Archive for September, 2002


Although the cotton buying season in Mwanza region began on June 24 and the crop promises to yield up to 325,000 bales compared with 280,000 bales during the last season, production per acre remains very low -between 250 and 300 kilos per acre. This compares with Zimbabwe which produced 850 to 1,200 kilos on similar land and Australia which was producing an average of 4,000 kilos per acre. Daily News writer Emmanuel Mwero writing on July 4 listed the many problems facing Tanzanian cotton farmers. They found it difficult to get high quality seeds and to obtain insecticides early in order to combat pests. The main problem, however, was the price. Last year it was between Shs 130 and Shs 200 per kilo but this year the highest price was Shs 140. Farmers were said to be demoralised and to be looking to grow alternative crops. The world price has gone down to 32 US cents per pound this year compared with 42 cents last year. In addition, among costs to be borne by farmers are the buying process (Shs 40 per kilo), bank charges (Shs 3), the cotton levy (Shs 10) the district levy (3% of the buying price), and the education levy (5%). Farmers had pointed out that this contrasted with the subsidies given to cotton farmers in other parts ofthe world.

Following a serious outbreak of Fusarium Wilt (Tracheomycosis) in coffee in the Kagera Region, Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Charles Keenja issued an order prohibiting all movement of coffee except where permission had been obtained from an agricultural officer or inspector. Coffee seedlings not resistant were also prohibited.



Thirty nine small-scale Tanzanite miners at Mererani, near Arusha, suffocated after an air compressor which was providing oxygen to one of the mines broke down. When the Government stopped mining operations at Mererani in July (a few days later) and gave small-scale miners 30 days to fulfil new conditions to improve safety, some 4,000 miners went on a rampage looting goods worth millions of dollars. They asked why one mine accident should lead to the closure of 300 other mines. Police arrested 15 miners before order was restored. Meanwhile, Tiffany’s in New York and other American jewellers have now resumed purchase of Tanzanite after earlier allegations that the trade was helping to launder money being used by terrorists.



The long running Shs 3.4 billion case against former Works Minister Nalaila Kiula and four of his colleagues continues at its sedentary pace in the Kisitu Resident Magistrates Court in Dar es Salaam with no end seeming to be in sight. As more and more witnesses were brought into the case the Guardian published details. Extracts:

Kiula said he saw nothing wrong in getting a free ticket for his wife to travel with him to Japan paid for by Mitsubishi which supplied vehicles to his ministry. Kiula was going to Japan for a conference.

Former Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr George Mlingwa, the second accused, told the court that he was twice as wealthy as had been alleged by the prosecution. He said that while he was accused of having corruptly obtained Shs 95 million (according to the Prevention of Corruption Bureau) the truth was that his wealth, all of which he had legally acquired, amounted to Shs 187 million which he had earned in various currencies and which would have been more than enough to build the various houses which he was alleged to own.

He explained how his wife had started a business in 1994. He was not able to explain how she had managed to earn more than Shs 300,000 from selling potato chips and cassava, ice-cream and pop-corn. She would explain later when she appeared as a witness.

Later, it was also claimed by the defence that when Kiula and Mlingwa were in office from 1991 to 1995 more trunk and rural roads (4,700 Kms) were built than in the following five years (1,468 kms).



Launching the 300m/- Contractors Assistance Fund (CAF) and officially opening the Contractor’s Annual Workshop in Dar es Salaam on May 28 President Mkapa directed the Ministry of Works and the Contractors Registration Board (CRB), to clear up what he described as the mess in the construction industry. “The government I head is the biggest contractors’ service user. I would like to tell you in black and white, that your sector is rotten. The government has lost patience”.

“Change your attitude and performance record, because jobs that you do cannot be hidden from the public eye. This has been proved during my up-country tours where there is an outcry that public funds have been swindled, following rapid deterioration of recently completed road works and other infrastructure”. The President said he was impressed by the measures so far taken by the Board to clean up the industry, including the axing of 1,164 poorly performing contractors.

Responding to a request by local contractors that the government should enact laws which would limit foreign contractors when it came to bidding for some projects the President said: “To me, enacting hostile legal mechanisms against foreign firms, won’t make local firms stronger, more honest or more competent”.



Some 18 specialists from universities in Britain, America, Japan, France and Tanzania took part in a one-day seminar on July 1st under this title. It had been organised by Dr Andrew Burton, Assistant Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa and others. The subject matter was full of interest but the room in the University in which the conference was held left much to be desired in the way of acoustics.

David Anthony of the University of California said that Dar es Salaam had grown in fits and starts. Its initial decades were a series of fateful encounters between very different peoples, motivated principally by the exigencies of trade.

In his paper entitled “How we’re gonna keep ’em down on the farm” Andrew Burton said that Dar es Salaam had been the site of what appeared to have been one of the most concerted attempts at urban population control in British colonial Africa. Large-scale repatriation campaigns aimed at removing ‘undesirables’ began in the 1940s and by the late 1950s so-called ‘wahuni raids’ were daily occurrences. Over 2,000 people could be repatriated in a single year. After independence the culture of control continued and included the most notorious of all actions -Nguvu kazi -in 1983 when many people were returned to the rural areas from which they had come.

Geoffrey Owens of Wisconsin University said that one of the most striking features of the transformation of the peri-urban areas of Dar es Salaam in the last 30 years had been the peaceful, even enthusiastic, transfer of land from the original scattered farms and homesteads of the original Zaramo inhabitants to newcomers who had profited handsomely through both urban agriculture and land speculation.

Simeon Mesaki of the University of Dar es Salaam explained the significance of the traditional medicine sector which had been described as ‘probably the largest in terms of practitioners, in revenue collected and number of contacts with the population in both urban and rural areas’. He gave the results of a survey he had conducted amongst some of the 700 healers in the city which revealed that 78% of them were Muslims (regarded as particularly good), only 34% of the practitioners were full-time and none had education beyond secondary level. There were many charlatans and ‘tabloid doctors’ who advertised their services in newspapers, often making extravagant claims. 64% of the clients came to seek protection against witchcraft and 42% were satisfied with the service they had received.

In a fascinating paper which astonished many in the audience and attracted the attention of the local media, Matteo Rizzo of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, revealed the results of an investigation he had conducted amongst almost 700 workers on daladalas -the small buses which carry the majority of the people of the city to work. (It is hoped to reproduce part of this in a future issue of TA. Coincidentally, the main headline in the Sunday Observer on July 17 was headed ‘No end in sight to daladala chaos’; the article spoke of the rule of the jungle being supreme -Editor).

Another paper which attracted great interest, but whose delivery was largely inaudible, by Tadasu Tsurata of the Kinki University in Japan, described the history of the most popular and longest-surviving (since 1930) football clubs in Dar es Salaam -Simba and Yanga. The paper concentrated largely on ethnic issues but members of the audience pointed out that there were many other factors involved in the lengthy rivalry between the two clubs.

Adria la Violette, an archaeologist at the University of Virginia, described how a research team had found traces of village life in Dar in between the 8th and 10th centuries in a hole excavated next to the New Africa Hotel. This had shown a characteristic ceramic tradition, a stratum of dark brown soil and burnt earth from the wall of an urban thatched house indicating the presence of human activity plus the tusk of a wild boar.

Other speakers described colonial forest policy and the demand for timber and fuel in the city, land planning, water supplies, housing and the development of radio in Tanzania and the influence it had had on music and music making.



In further pursuit of its intense interest in matters concerning aviation in Tanzania the London GUARDIAN published on 24th July an article by Rod Liddle, editor of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, which was largely devoted to an attack on President Mkapa. The article seemed to gloat over the fact that Tanzania had now sunk to the 151st position in the latest UN Human Development Report, one place above what was described as the ‘Benighted Islamic Hellhole of Mauritania’ and also below Sudan, Haiti, Djibouti and Bangladesh. ‘How bad could a country be to come below Haiti?’ he asked. The article went on to refer to the £28 million paid for the air traffic control system and the £14 million (actually £7 million) which President Mkapa was said to be spending on a new jet plane. This £42 million was virtually the exact amount of money Britain was giving Tanzania in aid this year. There followed sideswipes at the conduct of the last elections in Zanzibar and at President Mkapa’s welcome for the dispossession of white farmers in Zimbabwe. The heading of the article was “Why do we give money to corrupt states?”

