na ili kuweza kukamilisha maoni yangu nitaomba tukiweke hiki kiporo, na mvumilie mawazo yangu kwa sasa.

Sasa basi ni katika historia hii ndo tunaona vyama vya upinzani hapa nchini vilizaliwa na kwa kweli historia itakuja kutambua mchango mkubwa wa wale wachache waliokuwa na uthubutu wa ku-challenge system wa wakati huo. Lakini sasa kipindi kile cha awali cha kuunda umekamilika, kwani hivi leo kuanzisha chama cha siasa, NGO au kampuni si kitu cha ajabu. Kinachofuata sasa ni UIMARISHAJI wa vyama hivi.

Vyama hivi vinahitaji kuimarishwa kwa sababu ni lazima vitoe taswira mpya na tofauti na chama kilichopo madarakani tangia uhuru – ya kuwa demokrasia ya kweli ni mfumo yaani taasisi na si ya kikundi fulani. Na hapo ndipo ninapoona tatizo. Vyama vya upinzani vimejaa kutokuaminiana. Hii inatokana na kuwa wakati wa kuundwa kwao – juhudi za wazi na za siri zilifanyika kuwahujumu na hadi leo hii juhudi hizi zipo kwani narudia kwenye kile nilichokizungumzia hapo juu kuwa vyama vya siasa vinataka madaraka. Yule aliyopo madarakani hatakubali kuondoka kwa hiari, hivyo ndiyo maana demokrasia inahitajika kuhakikisha kuwa kwa njia ya wazi, anayekuwa madarakani anakubalika na walio wengi, na hatimaye awapishe wengine. Sasa hapo ndipo tunapokuja na kuleta dhana hii hii ndani ya chama chochote cha siasa. Ushindani huu ni muhimu, ili kujenga imani. Na ningependa nitoe mfano wa nchi ya Marekani ambayo kwa karne nyingi kumekuwa na ushindani wa kisiasa tena mkali sana.

Mwaka 1968 chama cha Democratic ilikuwa na mkutano wake mkuu jijini Chicago yaani National convention. Wajumbe na wanachama walikuwa wametofautiana mawazo kutokana na kuwa mgombea mmoja Hubert Humphrey (makamu rais) alionekana kubebwa na kupendelewa na viongozi wa chama na rais wa wakati huo Johnson (ambaye alitangaza kutogombea tena). Wanachama na wafuasi  wa mgombea Eugene McCarthy walikataa matokeo na maandamano makubwa yalifanyika katika eneo lililozunguka mkutano mkuu. Ni vyema kujua pia kwamba McCarthy alikuwa mgombea pekee ambaye mapema kabisa alikuwa tayari kum-challenge rais Johnson ambaye mwanzoni alikuwa tayari kugombea. Katika kura za awali katika mkoa (state) ya New Hampshire, McCarthy alipata 42% na Johnson 49%. Hii ilimshtua rais Johnson ambaye hatimaye alijitoa na kumpendekeza makamu wake.  Uthubutu wa McCarthy ya kum-challenge rais aliyopo madarakani na kupata sapoti kubwa pia iliwahamsisha wagombea wengine kuingia ulingoni kama Robert Kennedy ambaye aliuwawa wakati mchakato wa uchaguzi wa ndani ukiendelea. Hivyo basi kwenye mkutano mkuu, ushindani huu uligeuka kuwa ugomvi na mapigano kati ya wafuasi wa McCarthy na kile kilichoonekana ni uongozi wa kimabavu wa chama. Polisi waliitwa kutuliza ghasia na badala yake ghasia ilizidi, na wanachama wengi walipigwa na kuumizwa napolisi. Humphrey alitangazwa mshindi ingawa ushindi wake ulikuwa wa mashaka kwa wanachama wengi. Na Humphrey alienda kugombea urais na hatimaye kushindwa vibaya katika uchaguzi mkuu.

