We welcome to Tanzanian Affairs in this issue our new Reviews Editor. He is John Cooper-Poole who took Modern History at Oxford and then, after a Short Service Commission in the Royal Artillery, worked in the National Health Service in Britain. He was a Senior Hospital Secretary at a new referral hospital in Mwanza from 1970 to 1975 and a Hospital Development Co-ordinator in the Overseas Development Administration in London working in the Southern Regions Health Project from 1979 to 1986. He has held other posts in Nigeria, Botswana and the Caribbean .
We are also fortunate that Professor Marion Doro has kindly agreed to review for us American books and journals dealing with Tanzania. She is Professor emerita of Government at Connecticut College, New London, USA and has taught and done research frequently in East Africa. She was Professor of Political Science at the University of Dar es Salaam in 1995 and a UN Election Monitor in the October 1995 elections Editor.
SEVENTEEN LETTERS TO TATHAM -A WORLD WAR I SURGEON IN EAST AFRICA. Ann Crichton -Harris. Keneggy West, Toronto. 2001. 231 pages and 36 illustrations.
In 1993 Ann Crichton-Harris was given a bundle of letters written by her grandfather, Dr (Edward) Temple Harris to his brother Tatham. Sixteen of these were written while Temple was serving in the Indian Army Medical Service in the 1914-18 war. The letters were clearly private ones, not intended for publication, but they gave a fascinating insight into the difficulties, dangers and (often) boredom of the military campaigns in East Africa. Temple gives a graphic description of the disastrous sea-borne attack on Tanga in November 1914, when the German defenders routed a far larger Anglo/Indian force. After the British withdrew he stayed behind to care for the wounded, but was repatriated to Kenya two days later under the terms of a local armistice.
The letters are particularly valuable for the light they throw on the stalemate throughout 1915, when the British generals were forbidden to mount any major attack (for fear of another Tanga-like defeat) and the Germans constantly harassed the vital Mombassa-Nairobi railway. Temple was stationed just north of the German East Africa frontier at Maktau, a bleak outpost surrounded by thornbush and regularly attacked by German patrols. It was a great relief when General Smuts took command in February 1916 and ordered a general advance into German East Africa. Temple, now Senior Medical Officer in the 1 st East Africa Brigade, reached Taveta (near Moshi) in March, Korogwe in August and Dar es Salaam in September 1916, when he proudly wrote to Tatham on captured German paper headed “Kaiserliches Bezirksamt”
Although extremely modest about his own exploits, there can be no doubt about Temple Harris’s bravery and dedication ~ he was three times “Mentioned in Despatches” and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in June 1917.
After the war he resumed his duties with the Indian Medical Service and was posted as Surgeon to Rangoon Jail. He died of enteric fever near Mandalay in 1927. Ann Crichton Harris is clearly disappointed that her grandfather did not give more details of the military campaign or of his medical duties, and in supplementing his account she is at times in danger of losing the wood (Temple’s letters) for the trees (memoirs of the German commander von Lettow-Vorbeck, the British Intelligence officer, Captain Meinertzhagen et al.). However William Boyd (An Ice Cream War) in his preface rightly describes the book as a “fascinating and beguiling account” and I warmly commend it, especially to those not too familiar with this important phase of the early history of what is now Tanzania.
ZANZIBAR STYLE. Over 200 Photographs by Javed Jafferji, Text by Gemma Pitcher. Gallery Publications (Zanzibar & London) 2001 pp174. Price £29.95. For BTS members £25 + £4 p&p
Javed Jafferji and his family are whole-heartedly engaged in the generation of contemporary culture on Zanzibar, and by association, on all the Swahili coast. Javed is clearly a talented photographer and efficient publisher who appears to be the catalyst for many of the Gallery’s productions, such as “Swahili Coast” the “international travel magazine to promote ecotourism in Tanzania” (from 1998, current issue 08) and the re-printing of vintage photographs and texts that convey the Isles’ plural heritage and evoke nostalgia.
