Recently I had two experiences which may be of interest to your readers. In a bar in Newcastle I was informed by the barman that a man who was also present was from the Kilimanjaro area of Tanzania. I greeted him formally in Kichagga. He was so surprised that he nearly dropped his glass of beer!. The man said that, as he was born after Uhuru, I was the first European he had met who could speak Kichagga. until Uhuru I commanded Field Force units in Moshi, Mwanza and Tanga.
Travelling by train from London to Newcastle on another occasion an elderly European couple suddenly started speaking to each other in Kiswahili. As their conversation was obviously meant to be private I interrupted and said, in Kiswahili “How nice to hear Kiswahili spoken again but I must point out that you are being ungrammatical”. Their mouths fell open with surprise. The man was a retired Director of Education in Kenya and whenever they wished to speak privately they always used Kiswahili. In the past thirty years they had never encountered anyone who had understood what they were saying.
OLD NOTES AND COINS
I am a local businessman here in Musoma and I have in my possession a number of coins and bills issued in East Africa of which I would like to know the value. I am hoping that among your readers there might be someone who might send me information on this.
* Two 20 shilling Bills (in very good condition) from the East African Currency Board with the amount written in English, Kiswahili and Arabic with illustrations including a dhow, cotton, coffee and sisal and a watermark of a rhinoceros. No date is written but it must be Ca 1950.
* Bill from the Bank of Tanzania ‘Legal tender for twenty shillings’. One side has a picture of a young Nyerere and a national emblem ‘Umoja na Uhuru’. There is a giraffe watermark.
* Two 20 shilling Bills from ‘Benki ya Tanzania’ written completely in Kiswahili and with signatures from the ‘Waziri wa Fedha’ and ‘Gavana’. The pictures are of a man working in a textile factory and a cotton boIl. Also a 10-shilling smaller note with a picture of Mount Kilimanjaro.
* One Rupee ‘Deutsch Ostafrika’ coin (1906) with a picture of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the words ‘Guilelmus II Imperator’ and one ‘Eine Rupee Deutsch Ostafrikaanisch Gesellschaft’ 1892 with a picture of a lion and a palm tree and also the Kaiser. Both in fairly good condition.
* One shilling TANU 1978 ten-sided FAO Regional Conference for Africa coin with pictures of a tractor driven by a woman and ‘Rais wa Kwanza’ Nyerere.
Box 1229, Musoma
LESOTHO AND TANZANIA
Your readers might be interested to hear some of my impressions when I recently attended celebrations at the Universities of Dar es Salaam and Lesotho. The Dar celebrations began with a sports bonanza on June 7 and culminated in a peak on July 1, the university’s Silver Jubilee anniversary. The fact that all my appointments did take place despite the shortness of the notice of my visit indicates a welcome efficiency in the management. Substantial expansion in the student enrolment is planned, this is feasible in terms of existing favourable staff:student ratios but may be difficult to achieve in terms of the physical infrastructure. New technology is here to stay – part of the anniversary exhibition was an impressive demonstration of the University Library’s CD-Rom facilities although the use made of these to date has been disappointing. The Faculty of Engineering is an honourable exception to this. In January, I had attended the celebrations by the National university of Lesotho – as a consultant to the Association of African Universities – of its Golden Jubilee. There was a substantial difference between the two occasions. At the Lesotho celebrations many other universities and donor organisations were involved. The Dar es Salaam celebrations were very much a national affair. I cannot help wondering whether the presence of people from abroad at the fund-raising dinner and dance in Dar es Salaam and the following day’s ceremonies might not have been beneficial.
Consultant in Higher Education Management and Gender Planning