WHAT ABOUT HYPHENS?
As a founder member of the Britain-Tanzania Society I have naturally followed with interest the development of the Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs and have no hesitation in congratulating you on the latest (No 39) – undoubtedly the best so far. The book review section was outstanding though I’m surprised Catherine Price did not comment unfavourably on such a horrible title as ‘Limitations on Women Managers’ Freedom to Network in the Tanzanian Civil Service’. To network?
I should add, perhaps, a personal note to the obituary of Ronald Cox. My wife and I were members of his congregation in Mtwara in 1956 and such was the force of his personality that he had no difficulty in persuading the whole congregation (of all colours) to spend the non-churchgoing part of their Easter weekend bent double clearing with pangas part of the sisal estate which was to be the site of the new church. And many was the time when we found him lifting his cassock to leap over the thorn-hedge rather than waste valuable time coming round by the path and gate on his way to visit us.
Finally, what’s happened to hyphens? Whatever modern word-processors may think they are often a help, indeed necessary. Surely, ‘leopard men murders’ is not as clear as ‘leopard-men murders?’ and ‘man eating lions’ is certainly not the same as ‘man-eating lions’….Ditto ‘in depth analysis’.
(We strive after perfection but it’s a poor workman who blames his tools. The word processor was not guilty! – Editor).
THE BITER BIT
In my review of the splendid novel by William Helean (Bed in the Bush) in Bulletin No 39 I pointed out a number of proof-reading errors. I must therefore now apologise for misspelling the author’s name twice and leaving his country of origin, New Zealand with a small ‘n’ in my review. The errors were doubtless due to my inferior calligraphy.
(Again it was not the word processor – or the reviewer. The fault was mostly right here in the editorial office- Editor)
Articles in the Bulletin refer often to Tanzanian activities being hampered or prevented by bad roads. A large country with exiguous resources like Tanzania cannot afford heavily constructed roads but lightly constructed roads require active, labour-intensive maintenance. Successful labour-intensive maintenance requires very skilful administration and Tanzania may well have been unable to provide sufficient skilled personnel to administer its road system. Articles in the Bulletin describing which Tanzanian roads are so bad as to hamper economic activity; how they have become so bad; and, what measures are necessary to improve them, would, accordingly, be very interesting.
S. A. W. Bowman
A GOOD FRIEND OF TANZANIA
Regarding the obituary in Bulletin No 39 I remember Ronald Cox in Nachingwea …. as a practical Christian who treated his parishioners, both black and white, firmly but fairly which I am sure gave the Africans a feeling of confidence and religious security …. He took classes in Swahili which I attended on many occasions and when the then Governor, Sir Edward Twining, visited the area it was Ronald Cox who did the interpreting after the Governor’s customary opening of “Jambo, Watu Wote” when speaking to a large African audience – the only three words of Swahili he ever uttered!
A good friend of Tanzania, Father Cox will be well remembered in the old Southern Province.
Ronald W. Munns
Adelaide, South Australia
A SAD END
I found the article ‘My Father and the Useful Plants of Zanzibar’ in the last issue very interesting.
Zanzibar is at present suffering from the catastrophic drop in world clove prices – from £10,000 per ton ten years ago to £1,000 today – due to over-production and competition from other countries. The Die-back and Sudden Death diseases are still with us, though recently an ODA-Funded Research Team identified the cause but not the cure….a sad end to a story of a crop that Zanzibar once supplied to 80% of the world market. The Ministry of Agriculture is still looking (50 years on) for an alternative cash crop and will soon be assisted in this by an ODA-funded ‘Crop Diversification Project’. No immediate solution and/or crop comes to mind and I doubt if the rainfall is sufficient for cacao.
In the meantime a ‘Rainfed Rice Development Project’ is being implemented in an endeavour to save foreign exchange. Progress is not likely to be spectacular, however, since conditions for rice are far from ideal and the rainfall is erratic and insufficient. In the meantime there is a building boom in Zanzibar City as Zanzibar Omanis return to the land of their birth with their ‘petro-dollars’; this is an encouraging trend for the economy despite the strain that it puts on electricity, water and telephone services.
Patrick Smyth MBE (Zanzibar)