REVIEWS

Compiled by Michael Wise and John Budge

ADULT education in Tanzania: Swedish contributions in perspective, edited by Gunnar Rydstrom. Lonkoping Centre for Adult Education 1996 171p (Centre for Adult Education serles, 10) ISBN 91-7871-839-2, SEK 160 Obtainable from Vuxenutbildarcentrum, Lonkopings universitet S-58 L 83 Linkoping, Sweden

This is an anthology, based on the involvement and interaction of four Swedes, five Tanzanians, and two other expatriates in the adult education movement. The fist of the three main sections provides the “background to Sweden’s commitment to international aid in general and to adult education in Tanzania in particular”. Rolfe Sunden, in his article “How it all began” traces the history of Swedish involvement in adult education and folk development colleges in Tanzania. The author discusses the emergence and significance of the Social Democratic Party in Sweden and its belief, in the 1960s, that it could have “something to contribute to the new states, those just declared independent or those struggling for independence”. It is also emphasised that Sweden was particularly sympathetic to President Nyerere’s philosophy of Uhuru, Maendeleo, Demokrasi.

The second part provides four lengthy essays narrating personal experiences of Swedish participants. Folke Albinson discusses, amongst other things, his involvement in training adult education personnel: differences between the Swedish environment and that of Tanzania in terms of awareness of colleagues, teaching methods, economic circumstances and so forth. The example of his typist, Hamis, made him aware of the fact that “living conditions for almost all of the Tanzanian staff’ were more or less the same”. Perhaps Gunnar Rydstrom had the most challenging task. He was presented with a “short list of urgent requests: to get some kind of adult education journal or magazine going, to produce a handbook for adult educators, specifically geared to Tanzanian needs, and study materials to be used in evening classes and other courses”.

The third section presents contributions from Tanzanians. namely Yusuf Kassam. Nicholas Kuhanga. Paul Mhaiki and Shaaban Msuya, narrating their experience of participating In the Swedish input to adult education Most of them write as administrators. and it would perhaps have been appropriate for the beneficiaries to have been given an opportunity to air their views a: this point. Apart from narration of the various authors’ personal experiences in Tanzania, the book also shows some common points of agreement that the success of adult education in the country is attributed to, inter alia, personal commitment of President Nyerere at the time, favourable policies, commitment and dedication of administrators, favourable economic conditions and a warm Sweden-Tanzania relationship. The book presents such a picture of positive Swedish contribution that it would have been equally interesting to know why Sweden had to withdraw its support

Ali A.S Mcharazo

CHELEWA, chelewa: the dilemma of teenage girls, edited by Zubeida Tumbo-Masabo and Rita Lijestrom Uppsala Scandanavian Institute of African Studies. 1994 218p. ISBN 91-7106-354-4, distributed by Almqvist & Wiksell International, Stocknolm $15.95p

This interesting volume comes out of work by a team at the University of Dar es Salaam funded by the Swedish Agency for Research Co-operation with Developing Countries. The authors focus on a series of problems faced by young women. There are the health hazards faced by girls as young as thirteen due to pregnancy following on early marriage and casual sex. There is their low representation relative to boys beyond primary education. There are state laws that target those who commit abortions or infanticide and stipulate expulsion from school for pregnancy, whilst doing little to support girls who bear children and thereby jeopardise their education, job and marriage prospects. Exploited by men; disregarded by fathers, even their mothers may withdraw, blamed by their husbands for the disgrace the girl may bring to the family. Older women mock them in the pain of labour: -‘You thought it was ice-cream. Taste the sweetness of it now!’. (p. 181)

One of the challenging questions raised by the studies in this book relates to changes in the way young women learn about sex. There has always been a powerful taboo on discussion of such matters within the family; in the past it was the responsibility of the whole community to socialise young people through initiation ceremonies In some areas these collective rituals survive, but in many ways they are fading. given the onslaught of urbanisation, labour migration Islam, Christianity and ‘modern’ education systems. So too is the wider influence of kinsfolk and community in nuclear family affairs, whilst parents, schools and clinics have been unable successfully to fill the gap.

Hence Ntukulu’s call here for the revival of collective initiation ceremonies. On the other side of the argument, Shuma points out that in Lindi, where such ceremonies are still prevalent, there is a high level of teenage pregnancies as well as of maternal and child mortality in childbirth.