Clare Short subsequently described the article as “virtually a racist attack on the Tanzanian President”.
(However, Tanzania has been selected to be the host of a UN Human Development Forum later this year in recognition of the ‘important achievements it has made in democratic, participatory governance which forms an important element in the country’s impressive overall reform agenda’. The UNDP Resident Representative in Dar es Salaam, quoted in the Tanzanian Guardian, said that there were now 173 countries worldwide included in the index -compared with 162
last year -and Tanzania had jumped from 156th to 151st in the league table -Editor)

Tanzanian High Commissioner in London Gumbo Kibelloh responded to the Liddle article in the GUARDIAN on July 30 by pointing out the achievements of the Mkapa administration and inviting Liddle to visit him at the High Commission “to discuss the real situation in Tanzania”. Letters of protest about the article written to the paper by the Chairman and other members of the Britain-Tanzania Society were not published.

The radar deal had also continued to feature heavily in other papers. Under the heading “Watchmen radar deal is a disaster for the people of Tanzania”, UK Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb wrote in the EAST AFRICAN (8th July) as follows: “In a communication to the IMF dated 18th July, 2000 the Tanzanian government claimed that it was unable to finance it through bilateral or multilateral aid but had obtained bank and supplier financing of $35 million on concessional terms. He noted that, as of September 12 last year, Barclays Bank, which had provided the finance, had some 93 million ordinary shares in BAE Systems. Barclays Bank had not explained why, as a commercial lender, it had seen fit to subsidise heavily an arms sale to a highly indebted developing country …. I have now been told that even the military capability of the system is inadequate; it covers only about one-third of the country and two more systems would be needed to cover the whole country. Barclays Bank might have simply had a fit of generosity. Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that on 11th October, 2000 Barclays’ secured a banking licence to operate in Tanzania. The other more sinister explanation was that the contract price was fiddled and artificially inflated so it looked to the outside world as if Barclays was providing a concessional loan which was necessary to get the deal past the IMF ….

Then came the order, just before Ms Short’s arrival in Tanzania, of a new jet plane for President Mkapa which enabled the GUARDIAN (July 27) to report that Clare Short (said to be known in Tanzania as ‘Mama Radar’) had defended the purchase. She was quoted as saying: “After all, the Queen has her own jet and the British Prime Minister has the use of a jet”. She went on “The President needed a jet to replace his current plane, a 24-year-old Fokker. .. Tanzania’s roads are hopeless and it is a long drive from Dar to Dodoma where Parliament is based …. unlike the Radar deal it was openly disclosed to the Tanzanian Parliament. There is no whiff of corruption about this purchase either”. She attacked those in the World Bank who had raised questions about the deal for its “neo-colonialist attitudes”.

(Meanwhile CUF is reported in Mtanzania to have collected 28,000 signatures on a petition against the purchase of the jet -Editor)

BBC TV1 was so parochial in its coverage of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in July that Tanzanian Francis Naali’s great achievement in winning the marathon received little attention. As he stood on the podium receiving his gold medal the Tanzanian National Anthem could be heard in the background but the foreground was occupied by several of the numerous commentators brought in to explain every detail about the contribution of the British athletes. Tanzania’s John Yuda got better TV coverage for his bronze medal in another race. Noel Thomas described the scene: ‘The Tanzanian led for most of the way and had the crowd with him as he was closely followed by three Kenyans. At the end the Kenyans closed in and it seemed as though he would fail but in a desperate last bid not to be overtaken, managed to throw off the third of the Kenyans and snatch the bronze medal by a whisker. As he stood on the platform to receive the bronze medal he was completely unsmiling; he simply stared into the future as if completely in another world, but was all the more impressive for that’.

NEWSAFRlCA (July) devoted a page to what it described as Tanzania’s worst train accident since the first railway line was built in 1893. The accident on 24th June, which occurred between Igandu and Msagali near Dodoma, killed 281 people and injured 371 out of the 1,200 passengers travelling on the train. Following the crash there were allegations of sabotage following discontent amongst workers threatened by redundancy as a result of plans for privatization of the Railways Corporation.

Apparently the blowpipe of the train was broken causing failure of the brakes as it approached Dodoma. The train then started going backwards at an increasing speed until it crashed into another train. According to Majira the train had to change engines three times before the disaster. The original engine was changed in Morogoro but this new one also developed technical problems and had to be replaced in Kilosa. The 2,200-horsepower diesel engine was supposed to pull 22 wagons to Dodoma but the engine failed 25 kilometres before the city. The engine was among the ten best in the rolling stock having been bought in 1991 from Germany and having been overhauled in 1999 by German technicians. Five top railway officials were said to have been suspended. An 11-member committee was appointed on 6th July to investigate the accident. President Mkapa endeavoured to calm the nation by pointing out that the UK, India, Mozambique, Germany and Pakistan had all recently suffered similar serious rail accidents.

The AFRICA SERVICE OF THE UN’S IRIN reported on May 29 that a multi-agency survey, undertaken by the Tanzanian government, the British-based NGO Saferworld, the Nairobi-based Security Research and Information Centre (SRIC) and the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa (ISS) on the impact of small arms in Tanzania, had found that firearms were having a negative, though limited, impact on Tanzania and that there was widespread support for tightening controls on them. Tanzania’s ‘National Action Plan’, developed in November 2001, was described as ‘The first coordinated and comprehensive national approach to develop a practical and realistic plan … based on a thorough assessment of the small arms problem” according to The National Defence and Security Committee. The Committee has had its remit extended to cover small arms control issues, and a national Arms Management and Disarmament Committee (AMAD) been set up, including key civil society partners, to direct and oversee the implementation of the National Plan. Tanzania was among the leaders in the region said Lt-Col (Retd) Jan Kamenju, Director of SRIC.

In Tanzania, though exposure to violent conflict and the levels of the use of firearms in crime were relatively low, firearms were having a growing negative effect in certain parts -with penetration most serious in Kigoma and Kagera regions bordering war-tom Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and in Morogoro Region, in the southeast. The penetration of firearms was an issue, though to a lesser extent, in the regions of Arusha in the northeast, Mwanza in the north and Pwani in the east. The report highlighted a strong perception of rising crime in Tanga Region in the northeast, which, it said, needed to be monitored for fear that, at some point, it could bring about a worsening firearm situation. Crime rates were still generally low in Tanzania and what crime was committed tended to be theft, often opportunistic, involving house­breaking and cattle theft. However, in Kigoma and Kagera one of the destabilising factors was “the presence of factions within refugee camps”, which was heightening the feeling of insecurity. “This has a particularly negative impact on the level of firearm proliferation in these regions, both in terms of illegal weapons in the hands of rebel fighters and the responsive demand for arms as a means of self­defence and security that a diminishing sense of safety stimulates,” it added.
(This Item was delivered to the “Africa-English” Service of the UN’s IRIN Humanitarian Information Unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations).

In an article on the proliferation of trade in illegal small arms in the Great Lakes region, the EAST AFRICAN (lOth June) said that 75% of these illegal arms originated from Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. The article quoted the International Action Network of Small Arms (IANSA) a UK NGO, as stating that four out of 10 fishermen around Lake Victoria owned small arms and five out of 50 people in the region had access to illegal weapons. An AK-47 rifle could be bought for from Shs 150,000 to Shs 400,000. The police had reported that about 11,000 people including 11 policemen had been killed in incidents involving the use of weapons between 1998 and 2001. The article said that it was suspected that some of the planes used to export fish to Ukraine, Russia, the Far East and South Africa returned with illegal arms for sale in the region.