Je chama cha Democratic ilifanya nini? Ilimtimua Eugene McCarthy? Iliwatimua wafuasi wake? Hapana. Mara baada ya uchaguzi mkuu, uongozi wa Democratic party ulikaa na kuunda kamati iliyoongozwa na Senator George McGovern na baadaye Donald M Fraser. Na mabadiliko makubwa yalifanyika NDANI ya chama – ikiwa ni pamoja na kuwa na UWAZI mkubwa zaidi hususan katika chaguzi mbalimbali. Matokeo yake ni kuwa katika mikoa au states mbalimbali walianzisha mfumo wa primaries – yaani ngazi ya chini kabisa wanachama waliweza kupiga kura ya mgombea wanayemtaka. Si tu wagombea wa serikali za mitaa, bunge yaani Senate na House of Representatives, lakini hata za rais – presidential primaries. Kupitia njia hii ya wazi, chama cha Democratic ilijikuta kuwa hata kufikia 1984, mmarekani mweusi wa kwanza alitaka kuwa rais wa Marekani – Jesse Jackson – na alithubutu na kujaribu kutwaa ugombea rais wa chama ingawa hakufanikiwa. Hatimaye 2008, mmarekani mweusi Barack Obama alifanikiwa kuutwaa ugombea rais wa chama chake kama mwanasiasa mgeni asiye na uzoefu mkubwa – akimbwaga Hillary Clinton ambaye alikuwa ameshachukuliwa na viongozi wa chama kuwa ndo mgombea mteule. Kupitia mfumo huu wa uwazi, Obama na Hillary walichuana vikali sana kiasi kwamba wataalam wa masuala ya siasa wanasema Obama alipata mikikimikiki mingi zaidi katika uchaguzi wa ndani ya chama kuliko wakati wa uchaguzi mkuu. Mfano mzuri ni kashfa ya mchungaji wake Rev Wright ambayo iliibuliwa na kambi ya Hillary Clinton. Kambi ya Hillary pia iliandaa matangazo ya TV na radio ya kumbeza Obama kuwa akiamshwa usiku wa manane kuwa kuna janga limetokea atashindwa kutoa suluhu kwa sababu si mzoefu. Matangazo kama haya yalikuwa mengi kwa kambi zote mbili, ila Hillary Clinton alianza na pesa nyingi na sapoti ya viongozi wa chama. Lakini kama tunavyojua Obama alitumia mbinu ya kutafuta sapoti ya wanachama wapya – hususan vijana na wafanyakazi. Swali je Obama na timu yake wangekuwa Tanzania wangeruhusiwa kugombea?

Mfano huu wa Marekani utatusaidia vipi kuelewa hali ya sasa hivi? Chama chochote nchini si tu CHADEMA ni lazima iwe tayari kufanya yafuatayo ili iendelee kuimarika:

1.       Uwazi mkubwa katika uongozi wake – katika matumizi ya fedha na kadhalika

2.       Ushindani wa wazi katika kuwania uongozi  na kuhakikisha kuwa uongozi uliopo madarakani inaweza kuwa challenged kwa uwazi

3.       Mfumo au utaratibu wa wazi wa kugombea nafasi za uongozi – primaries kwa ngazi zote

Lakini mi si mtaalam wa masuala ya siasa na ninaamini katika vyama vyote wataalam wapo wengi na wasomi wanaoweza kuja na reform ya chama chao ili kurudisha imani miongoni mwao.