Two issues are raised here. The first is the value of continuing community concern for young women and the expression of this through collective means, whilst the second concerns the substance as well as the style of the teaching in initiation ceremonies. Shuma notes that in Lindi the matrilineal system of kinship does not stigmatise girls for becoming pregnant before marriage as responsibility is taken by their mother’s brothers to whose lineage children are affiliated. High rates of mortality have more to do with levels of poverty than with ignorance. In other areas there is a contradiction between teaching about sex and then expecting young people to abstain for many years. Tumbo-Masabo also argues that the teaching in such settings was always didactic, with girls unable to ask questions for fear of seeming too forward. It is also evident that girls’ initiation rites entailed learning subservience to the power of men, rather than the gender equality which ‘Tumbo-Masabo sees as essential to improving the lives of young women. This is a book that puts young people on the research agenda and raises issues of sexuality age and gender in a way that is relevant not only to other parts of Africa but also more widely Janet Bujra

CUSTODIANS of the land: ecology und culture in the history of Tanzania edited by Gregory Maddox, James Giblin and Isaria N Kimambo. London James Currey. Dar es Salaam Mkuki na Nyota. l996 xiv, 271p , £12.95p ISBN 0-8214-1134-9

This interesting collection brings together nine papers written by historians which consider interactions between local agricultural systems, human development and the environment in various different regions of Tanzania during different historical periods. The great strength of the collection is the detailed evidence provided, from excellent scholarly research amongst archival material as well as more easily available publications, of the diverse nature of agriculture and population dynamics of this huge country – material which will be of great use to Africanist students and scholars from a range of disciplines.

The book is presented in four sections. each considering a different aspect of environmental interrelationships. The first focuses on demographic issues and the first demographic paper, by Koponen provides some fascinating insights into Tanzanian population dynamics during the colonial period. The material on fertility rates and of truly terrifying levels of infant mortality I found particularly compelling. The other in this section provides a case study of environment and population growth during the colonial period in Ugogo. central Tanzania.

Part two focuses on the relationship between environmental change and human history in the northern highlands. Kimambo’s paper on precolonial development in Usambara, the Pare Mountains and on Kilimanjaro examines the significance of trade as a stimulant to economic innovation (presented here as a challenge to the idea that precolonial societies were inherently unable to respond to market opportunities). The discussion is enlivened by the author’s own background of being brought up on Kilimanjaro, and he brings personal experience to his examination of aspects of local agricultural systems. The second paper, by Conte, deals with the Usambara Mountains and the Impact of settlement by Wambugu pastoralists on the high forests

The third section on politics and environmental change contains two chapters examining environmental and agricultural issues in eastern Tanzania at different times: Handeni District in the nineteenth and early twentieth century and the Uluguru Mountains of Morogoro in the 1940s and 1950s. Both draw attention to the way in which political organisation can affect the environment – for example settled, organised and stable populations were able to create environments more suited to human occupation and development than the ‘natural’ vegetation and flora (e.g. ticks and tsetse flies) would allow.. Thus weakening the political structures easily leads to increased human vulnerability as the environment becomes ‘degraded’ – not in the usual sense utilised in the ecological literature, where human intervention is the cause of degradation, but in the more people-friendly sense that the environment is less productive for human needs because there is too little human intervention.

The fourth section, entitled Environmental and Morality, provides detailed case studies of agricultural and environmental issues in precolonial Buha, western Tanzania; early colonial times in the Kilombero Valley, and the 1950s in Mount Meru. In each case compelling evidence is presented of the existence of institutionalised concepts of ‘proper’ resource use amongst local communities, which was tied in not only to the exercise of indigenous political authority, but also to much more individual or very locally-based moral economies.

As a non-historian it is possible to feel that some of the authors might have found their positions easier to develop had they looked at more of the literature from outside their discipline – particularly geographical and contemporary demographic studies. Overall this is a valuable contribution to the literature on African environmental history. It should be of interest to any student of Tanzanian affairs in general, and provide valuable case study material for readers from a wide variety of disciplines, including geography, environmental studies and demography as well as history.
Deborah Potts

Jeffrey MEEKER, The Precarious socio-economic position of women in rural Africa the case of the Kaguru of Tanzania. Jeffrey Meeker and Dominique Meekers African studies review 40 (1) April 1997, p 35-58

There seems to be a common belief that while men in rural African societies ‘enjoy life’, often succumbing to the alleged ‘delights’ of drunkenness, laziness and debauchery, their women folk struggle valiantly against great odds to maintain a reasonable standard of living for their children and, incidentally, for their good-for-nothing- husbands. Although this is a dangerous general assumption, the authors found when interviewing a large number of representative women that they seemed to confirm that, sadly, it is not a complete misconception.

While then women are typically engaged in agricultural, household and income-earning work, they do not experience equal access to educational and economic resources because they are restrained by family relationships, land-holding customs, household power structures and other financial and social realities.