‘Some 12,000 ‘Somali Bantu’s’, as they are known, used to be farmers in Somalia but were always treated as second-class citizens and deprived of basic rights such as education.’ So wrote Jonathan Clayton in THE TIMES (July 18). Before Somalia’s civil war drove them as refugees into Kenya, the Bantus were despised by Somalia’s primarily nomadic clans, living along the Juba River. With no clan system to protect them, they were robbed, raped, bullied and chased into exile when Somalia descended into anarchy in 1991. They can be traced back to the slave trade of Zanzibar’s Arab sultans during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of their ancestors were captured by the sultan’s raiding dhows and taken to the Zanzibar slave market for sale and onward transport to the Arab world. Vessels wrecked in monsoon winds would pitch their hapless human cargoes on to the Somali coast. They have been living in the refugee camp at Dadaab near the Kenya/Somalia border. They have no desire to return to Somalia and the UN refugee agency therefore approached Mozambique and Tanzania to ask them to accept them as refugees. But these countries felt that they did not have the means to take them and the United States had now agreed to accept the entire community and they are to be resettled in towns and cities across America. They have begun to leave for Nairobi prior to their journey to the States in convoys carrying between 250 and 300 passengers at a time.

Baffour Ankomah, the outspoken NEW AFRICAN writer, described in an article in the magazine’s June issue, the birth pangs of the new African Union (AU) which was set up on 1 st July in Durban, South Africa. In the article headed “African Union in Danger of Being Stillborn” he revealed that the OAU was owed US$ 54 million by 45 of its 54 member countries (Tanzania was said to owe $853,000). He went on to explain that in preparation for the setting-up of the AU a “high-level advisory panel” of 15 eminent persons had been set up. Among the members was Tanzania’s Mrs Gertrude Mongella, who had been head of the OAU election observer mission to Zimbabwe and was President of ‘Advocacy for Women.’ There then followed a lengthy and frank interview with Amari Essy, the distinguished Ivorian diplomat, who was elected as Secretary General of the OAU last July in succession to Tanzania’s Salim Salim with the mandate to transform the OAU into the AU within one year. Asked whether it was true that some of the OAU staff were deliberately undermining him in this task Essy said “Yes, 1 know. When 1 took office 1 didn’t sack anybody. 1 have been working with the same people left behind by Salim because as a Pan-Africanist, you don’t discriminate or select this group or that group …. When 1 was elected, 1 met Salim in Lusaka and he said that he had put in place a good working group, so when 1 arrived in Addis Ababa everything would be ready for me. 1 could have dismantled the working group but that wasn’t the ideal solution and 1 had to live with it ….. but nobody seems to be happy though it must be admitted that, because of the transition from OAU to AU, there is speculation about job security”. Asked whether it was a tough assignment that he had been given he said yes. One of the problems was the secretariat. When Salim was leaving, a lot of bad things were said against him …. And there was a split in the office … the atmosphere was bad. “I had to spend a lot of time speaking to them and explain that as Africans it was a big honour for us to be part ofbuilding the new African Union”.

Essy was then asked about Zimbabwe. The OAU had said that the elections had been free, fair and legitimate. (Tanzanian Affairs No. 72). The Commonwealth and much of the Western world had said the opposite. Was he still standing by the OAU verdict? Essy replied: “Ask Mrs Gertrude Mongella of Tanzania -she was the leader of the OAU team .. .I followed her report” …. ”

The Bunyanhulu issue (see above) received a mention in the NEW STATESMAN on May 27. Extracts: ‘President Bush Senior is on the Board of Barrick Mining, a Canadian Company that now finds itself embroiled in a row over allegations of a massacre (by another company) in Tanzania …. The Lawyers Environmental Action Team have fought not only Barrick but the World Bank (which backed the gold mining venture) and the Tanzanian Government to try to find out exactly what happened at Bunyanhulu … (Thank you Peter Yea for sending this item -Editor).

Jens Finke, the author of two forthcoming ‘Rough Guides’ on Tanzania and Zanzibar gave an advanced extract from these in an article in ROUGH NEWS (Summer 2002). Extracts: ‘Most guidebooks curtly write off Dodoma in a paragraph or two but it’s been one of the highlights of my travels in Tanzania. The de facto capital is a place with as much visible charm as other planned cities (like Abuja and Brasilia) ….. .In fact Tanzanians have had a fair go at the project, impressive when you consider the impoverishment of the country, but it’s thanks to the typically haphazard track of Tanzanian officialdom that Dodoma has begun to gather something akin to charm. Unplanned streets and squatter housing have sprouted between the potholed boulevards in places where grandiose projects like the new national library were once planned and which now boast an increasing number of busy bars and clubs, making Dodoma one of the liveliest towns in Tanzania …. Local journalists delight in reminding readers how the capital’s name (Dodoma means ‘to sink’ in Kigogo) refers to an elephant that got stuck in the mud and how the planned city is a white elephant stuck in the middle of nowhere. This seems unfair. … Sunday afternoons are special as the day when families have the time to go out together and mini-bars lay on family -oriented entertainment. In the local park two stand-up comedians were on the outdoor stage and they interrupted their topical routine with jokes about the Mzungu (white man) who had just arrived, which caused hilarity among the crowd and brought me a sympathetic beer from the table I joined. That afternoon, the comedians were followed by the ‘Swordfish Cultural Troupe’ who laid on a medley of tribal dances and masterful displays of drumming. The highlight was a rendition of the Sindimba dance from the Makonde tribe in which masked dancers representing an evil spirit instil the fear of God into bystanders by cavorting around on stilts. But the final act was the most eagerly­awaited of the afternoon, by the women at least. A bare-chested man appeared on stage with a short plank and a wooden cylinder. Balancing the plank atop the cylinder on a table, he stood up on the see-saw which rocks back and forth and then announced that he would undress while standing on the see-saw. As his trousers and then his boxer shorts came down the women went berserk and several ran-up on to the stage to shower coins on the table. As soon as he was naked, he repeated the whole act in reverse, scooped up the coins and his clothes and disappeared, pursued by one of the women who had been sitting at my table. Dodoma dull? I don’t think so (Thank you Liz Fennell for this item ~Editor).

AFRICAN DECISIONS (April -June) in its ‘Investment Monitor’ feature said that the privatisation of the Morogoro -based Canvas Mill Ltd seemed to be taking off, with increased export orders and the payment of about Shillings 1.2 billion in various taxes within the first three years of operation. The Mill’s production capacity had risen to 75% of installed capacity and the mill had won export orders in at least eight countries earning it $9 million from exports. It was currently working on an order for cloth uniforms for NATO armed services.

NEWSAFRICA (1st July) in an article entitled’ Beer Wars’ described recent changes in the highly competitive and complicated beer market in East Africa. Extracts: ‘The international giant South African Breweries (SAB) which operates in 23 countries and controls Tanzania Breweries and 82% of the total beer market in Tanzania, has closed down its Kenya subsidiary Castle Breweries and relocated to Tanzania’. Some analysts were quoted as saying that this move was a concession to competition in a reducing beer market in Kenya rather than a planned strategic decision. SAB announced it had agreed to a deal with East African Breweries to take over the latter’s Moshi-based Kibo Breweries through its Tanzania Breweries subsidiary and would now sell in Tanzania East African Breweries well known brands Tusker, Pilsner and Kibo Gold. Already the company was selling Safari, Kilimanjaro, Ndovu and F orty9 er beers. Under the arrangement Kenya Breweries would buy a 20% shareholding in Tanzania Breweries and SAB would buy a 20% shareholding in the East African Brewery’s subsidiary Kenya Breweries.

The BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL (August 3) published a 6-page article on the new scientific discipline of ‘Travel Medicine’. The article included a great deal of information about new treatments for malaria (recommended drugs are melloquine, doxycycline or atovaquone) and other diseases in Sub Saharan Africa. The article advised travellers to obtain ‘standby treatment kits’ which they can use for self-treatment if unable to obtain medical advice within 24 hours of becoming unwell (Thank you Christine Lawrence for sending this information -Editor).

In a letter to THE TIMES on 13th May reader Peter Hatt (6th King’s African Rifles 1950 -53) said that a replica of the ‘splendid’ Askari Monument in Dar es Salaam, which commemorated the African soldiers who lost their lives while serving in the First World War, should be installed in London on an appropriate podium.

AFRICAN DECISIONS (April-June) reported that Tanzanian community leader Sebastien Chuwa and the ‘African Blackwood Conservation Project’ had been given ‘Spirit of the Land’ awards during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, USA. The awards were for environmental education and tree-planting programmes around Mount Kilimanjaro.

The JOHANNESBURG STAR (17th May) reported that Tanzania was returning a shipment of 10 million Chinese condoms, paid for by the UN Fund for Population Activities, which were earmarked for free distribution in Tanzanian health clinics and other points. The nine shipping containers holding the condoms worth about $60,000 had been purchased from a company in Singapore which had contracted a manufacturer in China to make the condoms. Assistant Health Minister Hussein Mwinyi said that many of them had ‘weak points’ including holes and soft spots that caused them to burst under pressure. THE TIMES had the same story on 18th May. (Thank you John Ainley for sending this item -Editor).



The popular music scene has changed in Tanzania. Congolese rhumba, which was dominant for many years, is no longer so. Below are extracts from a paper presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology on October 27, 2001 about Tanzanians’ new taste in popular music.

On Sunday afternoons, rappers and fans gather at the FM Club in Kinondoni which offers young rap artists, or MCs as they are called in Tanzania, an opportunity to practice their skills in front of an audience and a chance for local youth to enjoy an afternoon of free music. MC, which stands for master of ceremonies, was first used in the New York City hip hop community in the late 1970s to refer to people who commented on or introduced selections made by the deejay spinning records….. partially because the term for rap artists in Kiswahili, msanii wa kufokafoka, is too long to say and partially because MC has an exotic American sound to it that legitimizes the Tanzanian artists. Usually full of young men and a few women between 15 and 30 years of age, the audience and rappers dress in Tommy Hilfiger shirts, Sean John pants sagging several inches below the waist line, Yankees hats turned artistically to the side, and various boots and sneakers cleaned to an unbelievable shine considering the dirt and dust of the streets outside. The open-air club is small, with towering speakers in the middle of the room, a caged deejay spinning records in front, and a stage lined with microphones and instruments of FM Academia, the band who use the venue at night.

Anyone can perform at the club. Most artists use American sounding names, such as Bad Hardcore, Mack D, and Underground Souls. On stage, musicians dance and rap, generally acting as if they are in an American hip hop video, flailing their arms and hands, raising their fists in the air, and bouncing below the waist. The rap itself varies from those who cannot find the rhythm, to those who can carry the song well but lack performance skills. For most of the musicians on stage, there is anger in their voices, something not heard in regular conversation with them. For these musicians, the music acts as an outlet for emotions that they have little way to express in everyday life.

One afternoon in November of last year, Taji Liundi, the host of the show and a local radio deejay, stopped a rap group in the middle of their song and told them to leave the stage. He walked to the microphone and, with a stern stare, lectured the audience about the art of rapping and the need to be more professional. He explained the construction of a rap song, with a main verse and chorus, and then asked, “Where was the chorus on that last song?” The crowd did not respond since they knew there was no chorus. Liundi then went into problems with stage performance and musicians who are prone to just stand on the stage and rap. Finally, he made fun of the American style of dress that the Tanzanian artists wore, and told them to find their own look. The room was silent. It was as if every one of the audience members’ mothers walked in the room and scolded them; no one dared move. The assistant announcer finally broke the silence and called the next MC to the stage. Who would be brave enough to walk up on stage after that? All eyes turned and followed a young man in his early twenties named Rap Nature as he stood and walked steadily to the stage. He wore a Yankees hat with a cut off brim and baggy pants, already breaking one of Liundi’s requests to find a unique look. Unlike other MCs, however, he walked to the stage alone, making the unfolding scene even more dramatic.

The crowd sat impatiently waiting for the song to begin. There was such hope that Rap Nature would be able to break the shame of the other MCs and fulfil the expectations of the shows’ sponsors. Rap Nature climbed on the stage and remained calm, waiting for the first track to start. With his head bowed, eyes closed, he listened for the opening beat. A minute passed and the crowd was leaning in to hear what would happen. The pool players in the back held their cues to their sides and studied the stage; people at the bar for a moment held their drinks away from their lips for fear of missing the opening of the song; and the promoters sat to the side of the stage calmly waiting. The song began and Rap Nature launched into his rap. The lyrics were brilliant-exploring the struggle of youth living in poverty with little chance for escape-and the chorus that followed was just what Liundi requested. For the first time that day, the audience erupted in excitement. There were people standing, pumping their fists, and cheering. They were all listening to Rap Nature preach about life and the hardships of living in Dar es Salaam. The crowd loved what they heard, but Rap Nature did not end there. He clenched his chest with his hand to highlight the pain in his heart over seeing his friends fall ill to sickness; he fell to the floor to show the desperation he suffered at being a poor, urban Tanzanian; and he closed his eyes to illustrate his connection to the lyrics he rapped. It was Tanzanian performance and rap at its best.

The scene that unfolded at FM Club that Sunday afternoon was a common example of social expectations expressed to shape peoples actions, habits, or beliefs. Rap Nature, in walking to the stage after Liundi’s comments, knew he had to follow the guidelines given to him or he would be removed from the stage, just as several other MCs were that day. The show was as much about enjoying and performing rap music as it was about educating up coming rap artists about what is proper and necessary for them within the rap community. The more experienced rappers and deejays dictated their expectations of style, performance practice, and song construction to the crowd of listeners and participants. These expectations pull both listeners and participants together to form a cohesive unit. In other words, through identifying the dos and the don’ts for upcoming rap artists, the Tanzanian hip hop community strengthened its own identity, the result of which was the music itself.

Expectations expressed through conversations, songs, radio shows, newspaper articles, and concerts are the most direct means of creating a group identity within the Tanzanian hip hop community. Through verbal and written commentary, young and upcoming members of the Tanzanian rap community learn what it is to be a rapper or a rap fan, a citizen of a poor urban city, and a social and political activist. The music is the culmination of this knowledge, learned by artists, deejays, fans, and others through the teachings of the already established generation of hip hoppers.

The idea of expectations came from Tanzanian youths’ discussion of hip hop. The Kiswahili word for expectation is tarajia or tegemea and, though these words are used infrequently in daily conversations, people expressed themselves through statements that showed what was expected of the community and its members. In discussing a rap artist, for instance, people would say, “anahitaji kufanya hivi (he needs to do this),” or “anahitaji kucheza kama hivi (he needs to dance more like this),” or “anahitaji kubadalisha sauti yake (he has to change his sound).” The more I talked to people, the more I realized that there was a vision of the Tanzanian hip hop community.

The older generation, or those that began to rap in the early 1990s, are generally responsible for teaching expectations to upcoming rappers. This generation, referred to as wazee or elders even though they are thirty years old or younger, has a very strong voice in the local music community. Veteran musicians, such as Dolasoul and Mr II, are often sought after for advice by younger musicians. Deejays, such as Sebastian Maganga and Taji Liundi, direct peoples’ likes and dislikes through radio commentary, play lists, and the concerts they host. In a profound way, the older generation guides the younger artists in a manner reminiscent of the government’s relation to the people of Tanzania. Since the country’s independence in 1961, leaders in the Tanzanian government have acted as father figures to the country, guiding people to act and think according to their direction. The first president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, was even called Baba wa Taifa or Father of the Nation. This paternalism has trickled into the rap community, though, obviously, on a much smaller scale.