The books authored by Mr Jafferji range from the general “Images of Zanzibar”(1996) and “Tanzania African Eden” (2000) to the particular “Zanzibar Stone Town: an Architectural Exploration” (1998), text by Prof. Abdul Sheriff, a fine quality pocket-size book with a good balance between photographs and informed text -my declared favourite. The mid-range focus of his compendium “Zanzibar Style” written with Gemma Pitcher concerns the Isles’ architecture and interior design which is claimed to be a distinctive compound style. Indeed ” … Zanzibar involves getting to know not just one culture but several, all so closely intertwined that the joins between them are invisible” (P12)
The co-authors boldly set out five kinds of “Zanzibar Style” by characteristic components, also termed “Style” (“influence” is preferable) with sub sections for Details. For example “Swahili Style” has “Details” referring to “Textiles” (e.g. the widespread khanga), “Baraza”, “Tinga Tinga” (painting style of a long established mainland co-operative that has expanded its production to ocean themes) and “Games” (e.g. the ubiquitous bao). Ouch: in my reckoning, the only “Detail” that is a distinctive Swahili characteristic is the “Baraza” as depicted in the photos as an entry way, stone bench (P 45).
The other four components of Zanzibar Style are “Indian”, Omani “Sultan’s”, European “Colonial” and “Land and Sea”. The latter comprises non-urban local people at work and ocean-side resorts, many of which feature staggeringly tall, woven roofs which would benefit from description beyond the material “makuti”: how are they fabricated? As well, no mention is made of similar, fantastic structures along the Kenya section of the Swahili coast, indicating these pavilions are a characteristic of eco-tourist architecture. Additionally, it is a little odd that well over half the photographs show hotel subject matter -like still life’s -with no visual reference to a living tourist or a commercial dhow, the longstanding cultural symbol.
Nonetheless, this book meets its own objective to provide “a glimpse into the glamorous world of “Zanzibar Style” found in the places where tourists or foreigners would visit or stay. The post-script is a list of Contact Addresses for nineteen hotels, rather than a Reference List of books to support the search for an actual Zanzibar Style. This fact suggests the reviewer might well have come from the tourist trade rather than from African art history. But, it is my task and so I take this opportunity to remind readers of the continued under-development of visual art studies in Tanzania, if not all of Africa. In this regard, Gallery Publications, and especially Javed Jafferji, have already made a huge contribution in their documentation of Zanzibari culture and the growth of eco-tourism. They have done no less than create a new generation of Imagery.
NATURE NOTES FROM TANZANIA. Anne Outwater. Mkuki na Nyota, 6 Muhonda Street, Mission Quarter, Kariokoo, P.O.Box 4246, Dar es Salaam. ISBN 9976973748.
What would you expect from a book on Tanzanian wildlife with only 123 pages? In this book life emerges from every page. You can see and hear and feel the creatures in each little scene, and smell them too. Originally published as nature notes in the Daily News, Mtanzania, Kakakuona and the East African, they are here collected in one small volume, 52 episodes, set out month by month.
Anne Outwater’s book combines observation with beautiful prose and meticulous drawing. Each episode depicts in words the details of an intimate scene. It is the words that make the picture, and in each spread is an exquisite pen and ink drawing of a particular animal, leaf, or flower, to complement the text. The page layout is beautifully balanced and credit should be given to Petra’s Maridadi Ltd who designed it.
In one episode a chameleon crosses the road and climbs onto a branch; in another a flock of fruit bats waits in ficus, mango and albizia trees, but not passively, for nightfall; in another Guttural Toads attempt to breed in a puddle which will dry up in a few days -a feat that this species can often achieve by its amazing rate of development -eggs laid one evening will hatch the next morning.
As the weeks go by we visit grassland and forests, pools and rivers, beaches, mangrove swamps and coral reefs. The 52 locations are dotted about the country and islands, but mainly in the north east and around Dar es Salaam. In most of these visits there are just one or two creatures which catch our attention: one time it will be buzzards, another molluscs, another bush babies, another flying termites and their predators. Although much drawn to the smaller creatures, Anne Outwater does also take us to see a buffalo herd, hippos, crocodiles and elephants, and one night she leaves us alarmingly near a leopard in the dark.