The Kaguru who occupy a hilly area in the Morogoro region, are cultivators mainly of millet, sorghum and maize, and keep chickens, goats and sheep. The land is relatively fertile but recurrent droughts, floods and rodent infestations often destroy the harvest, sometimes resulting in severe famine.

While attempting to secure universal primary school enrolment, various African countries find it impossible to achieve the same result in secondary education. particularly in rural areas where parents are too poor to afford fees. The writers suggest that the implementation of World Bark Structural Adjustment Programmes tends to decrease government spending, causing more difficulty for parents, especially of girls, who are in any case traditionally expected to remain at home, or be solely wives and mothers. One woman declared, “Yes. I went to school. In those days there was only up to Standard Four. If you pass, you proceed. I actually passed but my Father wanted me to get married so that he received bridewealth.”

Women suffered by the introduction of cash crops that altered the customary household division of labour, with men becoming increasingly involved their production, while women continued to grow food for the family, from decreased allocation of arable land. The revenue from cash crops generally goes to the men, and women have only limited access to credit services. They also suffer most in cases of divorce, separation or widowhood. They most usually generate income through non agricultural activities such as bee-keeping, pottery making, baskets and mats, charcoal and beer-brewing, most especially during times of general economic hardship; when their income generation is often needed for the household’s survival.

It is reported as being not uncommon for women and children to have no shoes or adequate clothing, although the husband and father may be relatively wealthy. “My husband doesn’t care for the children … I have to pay the school fees and buy the uniforms.” Some men seem to believe that extra-curricular activities by their wives might undermine their authority.

The authors observe that since the early 1980s economic growth has stagnated, making the future prospect ‘grim’. Women would receive substantial help by the provision of more wells and grain mills, and from switching to alternative fuel, such as propane, instead of having to search for wood. This study provided valuable evidence of the social deficiencies that hold back economic advance and human wellbeing in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa.
JB

Thomas P. OFCANSKY. Historical Dictionary of Tanzania,2nd ed by Thomas P. Ofcansky and Rodger Yeager Lanham Md. London Scarecrow Press, 1997 xxxi, 291p (African historical dictionaries no 72) ISBN 0-8108-3244-5, $US 69

How very difficult is the task of compiling a dictionary that will encapsulate, through short entries, the recorded history of a country. This one, which is the seventy second (and now revised, which shows the continuing demand for the record provided), follows the publisher’s established pattern of providing short entries, almost never more than two pages long, which give concise information about personalities, institutions and bodies, and outstanding movements and events significant in the history of Tanzania. It ends with a classified bibliography. around 100 pages long, of publications considered important in studying the history of the country

Thus, dipping almost at random there are consecutive entries for Chuma, James (one of Livingstone’s companions), Church Missionary Society, City States (Kilwa, Pemba, and so on), Clarke. Edward A. (Consul General in Zanzibar early in this century), Closer Union (a proposal in the 1920s); Clove Growers’ Association: Cloves; Coal; Coconuts; Coffee; Colonial Development and Welfare Act, Common Market of East and South African States; Consolata Fathers: Constitutions, Cooperative Societies And so it proceeds. This is far more than a mere collection of names of individuals who have helped to shape Tanzania, but they are there too; all kept in proportion by the publisher’s evident insistence on keeping the resultant dictionary within manageable and economic proportions. So even Nyerere, Julius K. gets only a page and a half, as does his successor. This treatment of the subjects does, however, risk becoming pedestrian, because of the constraint on recounting much detail of controversial matters, or outlining telling aspects of personal character. Such is the nature of dictionary compilation.

As with most of the other dictionaries in this series, it is a most welcome and useful addition to general/ specialist information on Tanzania. Yes, every attentive user will discover omissions, but would they have achieved such formidable coverage as Ofcansky and Yeager have done? They deserve whole-hearted commendation for this excellent revised dictionary. The bibliography is unusually fine, even for this series, and must surely leave the Clio Press, publishers of the World Bibliographical series on most countries in the world concerned about their own impact. The bibliography at the end of this work, with some 2.000 references, admittedly presented without any annotations, is considerably longer than the content of the average Clio bibliographical guide.
MW

Francis G. Smith, Three cells of honeycomb. Privately printed, 1994 by Dr F G Smith 36 Vincent Street/ Nedlands WA 6009 Australia xii, 248p, ISBN 0 9587538 5 7 $AUS 25 inc p&p in Australia, £15 p&p to UK by air

This is the autobiography of Francis Smith, who has used the metaphor of honeycomb cells to represent three periods of his life, in Britain, Tanzania and Australia. He worked in Tanzania from 1949 until independence in 1962. and was responsible for introducing many improvements in honey and beeswax production. If you are not interested in beekeeping don’t however give this book a miss. It gives an interesting insight as to what it was like being a government officer at that time, and is written most entertainingly.