Expectations are a direct and open means of solidifying group identity. In creating group identity, people can set standards subtly, perhaps through gestures, dress, actions, or conversation. The older artists, deejays, and fans, however, are very direct about their views of what the Tanzanian hip hop community should be. The elders are ‘watchdogs’ and father figures at the same time, teaching the younger artists what is expected ofthem. There is nothing subtle about it…..

Despite its widespread use, people apply expectation to two areas of rapping: the song itself and the delivery (flow) of the song. Other aspects of the rap life are important, such as dress, attitude, and performance ability, yet these are secondary to the crux of what it is to be a rapper in Tanzania. The rap song, for instance, must have a number of elements: It should be sung mainly in Kiswahili; contain no cursing; have a social or political message; and make logical sense. The flow of a song should not imitate another rapper, it should be interesting, and follow the rhythm in the music. Rappers that break this mold are publicly mocked, either on radio, in conversations or in concerts. For instance, the audience at FM Club concerts would often begin talking to their neighbour about the problems in a song being performed that they did not like and even make disagreeable noises that were borderline heckling. Though Liundi gives himself a lot of credit for hindering the use of cursing, other rappers, fans, and even the general society have discouraged its use in Tanzanian hip hop. The rap community usually ignores artists that curse in English, such as the Tanzanian rapper Hakim, and no one, to my knowledge, has rapped a song in Kiswahili with vulgar lyrics (although one group had their song pulled from radio because some people thought the content too strong). Yet, as Liundi points out, the rap community is very direct about discouraging any type of vulgarity in rap music because it is too powerful and a distraction from the message in the song.

The most important element of a rap song- what is expected most of an artist- is meaningful and socially useful lyrics. A rap song has to contain a coherent message that informs listeners about an injustice, social or economic problem, or some other element affecting modem Tanzanian society…..A song is only as good as the meaning and the logic of the lyrics. . Speaking about sensitive topics and doing so openly is rare in Tanzanian culture, but Mr. II does this while creating a tight rap song. Considering that “Chini ya Miaka Kumi na Nane” (Under 18 years old) became well known all over Tanzania, there is no doubt that Mr. II was able to produce a powerful lyrical message appropriate for Tanzanian hip hop. Other artists have done the same, such as the Daznundaz who sang “Maji ya Shingo (Up to One’s Neck),” relating how difficult it is to make a living in a Dar es Salaam ghetto and John Mjema who tells about corruption in the political system of the country in the song “Mimi Sio Mwizi (I Am Not a Thief).” In each of these songs, and hundreds others like them, the social and political message to the people of Tanzania is strong. The youth, even those who feel most marginalized either because of lack of education or their social status, are given a sense of legitimacy through rapping and are able to present their viewpoints to the public.

The flow or delivery of a rap song is the second area where the wazee establish expectations. Any rap artist, regardless of lyrical content, has to be able to deliver his song in an original style while remaining in rhythm. Rappers who copy the styles of other MCs in Tanzania are heavily criticized.

Rhyming well and on the right beat is also crucial. Despite the old stereotype that Africans have inherent rhythmic abilities, numerous up coming MCs in Tanzania have a difficult time at making their lyrics ‘flow’ over music. New artists practice at home or school with other MCs and occasionally get a chance to sit in at a radio station on the weekend and practice their rapping, with a deejay spinning instrumental tracks.

Expectations exist for several reasons: To destroy images of rappers and youth as hooligans (wahuni); to legitimize rap music as a positive and useful art form to all Tanzanians; and to make the music socially beneficial for the local audience. Those that control the expectations in the music scene have a lot invested in its continuation as a viable art form among the local community. There was a time when elders, business people, and others considered the music offensive and unacceptable for Tanzania society. These people were certainly prejudiced by the American hip hop videos they saw on television with mostly semi-nude women, scenes of violence, and vulgar language. But, older generation hip hop artists knew that the art form could be constructive and, if made so, would become acceptable in urban Tanzania culture……

Because of the effectiveness of expectations, songs such as “Mimi Sio Mwizi” by John Mjema, became national hits in the country among all age groups. These songs spoke messages that could be identified by everyone, making the genre just that, a genre, not a determinate of listening audience. Expectations as controlled by the rap community created a larger market for Tanzanian rap music, much larger than if rappers adopted the methods of their American counterparts.

While expectations are a powerful means for enforcing group identify, individualism still exists within the rap community. Expectations set up the parameters, but each rapper or audience member experiments within these parameters. Further, there are areas where, ironically, few expectations are placed on the rap artists. For instance, many young artists drink and use drugs and are without the direct criticism of the rap community (though these practices are frowned upon). Nonetheless, the expectations that do exist and are an attempt to solidify and strengthen the local community. And, as most artists told me, setting up these expectations keeps the music ‘real.’ By keeping it real, the rap community makes sure the music reflects their world views and social ideologies, while educating the public at the same time.
Alex Perulla



ANASTASIOS CHRISTODOULOU (70) CBE, a Cypriot recruit to the British Colonial Service, served in Tanganyika from 1956 to 1962 as a District Officer/District Commissioner and magistrate. He later achieved considerable fame as founding secretary of the British Open University and was responsible for every aspect of the academic, financial, staff and general administration. He was also Secretary­General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

GEOFFREY HUCKS OBE (95), who died on August 4th was District Commissioner in Iringa in the early 50’s and later became Acting Provincial Commissioner in the then Southern Highlands Province. He became more widely known when he was appointed Supervisor of Elections during Tanzania’s first general election (Thank you Michael Longford for sending this news -Editor).

Advocate ELEUTHA FABIAN KAPINGA was killed by bandits on June 10th in Dar es Salaam. During a distinguished career Mr Kapinga had been Deputy Director of the Tanzania Legal Corporation, many times President of the Tanzania Law Society and a board member of the Tanzania Cigarette Company. He was buried in his village in Mbinga District, Ruvuma Region.

RONALD NEATH (81) who died on May 4th was among the more progressive administrators who served in the administration in Tanganyika from the late 1940’s to mid-1960’s, something which tied in well with the pre-independence political scene at the time. After leaving Tanzania he had a distinguished career in the United Nations in New York and Geneva. (Thank you Tony Lee for this -Editor).

Described in the Tanzanian Guardian as one of the pillars of the Kagera War against Iddi Amin in Uganda, MAJOR GENERAL JOHN W ALDEN has died. He was a retired Divisional Commander of the Tanzania People’s Defence forces (TPDF). In field operations he picked up the code name “Commander Black Mamba”. He was described as having represented a relic of Tanzania’s colonial history ­that of successful localisation of German era settlers.

The well known wildlife photographer and conservationist HUGO VAN LARWICK, who was born in the Netherlands but lived and worked largely in Tanzania for many years, has died. The Government decided that, although cremation had been planned originally, his body would be buried at Lake Ndutu in the Serengeti National Park. In its leading article on 7th June the Guardian wrote ‘Having the body of Hugo van Larwick placed to rest within the Serengeti helps us to grasp how far we are part of humanity living near the Serengeti rather than owning it. Humanity will feel closer to us when students of nature from around the world will be visiting his memorial site in the park. This will be similar to visitors making their way to Mwalimu Nyerere’s grave in Butiama or to see Chief Mkwawa’s skull in Iringa.



Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Dr Abdul Kadir Shareef told the National Assembly on 9th July that Tanzania now had 27 diplomatic missions abroad. They were in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, the Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Japan, China, Germany, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, France Italy, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ethiopia, India, Canada, Russia, the USA and at the UN in New York. The envoys included three from Zanzibar (Mozambique, Saudi Arabia and Germany) and one woman (in India). He said Tanzania was also a member of 50 international organisations and regional groupings and had paid all its contributions to these organisations for the year 200112002 -Guardian.