The Illustrations, drawn by the author, are scientifically precise and artistically deeply satisfying. She is a master of stippling and other shading techniques. The book includes a list of the English, Swahi1i, and Scientific names of all the plants and animals mentioned. There is a reference list of fifty two books, twenty six of which are specific to east African wildlife, published since 1980. Anne Outwater is an American, resident in Tanzania.
ZANZIBAR IN CONTEMPORARY TIMES, Robert Nunez Lyne, Zanzibar: Gallery, 2001 (1905)
SOWING THE WIND, Maulid M. Raj, Zanzibar: Gallery, 2001 Gallery Publications, PO Box 3181, Zanzibar or 32 Deanscroft Avenue London
Despite being written almost a century apart, these two books share more than the same publisher. They are both characterized by a deep love of Zanzibar, a sympathetic portrait of the British project, and penetrating insights into the salient social and political forces of their respective periods. Of course, the forces described by Raj and Lyne assume their relevance in widely different contexts: Raj describes Pemba in the period leading up to Independence in 1963; Lyne’s book is concerned with the history of the British in Zanzibar from 1798 up to the period when he lived there -1905. The very personal relationship that both authors share with Zanzibar and its administration yields a unique and fascinating perspective on events. It also obscures the more objective analysis of the historical record. Nevertheless, both texts are required reading for anyone interested in the history of Zanzibar and, by extension, the contemporary politics of the Isles.
The current political scene in Zanzibar has been dominated since 1995 by the dispute between the Civic United Front (CUF) and the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi -Party of the Revolution -(CCM). To many this conflict is the modem reincarnation of the divisions that existed at the time of the revolution between the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), the forerunner of CCM, and the Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP), the historical precursor of CUF. The dominant interpretation is that the British forced the Sultans of Zanzibar to end the slave trade without deposing them outright, using them as a proxy for British imperial interests. According to this view, at the time of independence the British tried to rig the elections so that the pro-Sultan ZNP would win, and ensure the endurance of British influence in the Isles.
Both books challenge this version of events by showing the tenuous nature of not only British control of the Sultan and his administration but more importantly, the limited purchase that the Sultan himself had on the population of the Isles. The most stunning example is the endless battle against the slave trade in the Indian Ocean.
The incredible history of attempts to suppress the slave trade is synthesized in Lyne’s book through primary evidence from the archives of the Foreign Office, the India Office and the Admiralty. Through the wealth of correspondence and anecdote emerges a picture of an almost impossible struggle. There are tales of Captains who sail in the opposite direction upon sighting a slaver to avoid the legal proceedings inherent in capturing a slave ship. Rogue slavers raise the French flag to prevent British crews from boarding them, while the French consul refuses to permit British policing of nominally French ships. Yankee slavers fire on the British, while Arab slavers run from them and on more than one occasion, British crew are killed trying to board suspect ships. The intricate politics of securing diplomatic agreements from Persia and then Oman as well as Zanzibar are related in detail, together with the political implications within the British empire of transferring the responsibility for East African shipping from the Indian government to the Imperial one in London.
The struggle lasted a full century and encompassed the policing of shipping, the 1845 treaty, the closure of the market in Zanzibar in 1873 and the abolition of the status of slavery in 1897. Even at the turn of the century, slaves were still being smuggled up the coast from Bagamoyo to the Gulf, either on land or by small boats. The Arabs of Pemba and Zanzibar -“semi-independent chiefs” (106) -had only submitted to the Sultan’s rule after General Mathews’ harsh retribution for the murder, in 1881, of Captain Brownrigg who died in pursuit of slavers. Previously the feudal chiefs had run their estates free from the Sultan’s interventions, with British actions merely inconveniencing their livelihood. According to Lyne, slaving continued through the turn of the century in Pemban waters. The Sultan was thus only recently in full autocratic control and even then purely as a result of British military power.