Hivyo basi tunachokiona leo hii ndani ya CHADEMA ni changamoto kubwa lakini pia ni nafasi ya kipekee kwa chama hiki kikubwa cha upinzani kuandika historia. Kwani suluhu si kutimuana, “kuvuana nguo”, kuitana majina – hii itafanyika wakati wa mchakato rasmi – ila kwa sasa ni muda wa kujitafakari. Ni nafasi ya kipekee kwa chama hiki kukaa na kutafakari na kupokea ukosoaji wote wa pande zote na kisha kuzifanyia kazi. Huu si wakati wa kurudi kwenye dhana ya zamani ya kusema eti ushindani ni kitu kibaya.  Wananchi wengi nilioongea nao na kuwasiliana nao wanaonyesha hofu na wamekata tamaa wakisema chama hiki kikubwa cha upinzani kikipasuka hakuta kuwa na ushindani wa vyama. Mi binafsi nasema mpaka sasa tamko la Zitto na la Kitila kuwa hawaondoki ndani ya chama na watabaki ni habari njema. Kwani mikwaruzano, na malumbano haya ndani ya chama kinaweza kuimarisha chama kama pande ZOTE zitaweza kutambua kuwa lengo lao kuu hatimaye ni kushika madaraka ya nchi. Na sisi wananchi tutambue kuwa katika ushindani huu hakuna malaika wala shetani, ni mgongano wa mawazo.

Hivyo basi katika ushindani huu ndani au nje ya chama – tujue kuwa ile principle ‘All is fair in love and war” – yaani kila kitu ruksa katika vita na mapenzi – hata hapa hutumika. Ninamaanisha kuwa ili kutwaa madaraka, pande zote zitapanga mikakati, zitajadili njia za kumdhoofisha mpinzani wake, zitatumia njia hata za kutuma ‘majasusi’ wa kisiasa kupata taarifa kuhusu pande wa pili, zitatoa taarifa za uongo za kuchafuana, zitatumia uzushi. Hii pia ni sawa kabisa na si kitu cha ajabu. Tusijidanganye, huu ni ushindani tena mkali. Upande utakaokataa kuwa haifanyi au haitumii mbinu hii utakuwa hausemi ukweli au utapotea bila kujielewa. Siasa ya vyama vingi ni ya ushindani na ushindani si lelemama. Kama kuna mtu anadhani Obama aliingia Ikulu ya Marekani kwa huruma, na kambi yake haikutumia mbinu na hila basi anajidanganya. Kama mtu anafikiri kuwa Magreth Thatcher aliongoza Uingereza kama waziri mkuu kwa sababu waingereza walimwonea huruma, wajue wamepotoka. Kama mtu anafikiri Tony Blair au David Cameron waliingia madarakani kutokana na ujana wao tu, wanahitaji kusoma zaidi historia. Viongozi wote hawa wameshika madaraka kutokana na kuwa walijiandaa mapema tena kwa SIRI, walikuwa na timu kali iliyowapangia mikakati yao ya ndani ya siri. Kuna wataalam wa mikakati yaani political strategists ambao wanafanya hii kazi kitaalam na huajiriwa na kambi za wagombea ili kuwaandikia mikakati. Hii si kitu cha ajabu na muda umefika hata sisi Tanzania tuwe tayari kuona ukweli kuwa pande zote husika katika siasa zetu, ndani na nje ya vyama vya siasa hutumia mbinu na hila. Kusema eti kambi fulani haiitumii mbinu na hila ni uongo, wako katika ushindani mkali wa kudhoofishana machoni mwa wanachama wao. Hivyo utasikia kambi moja inamwita mgombea mtarajiwa wa kambi nyingine “msaliti”, kambi nyingine inamwita mgombea mtarajiwa wa pande wa pili “mbadirifu”.  Lakini lazima wakiri hatimaye kuwa wanachogombania ni madaraka. Angalau katika mkutano wao na waandishi wa habari, Zitto na Kitila wamekuwa wa kweli na kukiri hilo. Pande wa pili pia ifanye hivyo ili sasa ushindani wa wazi uanze. Lakini pia ikumbukwe kuwa katika harakati hizi chama kitakachokinzana na CHADEMA yaani CCM inatumia fursa hii kuwadhoofisha – na itaendeleza ushindani huu wa kutwaa uongozi wa ndani ya chama na kuukuza. Na hii pia ni sehemu ya ushindani wa kisiasa. Hatutakiwi kukataa au kujidanganya katika hili.