Minster for Education and Culture Joseph Mumgai has announced that 1,614,212 children have been enrolled in Standard 1 in primary schools this year compared with 1,140,554 last year. The government planned to build 13,396 classrooms for the rapidly expanding enrolment this year -Guardian.

More than 80 students at Weruweru Girls Secondary School in Moshi have been deprived of their one-month holidays for speaking Swahili. According to the school regulation students must speak English while at school. Reporters saw the students gated at the campus while their parents were complaining. – Mwananchi

A week-long survey by the Sunday Observer (July21) revealed that the sale of dogs is mushrooming in Dar es Salaam because of the need for security and the unreliability of many watchmen. Some people used dogs to guard their cars by travelling with them. Most of the dogs were being sold by boys along the main streets of the city. One young dog seller, working along the old Bagamoyo Road, said that it was a lucrative business -prices ranged from Shs 5,000 (£4) for young dogs to Shs 20,000 for more mature animals. A resident of Manzese was reported to have said that sorcerers would not come to your house if you kept dogs.

The OAU Council of Ministers meeting on July 2 in Durban, South Africa endorsed a proposal by the Tanzanian delegation that Swahili should be used as one of the working languages of the new African Union (AU) which has taken the place of the OAU. Earlier the National Kiswahili Councilc-of Tanzania (BAKlTA) had called for harmonisation of vocabulary and promotion of Kiswahili literature as Africa prepared to give the language its rightful place in Africa -Daily News.

Official figures on the AIDS epidemic in Tanzania state that some 12% of the sexually active population in the mainland and 3% in Zanzibar were HIV/AIDS positive in 2000. 9.9% were men and 13.3% women -Guardian.

The Guardian quoted Tabora Regional Commissioner Abasi Kandoro explaining the difficulties being met in making people understand the need for the forthcoming national census. One man wondered whether the object was to privatise Tanzanians “because nowadays it is government’s policy to privatise each and every thing” he said.

The newly created Manyara Region will comprise Babati, Mbulu, Simanjiro, Hanang,and Kiteti districts with its HQ in Babati. The Arusha Region will comprise Monduli, Arumero, Arusha, Karatu and Ngorongoro districts.

The East African (July 22) quoted the results of research conducted in late 2001 by the Department of Traditional Medicine of the National Institute for Medical Research which confirmed that the roots and bark of 12 out of some 64 plants investigated in Kagera Region were effective in curing malaria without any side effects. There had been some problems during similar research in other parts of the country because some herbalists were unwilling to disclose information about medicines they had found to be effective in curing various diseases.

“Tanzania has no plans to abolish the death penalty. Those who kill must be killed” -Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Bakari Mwapachu quoted in the Guardian.

A chimpanzee which had escaped from the Kitwe Game Reserve has ambushed and killed a resident in Kigoma town. The victim was a security guard on the beach. The famous Gombe Reserve has an estimated 100 chimpanzees but Kitwe shelters only four -The Guardian.

Michael Longford, the author of the book ‘The flags changed at midnight’ (reviewed in TA No. 72), who is fluent in two of Tanzania’s 120 ethnic minority languages (Kihehe and Kinyamwezi) is working on a project, in collaboration with the ‘Foundation for Endangered Languages’, to record and document mainland Tanzania’s endangered languages. President Mkapa, in a letter dated 14th May to Mr Longford, said he was pleased to hear of the project. “We are proud and relieved that we have in Kiswahili a lingua franca that unites us across tribal and religious lines. We will encourage the development and spread of Kiswahili …. but we have no intention of wilfully killing off any of our indigenous languages. That has always been the policy of all our governments and as far as I can see, it is going to continue to be our policy for which there is broad support among all political parties” the President wrote.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has nominated Tanzanian Professor Anna Tibaijuka as the first Executive Director of the newly formed UN human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT). The organisation was quoted in the Business Times (lOth May) as describing Tanzania as Africa’s trail blazer in an outstandingly successful experiment in urban cooperation. Through its partnership with UN-HABITAT Tanzania was said to be championing the prohibitions of yesteryear -privatisation, land ownership and individual enterprise -to upgrade its nine cities and the living standards of urban residents. The first project was launched in Dar es Salaam in 1992 and the first target was to privatise the rubbish collection system after all sectors in the City, businesses and industry, agreed to a surcharge to underwrite a rubbish collection in low income residential areas. ILO helped Mkokoteni handcart owners to start small businesses to ferry trash along the narrow muddy lanes in the slums to collection points. Some 68 companies now employed more than 3,000 people in these enterprises; there were 17 recycling and composting enterprises.

Fletcher Mwambo (43) a Tanzanian poet has been chosen by the International Library of Poetry in Washington DC to be one of33 poets whose artistry will be recorded professionally in a poetry collection called “The sound of poetry” titled “Letters from the Soul”. Mwanga’s poem is titled “What is love”.

A conference scheduled for September in Bagamoyo may lead to it becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site -Guardian.

The government decided in June to sell 3,000 ofits houses at prices between Shs 1.5 million and Shs 180 million but buyers would not be allowed to re-sell them until after 25 years. The government indicated that the sale might realise some Shs 23 billion which would be used to build more houses for civil servants.

President Mkapa directed heads of government departments to turn in within seven days some 1,800 vehicles bought through donor grants and loans which bore private registration numbers. If they did not do so they would be sacked he said. Some 1,181 vehicles were quickly re-registered with government numbers and 1,000 more were also to be given government numbers. He said that the re­registration had enabled the Government to save Shs 10 billion. It was explained that some vehicles were being used to ferry children to schools, taking wives to beauty salons, fetching water and other private activities. Most of the vehicles were from UN-run projects and many, in spite of performing private business, were still enjoying free fuel and maintenance as in the case of other government vehicles. Opposition parties objected to restricting the sale of these vehicles to civil servants and at the low prices being charged. President Mkapa told donor organisations not to interfere with the issue by dictating how the vehicles should be used after they had been given to government institutions,

Dr Jane Goodall, the famous primatologist known for her ground-breaking work on chimpanzees in Kigoma’s Gombe Stream National Park, has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as a UN Messenger of Peace. Messengers of Peace help to mobilise the public to get involved in work that makes the world a better place. Other messengers include Muhammad Ali, Michael Douglas and Luciana Pavarotti.

‘Thanks to you’ (Summer 2002), the journal of the British Alzheimer’s Society, reported how Alison Stirling, had been looking after her mother who was suffering from dementia for many years. After her death, Alison was persuaded by a friend to attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. She tried to back out of the trip not once but twice but eventually agreed and took a hazardous ‘non-tourist’ route to the top. Did she feel triumphant when she reached the summit? “1 felt ghastly” she said. “I suffered from altitude sickness, I didn’t eat for three days and it was so cold during the climb that my tooth paste froze! When I got to the top I believed that I would think of my mother. But I didn’t. I was just too exhausted”. At times she admitted to crying with fear but was determined to keep going because she had some £1,800 of sponsorship money to collect. She succeeded.

The Government has decided to reintroduce DDT in its battle to combat malaria. Health Ministry official Chacha Mung’aho said that although DDT was very harmful to the environment and some living things there was no scientific research indicating that DDT was harmful to humans. He said that in Tanzania malaria killed more than a 100,000 out of the 16 million people who contract the disease each year, many of them being children under five years old. Alternative chemicals were four to five times more expensive than DDT. The insecticide would be strictly applied under ‘residual house spray mechanisms’. It would be able to kill a mosquito settling on sprayed walls within five minutes and would be efficient for one year.

As a result of “rising operational costs,” the US Embassy has announced new rates for its visas. The tourist visa will now cost Shs 65,000 instead of Shs 45,000 -Majira.

The Tanzania Heart Institute in Dar es Salaam successfully implanted an artificial electronic pacemaker in a 75-year-old patient on May 22 this year. The Director of the Institute said that this represented a giant step towards performing heart transplant operations in Tanzania. The pacemaker was bought for Shs 1.5 million from South African agents of the US-based Meditronic Company.