Such military power did not necessarily yield complete social control over the population. One of the triumphs of Lyne’s book is to show the slowly evolving relationship between the Sultans, the British and the other European powers, particularly the Germans. What began as a game in which the British consul was a pawn in the power politics of the Omani empire in the Indian Ocean ended in a reversal of fortune. Over time, the Sultan came to rely increasingly on the protection of the British, who cleverly exploited factions within the ruling family to assert control over the Sultan. However, by focusing on high politics, Lyne cannot give a sense of life under British administration. Instead, he gives us chapters at the end of the book on ‘The People,’ The Climate,’ and ‘The Plantation,’ as well as detailed figures in the appendices of trade deficits, shipping records, population, customs revenues, soil types, rainfall and crop yields. There are brief glimpses of the impact of British policies on Zanzibaris: Lyne describes the enduring difficulty of the manumission of slaves: apparently it was common to hear men say, “I want work; I am a slave of the government.” (162) Freed men, seeing no profitable distinction in their legal status, merely styled themselves slaves of another master. In the more remote areas of Pemba and Southern Unguja it appears that the situation changed slowly if at all since the request or the granting of freedom was voluntary and administrative control could only be achieved with a police force in tow.
Raj’s book on the other hand is full of rich description of everyday life as well as the machinations of the ZNP party in the run up to independence. There are wonderful stories of night fishing, parties of the young elite’s, and one unforgettably vivid passage about a bullfight. Raj himself is a visitor to Pemba from Unguja Island and his ignorance of local customs and manners is a useful entree for the reader into Pemban peculiarities such as the value of chickens and the tacit acceptance of smuggling.
In fact the administration’s half-hearted attempt to control smuggling is a fascinating insight into the roots of the disagreements that continue to structure Pemba’s relations with the Zanzibar and mainland governments. The young elite’s in the British administration perform their duties, but only investigating on days when they know that the smugglers will not be there or only after tipping off the guilty party. They cannot afford to alienate the powerful merchants and their friends in the government.
Raj’s story of the political developments of that time are less disinterested and suffer, at times, from such obvious bias that, for anyone familiar with the history of the period, it becomes tedious. Nevertheless, the familiar lament from ZNP members of the time about the treachery of the ASP party is related here with first hand information that does raise questions about the interpretation of the Revolution. Raj hints at the complicity of the British and Americans and gives an eyewitness rendering of the split within the ZNP that led to the creation of the Umma party. If the British were indeed on the side of the ZNP why did they not intervene during the revolution? Was the violent takeover really the idea of the ASP? And, why did the Umma party split with the ZNP to ally with what they had earlier caned ‘stooges of imperialism’?
These questions are perhaps only of interest to aficionados of Zanzibar history and the conspiracy theorists who continue to speculate about the origins of the Revolution. The beauty of Raj’s book is exactly the opposite: it is an entertaining and accessible personal history. It may well serve as an introduction into the politics of the revolution, but it is equally readable for its compelling characters, charming stories and loving description of Pemba before 1963. Lyne’s book though, is more selfconsciously scientific in nature and therefore more appropriate for an academic audience interested in the history of the nineteenth century Indian Ocean or the ethnography of Zanzibar at the turn of the twentieth. Indeed, for either purpose it is probably indispensable.
THE FLAGS CHANGED AT MIDNIGHT. Tanganyika’s Progress to Independence. Michael Longford. Gracewing. 459 pages. ISBN 0852445512.
This book must surely be one of the most candid and comprehensive Colonial service memoirs ever published. The greatest compliment my first District Commissioner, Donald Flatt, could pay to any of his colleagues was to describe him as a “straight up and down chap”, and the author, Michael Longford is a “straight up and down chap” par excellence, who always calls a spade a “spade” and occasionally a “bloody shovel”!