Kitu ambacho sikubali kabisa ni pale watu wanapojaribu kusema eti “hii ni Tanzania, hatuendi hivyo”. Mi naomba nijibu hiyo hoja – demokrasia na mfumo wa vyama vingi havikutungwa Tanzania. Kama tumekubali kutumia huo mfumo tufuate kama ilivyolengwa. Vinginevyo turudi kwenye uchifu. Tanzania tunaweza kujenga jamii ya kidemokrasia  na itajengwa na SISI wananchi na si wanasiasa. Kwa sababu wanasiasa wako bize kutwaa madaraka – mwanasiasa yoyote yule – tusidanganyike! Hivyo basi sisi wananchi tukiwa kama wanachama wa vyama, kama wapiga kura, tuhakikishe tunakuwa mashabiki wa demokrasia na uwazi kwanza na si mashabiki wa vyama na wanasiasa. #ChangeTanzania

Sep 20 2012

Oct 2/12 Founder & Director of Production, Compass Communication Company Ltd, producer of Miss Universe Tanzania beauty pageant; founding member Tanzania Independent Producers (TAIPA)

Jul 07 2012

Mgomo huu wa madaktari wa mwaka 2012 ambayo sasa iko katika awamu ya tatu imejadiliwa kwa kirefu na kwa kiina na wengi na mimi sitapenda kutoa chanzo, sababu nk. Ila ningependa kuongelea mada moja ambayo nimeshawahi  kuigusia kwenye blog hii ya IMHO inayohusu utawala wa walio wa kati au uwezo mdogo. Kwa kifupi wale wenye ujuzi na uwezo huwekwa pembeni katika mfumo ambao upo sasa wa kiutawala na uendeshaji kwa ujumla.
Lakini kibaya zaidi mufmo mzima unaonekana kutothamini usomi na ujuzi. Tukiwasikiliza kwa makini madaktari, walimu na wasomi wengine – tunasikia wakisema “sisi mshahara wetu ni …. Na mbunge ambaye hata hajamaliza darasa la saba anapata milioni 10” Tunaweza kuleta mjadala mkubwa kuhusu sentensi hii na kuwaita waroho, au tukawaambia hakuna kinachowasimamisha kugombea ubunge. Lakini tukifanya hivyo tutakuwa hatujaelewa kile kilichojificha katika sentensi hii.
Katika dunia ya leo hasa hapa nchini – tunaweka thamani ya mtu kwa kupima kipato chake. Huu ni ukweli tupende tusipende. Mara ngapi unasikia watu wanasema “Mtu anajiona wa maana kumbe anapanda daladala” . Au “Fulani anajisikia, kumbe anaishi ….” Sentensi kama hizi zinaonyesha wazi kwamba ili ukubalike kuwa una mafanikio katika jamii yetu tunatarajia mtu awe na gari na anaishi maeneo Fulani, akivaa nguo za aina Fulani nk. Kwa kifupi jamii yetu imebadilika na hivi sasa tumekuwa nchi ya walaji (Consumer society) ingawa kama nchi hatuzalishi kile tunachotamani (hatuna viwanda vya magari, nguo, nk). Sasa basi kumiliki gari, nyumba, mavazi etc yanahiitaji pesa. Hivyo kama daktari anashindwa kuendesha Range Rover Vogue, lakini mfanyabiashara aliyeishia darasa la saba akiweza, je hii ni kusema tutamheshimu zaidi mfanyabiashara? Inaelekea ndivyo madaktari wanavyoona. Na kwa Bahati mbaya kwa kuwaambia “kama hamjaridhika ondokeni” – imekuwa kama kuwathibitishia imani yao hii.
Ni vyema tukianza kuthamini watu kwa UJUZI wao na si kwa MALI zao. Kumiliki gari kubwa au nyumba kubwa inaweza ikakufanya uishi kwa starehe zaidi lakini haikuongezi akili au ujuzi. Na pia kama jamii tuache dharau kwa watu. Hata kama mtu hamiliki mali nyingi, tuthamini vipaji, ujuzi na elimu yao. Lakini muhimu zaidi, muda umefika mfumo wote uanze kuthamini kwa pesa na kuwazawadia wale wenye ujuzi na si kuwajali ‘wajanja’.
Utatuzi wa mgomo huu na kutoridhika kwa wasomi ni suala ambalo ni vyema sote tukaitafakari na tukianza kubadilika kimawazo – Change Tanzania! 