FROM RITUAL TO MODERN ART: TRADITION AND MODERNITY IN TANZANIAN SCULPTURE. Edited by Manfred Ewel and Anne Outwater, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Dar es Salaam. £34.95 h/b, £20.95 p/b. Available from African Books Collective Ltd, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OXl IHU

East Africa is often neglected in books about African art. Masks and sculpted human figures, which are generally the main focus of interest for historians of African art, are generally considered rarer and of lesser quality when compared with the rich and accomplished traditions of the Zaire basin and West Africa. It is therefore heartening to find a well illustrated and well produced book, published in Tanzania, that aims to redress this neglect. However, despite its ambitious title this book presents very little new material based on recent research. Although the contributing authors, who include Tanzanians as well as Europeans, display a scholarly familiarity with the literature on Tanzanian sculptural traditions this literature is itself outdated and in need of critical review. The book remains, essentially, a series of general surveys of different aspects of Tanzanian sculptural traditions.

A broadly critical perspective is adopted by Wembah-Rashid in his short opening chapter, but in attempting to discuss the broad sweep of Tanzanian sculpture and sculptors his observations are generalised almost to the point of meaninglessness. Hahner-Herzog’s chapter admits to being a preliminary survey of the history of Tanzanian art and achieves this aim to the extent that the literature allows. She attempts to trace formal and stylistic influences along trade routes and along paths traced for other reasons by the peoples of the region. But while Hahner-Herzog keeps to historically documented movements of peoples in her discussion, Felix, in his chapter, does not limit himself to such sources. His almost obsessive concern for the objects in themselves leads him to dispense with the need to explain how the ‘style’ of an artefact relates to a sculptor’s intentions or to its meaning and function in a particular social context. He uses long discredited ‘diffusionist’ arguments to trace the spread of loosely defined ‘types’ and ‘styles’ of artefact throughout eastern Africa.

Mulokozi’s over ambitious chapter attempts to cover the aesthetic principles and religious and philosophical ideas underlying Tanzanian (and in some cases even African) sculptural forms. Although he often relates his categories and principles to specific ethnic traditions he succeeds, like a number of the other contributors, mainly in reducing a fascinating and complex cultural diversity to a set of rather suspect generalities.

Katoke’s brief chapter is useful in that it focuses specifically on the Karagwe royal collection. This modest approach allows us to gain insights into the political significance of a unique collection of artefacts and into the transformations of meaning implied in their creation and acquisition. Castelli’s chapter, although fleshed out with snippets of Makonde ethnography, is theoretically very weak. His central, spurious thesis is that African sculpture preserved in European museums represents a tool for reconstructing African collective memories. This approach is again one of obsession with the objects in themselves. It lacks a critical perspective with regard to the European colonial projects that provided the historical contexts in which museum artefacts were collected.

Nooter’s analysis of high-backed stools has been well rehearsed in other publications and Mshana’s inquiry into Makonde shetani sculpture has now been superseded by my book, ‘A Host of Devils: the history and context of the making of Makonde spirit sculpture’ (Routledge 2002). Despite its shortcomings, which often reflect the shortcomings of the existing literature on East African material culture, this publication would be worth having merely as a visual record of Tanzanian sculpture. Ironically, however, most of the artefacts illustrated in it are no longer in Tanzania.
Zachary Kingdon

KONIGSBERG-A GERMAN EAST AFRICAN RAIDER Kevin Patience. Available from the author at 257 Sandbanks Road, Poole, BH14 8EY, Dorset. Tel 01 202 707450. Email Hardback, 216 pp. £16 incl.p&p.

This is a revised and enlarged edition of a book first published in 1997. On the outbreak of war the light cruiser Konigsberg sailed north from Dar es Salaam in search of British merchant shipping. During her absence H.M.S. Astraea of the Cape squadron destroyed the wireless station at Dar es Salaam and frightened the German Harbour Master into scuttling the floating dock in the harbour entrance to deny entry to the Royal Navy. In so doing he also denied the Konigsberg her best harbour in the area, so that being short of fuel and in need of repairs she anchored in the Rufiji river. While there she learnt that the old light cruiser Pegasus was at Zanzibar undergoing repairs to her engines, so she sallied forth and quickly put her out of action before returning to the Rufiji.

Two shallow draught monitors each armed with two six inch guns were sent from England and eventually worked their way up the river to a position from which they could destroy the Konigsberg in July 1915. They were assisted in this by aircraft of the new fleet air arm to spot the fall of shot and radio corrections to the monitors.

The author tells the story around the surviving relics of the ships, and personal records of those involved which he has tracked down with remarkable thoroughness. He has himself dived to examine the wreck of the Pegasus and has traced relics of the action from Pretoria to London. In particular he has obtained much information from the grandson of Captain Looff of the Konigsberg. There are many eye witness accounts of heroism and plain hardship from both sides and the book is profusely illustrated. Of particular interest is the account of the subsequent role of the guns of both Pegasus and Konigsberg in the land fighting.

The author is at pains to demolish the story of the heroism of the marines of H.M.S. Pegasus who were said to have held up the ship’s ensign after it had been shot away. As Geoffrey Bennett pointed out in 1968 in his “Naval Battles of the First World War”, the truth was that Commander Ingles surrendered his ship in the face of hopeless odds.

There is a wealth of fascinating detail not found in the standard histories. On the other hand the reader will not find a discussion of the wider strategic and tactical issues involved, or of the technical problems of controlling indirect fire by the novel use of spotter planes -it’s not that sort of book. For such things, the best account is still that of Arthur Pollen in his “The Navy in Battle”, 1918, which unsurprisingly, is not included in the short bibliography.

At times the story is in danger of becoming confused by the need to cram so much interesting information into a relatively small space, and an index would have helped the reader with the cross referencing involved. Nevertheless it is a lively story told by someone who has devoted much time to tracing the remaining vestiges of an important part of the war in East Africa, presented in an attractive format which represents very good value at the price -J. C-P.

FOOD PRESERVATION AT HOME. Paul Vincent Mroso: Benedictine Publications, Ndanda -Peramiho. ISBN 9976 63 639 3. Pp 191. Price £8.50.
Available from Ndanda Mission Press, P.O. Box 4, Ndanda, via Mtwara, Tanzania.

Dr Mroso’s book is a response to the food insecurity affecting many low and middle income countries in the world to-day. The book has interesting sections on alternative food sources that have the potential to meet the needs of a hungry planet and on improved means of providing families living in isolated areas with safe water, for example by harvesting rain water or making sand filters. Dr Mroso provides a particularly useful account of traditional methods of food preservation. These range from the better known techniques of smoking, roasting, drying, curing, salting, pickling and fermentation to less familiar ways of preserving eggs, blood, fats and oils. The account is a valuable store of traditional wisdom.

FORTRESS CONSERVATION. The Preservation of the Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania. Dan Brockington. The International Institute in co-operation with James Currey: Mkuki wa Nyota; and Indiana University Press. 2002. 196 pages. ISBN 0-85255-418-4 (hardback). £40.00, 0-85255-417-6 (paper), £11.95

This book represents several years work including two in the field. It is a worthwhile and challenging read, and deals with an intractable problem common throughout modem Africa. This concerns the attempt, which is in present conditions well nigh impossible of achievement, to reconcile the needs of a hugely expanded population and its urgent need for more land and grazing, with the need to conserve wilderness and wildlife resources which are under threat worldwide. The author leans towards the needs of the people, and with this I can sympathise, but I abhor the picture on the front of the book which shows an epitome of an ostentatious western life-style. This is modem sleazy spin at its worst, is out of place in an academic text, and will I am sure offend many thinking people. Mkomazi is in many ways a unique environment, and not just a playground for rich western tourists.