For example, after describing problems encountered when locating nests of stingless bees: “There was a story that a team of British army surveyors, working under these difficult conditions, received complaints about the condition of their field notebooks, which they sent periodically to the mapping branch in England. In reply, between the pages of the next set of field notebooks, they included hairs of the buffalo beans (which cause considerable irritation). Complaints ceased.”

On arrival in Tanzania Dr Smith was confronted with a problem of ‘sticky wax’ which was useless and polluted true beeswax, but whose origin was unknown. In a few months he started on the trail of the culprit and the whodunit nature of the text would go well in a TV soap, but probably be rather more original and entertaining. Obviously Francis Smith’s time in Tanganyika was great fun and this comes through. It makes a good read.
David Gooday

Laura SYKES. Dar es Salaam: a dozen drives around the city, by Laura Sykes and Uma Waide. Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, 1997 154p., ISBN 9976 973 357. Distributed by African Books Collective Ltd. 27 Park End Street. Oxford OXJ LW, U.K.

As the authors state in their introduction, this is not merely a straightforward tourist guide to the main sights of Dar es Salaam. In its detail it makes up for the casual attention paid to the city by the majority of guidebooks to Tanzania, which assume that the capital will be merely a staging post for the greater excitements of parks, coasts and mountains. This delightful accumulation of information about Dar arises from the enthusiastic recognition, by two expatriates. that they had the good luck to have come to live in a city with a long and interesting history, of which a remarkable amount survives in buildings that are still extant.

The outcome of their investigations is arranged as twelve systematic routes by car; for the obvious reason that the climate is likely to make much consecutive walking an endurance test. It is, however, easy to use the book as a sampler for information by anyone who looks about them as they go around the entire metropolitan area. The excellent index facilitates this, and the photographs whet the appetite to get out and about. The text is one to dip into, and almost any casual flip of the pages brings up facts. quotations, historical references, which illuminate so much better than the average encapsulated hard facts of where to stay and eat and catch a bus, which are the mainstay of many comprehensive’ guidebooks for travellers with limited time. Not that this overlooks those essentials of daily life for the traveller and resident alike.

To take one example of the care taken by the authors to draw an interested stranger into a feeling of place. Their description of the important commercial sector, Kariakoo, occupies, together with the itinerary for going there and coming array again, nine pages of concisely presented description and background information. Compare such treatment of the main market area of a large city with that given in an average guide book.

I had the good luck along with my wife to be infected by Mrs Sykes enthusiasm for Calcutta a few years ago. This latest jointly authored outcome of her interest in another city of great character is highly recommended. For the curious traveller who wishes to know more than an average guidebook has space to tell.
MW

The UNSUNG heroines: women’s life histories from Tanzania; edited by Magdelene Ngaiza and Bertha Koda Uar es Salaam WRDP Publications 1991 232p ISBN 9987 8820 l l, no price stated

This book takes seven ordinary Tanzanian women who are used as a basis for interpretation of issues confronting women in contempora9 Tanzania. It’s review here, some six years after publication, indicates our opinion that it still has validity as a useful documentary record. Their life histories are told by themselves, and theoretical analyses and interpretations are provided by women scholars. The articles have the same structure, starting with narration of the subject’s life history, and proceeding to interpretations and conclusions about the impact of social and political factors on each of the women. Among them are ‘Life history of Bibi a woman in urban Tanga”, by Bibi with P Mbughuni. “My life is a life of struggles: the life history of a young barmaid’ by Anna X with Alice Nkoma- Wamunza; “A migrant peasant woman in the city” by Eve with A. Nkebukwa; and “The life history of a housewife”, by Mama Koku with M. Ygaiza;

The interpretations are, for instance, that Bibi’s history, like that of many Tanzanian women of her generation, is dominated by the struggle against colonialism and also male domination, while the story of Anna X shows how it “takes a woman of extreme courage to work as a barmaid”. Anna, the narrator states however that she does not believe that all barmaids are necessarily prostitutes, nor that all customers are looking for sex. Her life history is taken by the commentator to show how factors such as Employment Ordinance; job security; lack of credit facilities; are some of the instruments that have been used to perpetuate the subordination of women in society.

Rural-urban migration, bride price, the institution of marriage and household economy are also discussed in the context of the fundamentals of democracy. The book addresses an extremely important area which has not been sufficiently investigated. Since the experience of Tanzanian women is more or less similar to that of women elsewhere in the developing world it can also be useful in other countries.
Alli A. S. Mcharazo


Three from New Holland (Publishers) Ltd.