Nothing is too important or too insignificant to escape his eagle eye, as he frankly but sympathetically assesses the foibles of his fellow human beings like some latter day colonial Samuel Pepys or Horace Walpole. His career was unusual, in that his eleven years as a District Officer in Tanganyika from 1951-62 was but the prelude to a distinguished career in the Home Civil Service in the 21 years that followed, from 1962-83, giving him a better perspective than that of most of his peers. Above all he was blessed with a wife -Jennifer, a teacher at the Tabora African Girls’ Secondary School, whom he married in 1956, and who shared his ideals and love of Africa. The fact that she was also the step daughter of a great Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, was neither here nor there … After 3 years or so in the Rungwe and Iringa Districts of the Southern Highlands Province and a few months at Mtwara in the Southern Province 1951-55, when the author vividly describes the varied and fascinating life of a District Officer; for a wonderful year, April 1955April 1966, he is appointed Private Secretary to His Excellency the Governor, Sir Edward Twining, to whom he became absolutely devoted. The author achieved the rare distinction of not only passing the Higher Standard Ki-Swahili exam, but also obtaining interpreterships in two tribal languages -Ki-Hehe and Ki-Nyamwezi -a very real asset in dealing with the people entrusted to his care.
His spell at Government House Dar es Salaam gave him the opportunity to survey the wider political scene of the Territory as a whole in the runup to independence, and he always accompanied the Governor, Sir Edward Twining, on his colourful progress throughout the vast country. Better still, he met and fell in love with his future bride while spending Christmas 1955 at the Governor’s delightful lodge at Lushoto in the cool Usambara mountains. He amusingly describes the desperate antics of Dar es Salaam social climbers anxious to secure invitations to Government House to meet H.R.H. Princess Margaret during her forthcoming state visit in October 1956.
The book is beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated by a profusion of evocative photographs, and delightful woodcuts by Stephen Goddard. A contemporary of the author, I must confess to wallowing in nostalgia, as the ghosts of the past drift through the pages of this delightful book, which I strongly commend to anyone remotely interested in the African Continent or the human condition.
Michael Longford’s book will certainly evoke many nostalgic memories for an older generation. But it also gives a valuable insight into the way the country was administered under the British Mandate, which will be of value to a much wider readership. ~ reviews ed.
PASTIMES AND POLITICS: CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND IDENTITY IN POST -ABOLITION URBAN ZANZIBAR, 1890-1945 Laura Fair. Ohio University Press and James Currey. 2001. 370 pp.
The fate of freed slaves and other urban immigrants and their descendants in Zanzibar is told from the refreshing perspective of popular culture taarab music, fashion, football and Islamic ceremony. Instead of just delving into the often dreary records that usually inform political history, the author enlivens them with the texts of songs and stories and the spirit of sports. The result? You will close this book feeling that you have lived in post-slavery Zanzibar, in a community forged by real people of widely diverse religions, races and ethnicities whose politics rose from daily struggles for survival against poverty and unjust authority. This is history as it should be written ~ it integrates political, economic and social elements.
To assert one’s class status as citizen, no longer slave, one could select a new identity by donning a kanzu or colorful khanga, or a buibui in the Arab (Omani) mode. In the words of the author, as former slaves ‘changed classes and fabricated new identities they also changed their clothes’. For men, football provided an additional means to develop sources of power. Men and women could become property owners, but it was the women who faced up to the authorities. ‘The land is ours. Why should we pay rent?’ freed slaves asked. In 1928 the ‘maskini’ sought an end to advancing private ownership of land by staging a ground rent strike. Reporting a march to Kibweni palace, where three-fourths of the protesters were women, a colonial official found the men ‘perfectly reasonable’ (they were willing to halt the demonstration) but accused the women of ‘hysterical obstinacy’ because they insisted on their community’s rights.
Siti Binti Saad, a child of slaves who became ‘the most acclaimed musician in Swahili history’ personifies the author’s central theme of ‘the often dramatic transformations in personal identities that were negotiated in post-abolition island society’ and how popular culture furthered that transformation. Siti’s lyrics spoke from a working class, female perspective, giving ‘voice to the voiceless’. She sang about corruption, greed, class and gender, criticizing economic and political power, as British administrators, magistrates and Islamic judges ‘favoured the wealthy’ and ‘further institutionalized gender inequality’ . Siti (,lady’) and her taarab band played and sang as regularly for the Sultan and other elites as for the poor; 72,000 copies of their recording were sold by 1931. They recognized and praised the contributions of all cultural groups on the island, helping forge a collective ‘zanzibari identity’ that would not begin to erode until World War H.