Jun 12 2012

Recently I have noted, online and in the media, the proliferation of articles, blog entries, commentaries that touch on historical facts with blatant distortion shrouded at times in half baked information and often drawing on ‘wacky’ conspiracy theories.
A few of us on Twitter started a conversation on this in particular about Freemasonry. Yet it appears many people do not understand the significance of this misrepresentation of historical facts and propagation of false ‘myths’ and at times outright racist/misogynistic distortions.  
Let us take this issue of Freemasonry. Today many Tanzanians have been made to believe that Freemasons are everywhere in Tanzania, they are bloodsuckers, they have to kill humans as rites of passage, they control the world and every successful and rich person is a Freemason etc.
Two historians – Michael Baignent and Richard Leigh have done extensive research about Freemasonry and had an interesting take on so called myths and history. They argue that if propagated for long – such myths or fallacies eventually become the ‘truth’ and eventually history. 
“The lies of a people or a culture… – hyperbole, the exaggeration and embellishment, even the outright falsification and invention – are not purely gratuitous. On the contrary, they bear witness to underlying wants … lacks .. dreams and ..overcompensation. .. And to that extent they serve to crystallize a collective identity or self definition, they create a new truth – or create something which becomes true.” – Michael Baignet & Richard Leigh “The Temple and the Lodge”

So when for those of us who are aware of historic facts that are documented and researched, keep quiet while fallacies and lies are propagated we are guilty of ‘creating a new truth’ that is difficult to eventually undo.
Recently I was outraged when a blogger claimed that homosexuality (new ‘strain’) started in 14th century. I demanded the retraction of this because it is a blatant lie, deliberate distortion of documented facts. Instead of debating this and citing sources and even links, the author spent time trying to bend the conversation his way by 1. Trying to imply that I am defending homosexuality for ‘conflict of interest’ (whatever that means!) 2. It is his opinion that he is entitled to 3. He is citing ‘independent’ history
I withdrew from that discussion and refuse to take part in any discussion that is based on fallacies and seeks to be self –prophesying  ‘truth’. We should all as Tanzanians – educated and armed with enough knowledge – work on ensuring that any distortion, fallacy, lie is faced with rigid unbending principled stand. There is no ‘ifs’ ‘buts’.
Let us imagine that a prominent American media commentator would start a discussion saying that “Tanzania got its independence in 1980 only one year before Zimbabwe therefore it will go down the same path like Zimbabwe”. And when we argue that Tanzania it got its independence in 1961, he would respond “It’s my opinion I am entitled to it! So do you agree that Tanzania will go down same path as Zimbabwe or not?”! Ridiculous, we would say. Well this is what is happening right now here with silly articles about Freemasonry, homosexuality and other subjects!
So I want to emphasize that – we are entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts, IMHO

May 30 2012

slimcony on change Tanzania: Migongano baina ya wazanzibari na watanganyika hai…: Interraction baina ya wazanzibari na watanganyika haikuanza baada ya muungano mwaka 1964. Kwa mujibu ya wazee waliotutangulia, wanadai, hapo…

May 30 2012

slimcony on change Tanzania: Migongano baina ya wazanzibari na watanganyika hai…: Interraction baina ya wazanzibari na watanganyika haikuanza baada ya muungano mwaka 1964. Kwa mujibu ya wazee waliotutangulia, wanadai, hapo…