I am fully aware of the problems posed by the author, and I know the area with which he deals. In the 1950’s as District Officer in Musoma and later in Lushoto, I was closely involved with illegal Maasai grazing on the Serengeti, and with Sambaa-Maasai problems on the Umba steppe. Much later, from 1971 to 1991 I was Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Botswana, and deeply involved in the active debate about the relative merits of increased cattle grazing and the preservation of the Kalahari environment, and with the varying demands on finite resources by San peoples, Tswana cattlemen, tourists, and diamond prospecting and mining.

After forty years in Africa then, I have no doubt whatsoever that traditional pastoralism cannot at the present day co-exist with a natural highly diversified environment, and its attendant wildlife. Everywhere it is in terminal retreat. One cannot square the circle, no matter how sympathetic one is to people such as the Maasai, and very difficult and unpalatable decisions have to be made, which cannot please all interests.

A hard decision has been made by the Tanzanian Government to cut the gordian knot, and this decision to confirm the Mkomazi Game Reserve must be adhered to. The real need now is to provide organisation and funds on a large scale to provide help to the burgeoning population of the Upare/Mkomazi area and indeed of all Africa. The people need to be taught better alternatives to traditional agricultural and cattle-keeping methods, which simply do not work under modem population pressures. They must also be offered new sources of work and livelihood, so that they do not continue to ruin the land which is their and their children’s’ home now and in the future. Sadly however, the rich countries of the world do not seem prepared to help on the scale required. They have in many places dreadfully damaged their own environments and squandered the earth’s resources, but seem impervious to the needs of Africa and its exploding population.
John Cooke

FROM BLANTYRE TO CHITAMBO – A Brief Life of David Livingstone. Peter Snelson. Published by The Round House Vestry, Bridge Street, Cambridge CB2 1 DB. ISBN 0 9541762 0 O. 50 pages, including four of illustrations. PIb. £3.50

David Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Scotland, in 1813, and died in Chitambo Village in the country now known as Zambia, in 1873. The author graduated in history at Cambridge. He served for 17 years as an Education Officer in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, and later worked in the Commonwealth Secretariat. In his own foreword to his book the author writes -“this little book sketches the life of David Livingstone and summarises his achievements and failures in a few brief chapters. It breaks little new ground. The reader who has time to read more will find no shortage of full length biographies”.

Some of the full length biographies mentioned by Peter Snelson are too lavish in the way that they praise a hero whose adventures as an explorer, missionary, and opponent of the slave trade gripped the imaginations of Britain. Other biographers, for example Lytton Strachey, are too negative in their approach to “eminent Victorians”, and debunk a very great man with a cynicism which I find unpleasant. Peter Snelson avoids both these faults, and has written a lively, accurate, lucid and enthralling little book which succeeds quite admirably in its stated objective of “making a balanced assessment of Livingstone’s successes and failures”.

Livingstone’s explorations covered a vast area of Africa, and took him to many different countries. Readers of “Tanzanian Affairs” will be particularly interested in the parts of the book which deal with Zanzibar, Bagamoyo, and Stanley’s search for Livingstone and their meeting at Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, and in the months they spent together at Unyanyembe near Tabora. “From Blantyre to Chitambo” is an excellent account of an extraordinary life.
Michael Longford

Denis Roth Allen, “Learning the Facts ofLife: Past and Present Experiences in a Rural Tanzanian Community”, Africa Today, 47, 3/4, 2000, 3-27.

29,3,2001, pp 307-338.

Studies, 35,1,2001. Pp 67-97.

Rasch. Social Science and Medicine, 52, 12, June 2001, 1815-1826.

The widening range of gender-focused research was particularly apparent in recent academic journals as illustrated in this selection that reflect concern for traditional sex education, urban teen-age pregnancy, rural economic status, and the political empowerment of urban women. While each of these articles is concerned with different aspects of Tanzanian womens’ experiences they share several common denominators. Perhaps the most important one is that the potential for resolving socio-economic issues arising out of gender depends on womens’ access to adequate economic opportunities, acquiring political credibility and achieving effective degrees of independence. These factors indicate that both the struggle between tradition and modernity, and the inequities between urban and rural opportunities for development continue.

The Allen article explores how young women in Tanzania’s Shinyanga Region learned about “sexuality and reproduction” and asks whether it would be useful to revive traditional forms of sex education. Through interview and informal conversations the author discovered several traditional forms were rarely used either because one of them -unyago-was apparently limited to Muslim girls and used infrequently, or another -maji -was essentially an informal mode of communal living. In the absence of traditional or established methods of sex education the evidence indicated that these rural women effectively shared their experiences about sexuality and reproduction through informal networking. Clearly, the results of this research suggest that future methods of sex education and health education would benefit from using this pragmatic method rather than re-inventing “traditional rites” which appear to be more myth than reality.

In contrast to the mores of traditional sex education in rural areas, Silberschmidt’s analysis of the sexual activities of adolescent girls in Dar es Salaam examines modes of urban sexual behaviour that are becoming major concerns throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Based on a qualitative analysis of 51 girls who had recently experienced illegal abortions this study reveals that many adolescents in the current generation often willingly engage in high-risk sexual behaviour that exposes them to HIV infections, early pregnancy and induced abortions. Not surprisingly their motives are to secure material benefits, and they are either not aware of the availability of family planning services or do not utilise them. Rather than using earlier findings that suggest that the girls are prey to lecherous old men, the author concludes that these adolescent girls have failed to recognise that sex education and contraceptives are intended to promote responsible behaviour rather than licence to engage in illicit sex.

Brockington, who has researched Tanzanian pastoralists extensively, focused on the impoverishment Maasai and Parkuyo women suffered following the eviction oftheir communities from the Mkomazi Game Reserve. The move caused serious losses of the stock on which women depended for their basic food and income, with the result that they were compelled to sell their milk supplies as well as well as to resort to selling firewood and traditional medicine. This led to other adverse effects, such as a decline in their socio-economic independence, dietary deficiencies for the poorer families who continued to live in remote rural areas, and difficult intra-household negotiations with their husbands over the use of their diminished income. Women among the relatively wealthy pastoralists living near a village endured less loss of income and enjoyed the advantages of nearby school, church and clinic, as well as income generating activities. The author acknowledges that more research is needed to ascertain the long-term effects of eviction on women pastoralists. However, the reader is apprised of how major changes in the lifestyles of pastoralists affect gendered socio­economic life.

Tracing recent political empowerment of urban Tanzanian women Andraea M Brown explores their extensive participation in civil society as well as governmental institutions. Her research is based on extensive interviews conducted primarily with middle class women, as well as previous similar studies.

While female representation in local, regional and national government has increased, women must still cope with male dominated hierarchies, negative cultural attitudes, and their own culturally induced strictures. Their achievements are a mixed bag, balanced on the one hand by legislation that punishes sexual assaults, and the easing of restrictions on civil society associations, while issues relating to inheritance, property rights, sexual harassment, female education and health remain unresolved. Nevertheless, Tanzanian women fare better than their contemporaries in Kenya, Zimbabwe or Zambia. This is particularly true in the realm of civil society where professional and middle class women pressure government for change and challenge patronage politics. Much of their strength stems from their unity and ability to minimise ethnic and socio-economic differences in favour of gender related political issues. On the other hand, poor women who are most adversely affected by structural adjustment, focus on economic issues, using passive resistance and non-compliance to cope with issues such as taxation and licensing -M.E.D.

Stephen Spawls et al. Natural world 2002. 543 pp. bibliography and index. ISBN 0-12-656470-1. $49.95

A product of expert east African herpetologists this guide includes nearly 500 reptile fauna in the area, complete with colour photographs, keys and introductory essays, distribution maps and a special section on dangerous snake bites and first aid -M.E.D.

FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF EAST AFRICA: KENYA, TANZANIA, UGANDA, RWANDA AND BURUNDI. Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe.T & A Poyser, 2002. 602 pp. bibliography, index. ISBN 0-85661-079-8. $40

Enthusiastically reviewed and recommended by specialists, this guide discusses 1,388 species, with 287 illustrations, numerous maps and useful indexes ­