“Pastimes and Politics” has endnotes, glossary, and bibliography of both primary and secondary sources.
TANZANIA AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY -FROM REFORMS TO SUSTAINED GROWTH AND POVERTY REDUCTION. Washington, DC: World Bank Country Study, 2001.
Report No. 22136. ISBN 0-8213-4941-4
This report focuses on the post-1996 ‘Country Economic Memorandum’, and features both positive and negative factors in Tanzania’s fight against ignorance, poverty and disease. Agriculture continues to be the main base of the economy with its subsequent susceptibility to unexpected crises. However, various macroeconomic policy reforms have served to stabilize the economy, decrease inflation and increase foreign reserves. Nevertheless, the economy continues to grow slowly. Factors causing these negative outcomes include insufficient capital accumulation and insufficient support for transforming agriculture, and “delayed demographic transition”. However, on the positive side the researchers found that there is steady progress toward a market-based economy, with the effect of creating space for a viable private sector that has the potential for sustainability. Topics include structural reforms, inflation rates, demographic transition, education and health care, income distribution, and export development.
Marion E Doro
TANZANIA: IS THE UGLY DUCKLING FINALLY GROWING UP? Arne Bigsten and Anders Danielson. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala. A report for the OECD. pp1l7. ISBN 91 7106 474 5. Africa Book Centre, London or Transaction Publishers, Somerset NJ, USA.
There have been significant steps forward during the 1990’s and there is some basis for optimism, but there is a long way to go before seifsustained growth is established. Bureaucracy and poor infrastructure impede progress, and a multiplicity of externally initiated projects ties up recurrent costs and manpower. The mechanism for channelling aid needs to be changed in order to return authority, control, and accountability to the recipient country.
ONCE INTREPID WARRIORS: GENDER, ETHNICITY, AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF MAASAI DEVELOPMENT. Dorothy L. Hodgson, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2001. ISBN 025333909X 320pp. 16 black and white photo’s, 4 figs.
The author provides a systematic analysis of various aspects of the Maasai culture: its identity and ethnicity factors, questions about land, labor and education, and perhaps most significant, gender and gender relations. Dorothy Hodgson utilizes archival sources as well as extensive fieldwork, and demonstrates how the interaction amongst these several factors have affected their evolutionary development which appears to be a dynamic one. Although government officials tended to promote continuation of the Maasai’s pastoral tradition and life style, their access to development produced new gender hierarchies, positive responses to forces of modernization, and changing attitudes toward education and local as well as national politics. In short, Hodgson’s work depicts the Maasai as a responsive, modernizing force rather than earlier characterizations -indeed, in retrospect, caricatures –which described them as fixed in their ways and immune to change. The author profiles five Maasai men and women in ways that reveal how their responses to external interventions modernized traditional behaviour and preserved a new identity.
Marion E Doro
KALAMBO FALLS PREHISTORIC SITE. VOLUME 3: THE EARLIER CULTURES: MIDDLE AND EARLIER STONE AGE. Ed. l. Desmond Clark Cambridge University Press. 2001. ISBN 0521200717.
This final report on the local basin in the Kalambo River valley near the famous Falls on the Zambian-Tanzanian border ranks among the most significant sites of man’s earliest activities in Africa. It records the successive human occupation for 60,000 years, and covers a series of cultural finds such as wood, vegetable remains, charcoals and pollens associated with undisturbed prehistoric camping places. Fourteen chapters and five appendices, deal with topics ranging from palynological data from Kalambo Falls, to the archaeological culture of the Falls. Contributors include l. Desmond Clark, who writes seven of the Chapters, as well as other authors of note such as David Taylor and Derek A Roe.
Marion E Doro
VILIMANI; Labor Migration and Rural Change in Early Colonial Tanzania. Thaddeus Sunseri. Heinemann, US.A and James Currey, Oxford. Pp xxvi, 223. ISBN 0852556489
The author is Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University, and this is a new title in the Social History in Africa series. Professor Sunseri tells us that “Vilimani” means “at the coast” as well as “in the hills”. It was the reply given to anyone enquiring where the men were at villages which appeared to be inhabited mainly by women and children and the very old.