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May 27 2012

Recently I was honored to be part of a unique philanthropic action of Flaviana Matata when she donated 500 life vests to the government agency – Marine Services Limited in Mwanza. What struck me was that this young girl was taking a different approac…

May 27 2012

Recently I was honored to be part of a unique philanthropic action of Flaviana Matata when she donated 500 life vests to the government agency – Marine Services Limited in Mwanza. What struck me was that this young girl was taking a different approach from her peers and even others. Usually our philanthropists who would raise funds from others or be guests of honors and buy auctioned items etc. But the fact that Flaviana personally ordered the life vests paid for everything until the delivery of the life vests to Mwanza makes this action unique. It shows a very focused and personal involvement in her charity activity. And that got me thinking.
If Flaviana would not have acquired the true spirit of volunteerism from her time as Miss Universe Tanzania she would probably have continued to look at any charity activity as simply making an event and raising funds. So philanthropy is volunteerism taken to a higher level once the individual is in position to spend not only his/her time but money as well. But the dedication, involvement and focus have to remain in order to make any philanthropy matter.
One of the most important thing that we need to instill in our young ones is the spirit of volunteerism. This has to be nurtured and cannot be forced. It is important also that when steering the young ones toward taking on volunteer actions that they should have a personal dedication to the given cause. We cannot force them to be active in environment when they do not understand or truly identify with the cause.
But most importantly is that we need to make them understand that volunteerism does not involve any financial or material gain. It is done for achieving the objective of the cause and nothing more. The earlier we instill this in them the better – before they learn what money can buy and before their head is filled by us that ‘nothing is for free in life’

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May 18 2012

Today I attended a meeting named: “The Promotion of Health Awareness in Tanzania through Media” organized by international media namely RFI, Deutsche Welle, VOA, PRB and Broadcasting Board of Governors. It was a well attended meeting and many…

May 18 2012

Today I attended a meeting named: “The Promotion of Health Awareness in Tanzania through Media” organized by international media namely RFI, Deutsche Welle, VOA, PRB and Broadcasting Board of Governors. It was a well attended meeting and many interesting inputs, however I had two important observations that I wanted to share with you all.

First and most important is “Who is driving the agenda on health?” Oftentimes we hear as we did today that “health news in media does not sell.” For this reason, all of us in the media tend to seek a ‘partner’ who will fund such stories because we claim, covering it from our own budget is “not worth it”. For this reason we find that often the agenda is driven by the donors and government who fund such programs for one reason or another. What we end up with is stories and reports that reflect such agenda thus a regular viewer may face a barrage of news about HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria or whichever disease or health issue is the ‘trendy’ topic among the donors and other funding bodies. Naturally stories like these do NOT sell because the primary audience is not the viewer or reader or listener but the funding party. IMHO

In order to make health news interesting and sellable, we need to come up with programs, articles, reports that focus on the viewers, readers and listeners. Health is important to everyone and I am convinced that however ‘poor’ we may deem a common mwananchi, they are ready to pay whatever they have, for good health. As we know and probably have seen, heard or experienced, in the unfortunate case of disease people are ready to sell assets and spend their wealth to regain health. Now if we can device an exchange whereby people are able to get information albeit for a small fee then immediately health related news and information will become not only sellable but ‘hot-selling commodity’ IMHO

Now of course this begs the question – how can we do that? I certainly have some ideas but of course in the spirit of this new shift – nothing is for free 😉  

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Jun 28 2011

Today on Twitter, someone asked me why Tanzanian government loves emergency power solutions. Now the answer could be that because of that 10% issue. But I also responded that it could be related more tightly to our national consciousness of procrastina…

Sep 19 2010

I thought that it is appropriate to start by posting the first IMHO piece that I wrote last year in my Facebook notes.My vision for such notes or blog posts is to get the discussion going and to open up my thoughts to many people who may only know me f…

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