LETTERS

ANY SUBSCRIBERS IN TAIWAN?
I believe my subscription for Tanzanian Affairs needs renewing. Please send the magazines to my new Taiwan address. Should there be any other subscribers to Tanzanian Affairs living in Taiwan I’d love to know. We could get together and brush up our Kiswahili!

Catherine Lee
St. James’ Episcopal Church, 23 Wu-chuan West
Road, 403 Taichung, Taiwan, ROC.
Sorry. I don’t think there are any others yet. Your subscription means that we now have subscribers in 37 countries around the world -Editor.

SPOILT FOR CHOICE
……Am just back from Dar and Dodoma. Hotels in central Dar are becoming a rare breed -apart from those two millionaires hideouts. Motel Agip has now closed down, to add to the Twiga, Mawenzi and Skyway. And as for the Kilimanjaro ……I am hoping to join a Tony Janes tour this year-probably the coast safari, so that I can stay on in Zanzibar for an extra day or so. We really are spoilt for choice by Tony. I want to do all of his tours!
I have just read Ben Rawlence’s piece in Tanzanian Affairs No. 62. Even greetings are changing in Tanzania. It’s now streetwise to say “Mambo” or “Vipi”. To which the reply is “Poa”. Gone are “Habari” and “Mzuri!”
David Leishman, Westdene, South Africa

(For the benefit of readers like me whose Swahili is out-dated I asked our contributor on Swahili, Ben Rawlence, to elaborate on your last paragraph. He responded as follows: The greetings quoted are commonly used but informal. A common greeting is ‘Hujambo’ -a contraction of ‘huna jambo ‘ (do you not have a problem? Of you don’t have any problem?). You are using a double negative to confirm that you don’t have any problems. ‘Mambo’ is the plural of ‘Jambo’ and is a short way of saying ­’problems?’ The questioning is determined by a rising intonation. You can say ‘Mambo’, or ‘Vipi Mambo’ (how are the problems?) or ‘Mambo vipi?’ The reply is ‘Poa’, which is that highly popular (amongst the young) English word ‘cool ‘. Or you can reply ‘Safi’ meaning ‘clean of problems’ ­Editor}.

THE SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT OF 1998

With reference to the report in Tanzanian Affairs No. 62 on the Sexual Offences Act, according to the report of the General Police Commander, Mr Omar Mahita, raping cases increased from 1,181 in 1997 to 1,542 in 1998 (23.4%), sex with under age girls cases increased by 26% and sodomy cases by 13.6%. There may be many other cases which were not reported. The reasons for this are said to be the introduction of foreign culture, poor child bringing up, more broken marriages, children brought up without proper parental care, women wearing short dresses and the influence of drugs and alcohol.
While these reasons may have played a part it seems that the real cause of the problem has not been explained. Many people have been talking about a recent case where a person who held high positions in the government and the parastatals and was involved in church matters was caught in the bedroom with his own daughter. Psychologists may have something to say about it but I agree to the view that the culture and norms of Tanzanians are no longer observed. People used to fear society and government laws but both these have now lost power. What do your readers think about the new Sexual Act?
John Orasa, Dar es Salaam

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