Professor Suseri starts by examining the German industrial background to colonialism, in particular the drive to find an alternative source of raw cotton to the US.A The resulting “plantation imperative” dominated the early years in Tanganyika. Finding enough labour for the plantations was a continual problem, and the efforts to create a suitable labour force on the north east coast and its hinterland are examined in detail. The many competing demands for labour enabled the workers to have considerable control over the terms on which they would work on plantations. The author then moves south to the Rufiji delta to examine the effect of German conservation and economic policies on traditional farmers. These, which had complex and unpredictable effects, formed the background to the Maji Maji uprising.
The continual difficulty of finding enough labour for the plantations led policy makers, from about 1902, to concentrate on encouraging peasants to grow cotton on their own plots. This was unpopular, because it interfered with the peasants’ own priority of food self sufficiency. Many of them therefore tried to move to more remote areas. It was the women, in the absence of the men, many of whom had moved away as migratory labourers, who were responsible for subverting the peasant cotton campaign, and the way the Wanyamwezi women did so is examined in detail.
There are some nice little sub-plots, such as the story of the traction engines on the Otto plantation at Kilosa, which sounds like a dress rehearsal for the Groundnuts Scheme! We also learn about the problems of excessive numbers of wild pigs which resulted from the forest protection laws.
The study focuses closely on the local effects of what was a general problem in all new colonial territories -how to obtain enough labour for all the new requirements arising from European settlement, without unduly disrupting traditional societies and patterns of economic self sufficiency. It will be of interest to the historian as well as to those who have known the country and its people. The limitation of such a closely focussed approach is that it ignores the wider context which might be of more interest to the general reader.
Bitter experience teaches that “Social” histories often torture the language. This is not so in this case, apart from some uncomfortable jolts, such as “commodification”, “peasantization” and -wait for it -“repeasantization” .
AIDS, SEXUALITY AND GENDER IN AFRICA: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES. Carolyn Baylies, London: Routledge, 2201. ISBN 1841420271. Pp 248.
This in-depth study is based on primary evidence and extensive investigations by British researchers in Zambia and Tanzania. Its major focus is on the gender factors in the struggle against AIDS. This is a unique and informative study highlighting the difficulties which African women cope with and describes the unique strengths they muster in their struggle against AIDS. Nine contributors provide a range of topics that create a useful comparative analysis of the problem. Topics include: perspectives on gender and AIDS in Africa generally; responses to the AIDS epidemic in specific areas of both Tanzania and Zambia-e.g., Rungwe, Kanyama, and Lushoto; gendered and generational struggles in AIDS prevention; reconciling individual costs and collective benefits; and modes of activism in Dar es Salaam. A timely study that adds dimensions to the understanding of gender and AIDS with original and well researched evidence.
Marion E Doro
SOME BOOKS AND ARTICLES OF NOTE:
EMPOWERMENT THROUGH LANGUAGE: The African Experience -Tanzania and Beyond. Zaline M. Roy-Campbell. Africa World Press, 2001. ISBN 0865437645. Focus on language policy in Tanzania; political aspects of Swahili language; language and education in Tanzania and Africa.
ENGENDERING AND GENDERING AFRICAN NATIONALISM: RETHINKING THE CASE OF TANGANYIKA, Susan Geiger, Social Identities, 5,3, 1999,331-343.
NYERERE: STUDENT, TEACHER, HUMANIST, STATESMAN. Eds: Tom Moloney and Kenneth King. Occasional Studies 84. Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh. Pp. 100. £5.50.
TANZANIA MAINLAND: MEDIA, LAW AND PRACTICE. No. 13 in the Media Law and Practice series. Article 19. 2000. pp 27 £5.50. Available from Africa Book Centre.
JULIUS NYERERE. THE ETHICAL FOUNDATION OF HIS LEGACY. C. Pratt. Round Table 355. July 2000. pp. 9.