Lisa ASCH, Traveller’s guide to Tanzania, by Lisa Asch and Peter Blackwell 1997. 192p. £14-99
GLOBETROTTER travel map – Tanzania 1996 £4-99
Graham MERCER, (Globetrotter travel guide – Tanzania 1996 128p , E6-99

New Holland Publishers is a truly International company, using Far Eastern printing sources and East African authors and photographers to produce their exciting new trilogy of Tanzanian travel.

The folding travel map in particular is excellent and good value. More than just a map of the county, it includes detailed street plans of Dar es Salaam and other major cities, as well as large scale projections of popular tourist destinations such as national parks. Mount Kilimanjiro and the Great Lakes.

The larger of the two guidebooks contains a wealth of superb photographs and detailed, often scholarly and erudite information on many aspects of Tanzania – from archaeology, geology and pre-history to anthropology, agriculture, forestry, history and politics, in addition to the expectable tourist data on wildlife, parks, beaches, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar.

The smaller of the two books is a true gu1debook also well illustrated and ideal for a short-stay visitor

Both books are ideal for young (in heart) adventurous travellers and arc spiced with an earthy sense of humour. The smaller volume starts “Tanzania is among the World’s poorest countries and at times among its most exasperating. For visitors it can often be expensive, hot, unsophisticated and exhausting. But there can be few, if any countries in the World which are more exciting.” The longer book has an awesome photo of what might well be a dry river bed, with the laconic caption “The road between Dodoma and Arusha will challenge the skills of all drivers ”
I enjoyed the whole set and learnt a lot, not least that Mount Kilimanjaro is apparently popularly known nowadays as ‘Kily’!
Randal Sadlier

Publications Noted

Jacob L. KIMARYO, Urban design and space use: a study of Dar es Salaam City Centre. Lund: University of Lund, 1996. (School of Architecture, Department of Building Function Analysis; report 1 : 1996). No price stated. (Dissertation)

Vesa-Matti LOISKEb, The Village that vanished: the roots of erosion in a Tanzanian village Stockholm University of Stockholm, 1995 (Meddelanden kin Kulturgeograiiska institutionen , no B9.1) No price stated (Dissertation)

Roger PFISTER, Internet for Africanists and others interested in Africa: an introduction to the Internet and a comprehensive complilation of relevant addresses. Bern: Swiss Society of African Studies (SAG-SSE.1): Basel- Basler rZfrika Bibliographien (B.-). 1996 140p.. ISBN 3-905 141-67-1. 20CHF.

This is possibly the most comprehensive and helpful directory of Africanist Internet locations that has appeared to date. It provides an introduction to Internet connection and search techniques that appears to be designed for those (in Africa?) who require such assistance and encouragement, which is followed by the substance of the guide. This consists of country codes and lists of African and Africana Internet sites arranged broadly by topics and by types, mailing lists and news groups.

There are, of course many more websites of Afrcanist content outside than in the continent, and they grow apace. It is worth noting here the recent arrival of Electronic Journal of Africana Bibliography, whose web site address is http:///www.lib.uiowa.edu/proj/ejab/index.html and of Peter Limb’s A-Z of African Studies on the Internet, with web site address www.library.uwa.edu.au/sublibs/sch/sc_ml_afr.html must hope that Roger Pfister’s very useful guide will be updated to take account of the increasing number of sites becoming available, and it deserves wide publicity.

Joan I. SMITH. Heart of Africa. Privately printed, 1992 by Dr. F.G Smith 36
Vincent Street Nedlands WA 6009 Austra1ia.u. 202p.., ISBNO 9587538 4 9, $AUS 20 inc p.&p in Australia. f15 p&p to UK by air
. A Patch of Africa. Privately printed, 1996 by Dr F.G. Smith; 36 Vincent Street, Nedlands WA 6009 Australia vii. 232p.., ISBK 0 9587538 1 4, $&US 20 inc p.&p.in Australia; £15 p.&p. to UK by air.
Two collections of stories and reminiscences about an absorbing and affectionately remembered expatriate family life in Tanganyika during the 1950s

75 Years, Baldegg Sisters, Capuchin Brothers in Tanzania; editor: Marita Haller- Dirr. Lucerne: Swiss Capuchin Province; Dar es Salaam: Tanzanian Capuchin Province, 1997., 1 SSp., no price stated. (Obtainable from Capuchii Friary Office, P.O. Box 9174, Dar es Salaam).

An unusually impressive commemorative volume. Well illustrated and with articles in German, Swahili or English it conveys the sense of purpose that has been followed by the order during its period of work in Tanzania.

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