by Philip Richards

XXI Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia
TA119 reported that Team Tanzania were sending 16 hopeful athletes to the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, with the country being represented in athletics, boxing, swimming and table tennis. Unfortunately, the performance was a disappointment as no medals were brought back home, continuing a trend as this is the 3rd consecutive Commonwealth Games without a medal, the last one being won in Melbourne in 2006 (Daily News, 16/4/18).

Particularly disappointing was the performance of the men’s and women’s marathon runners, with only two of them managing to com­plete the race. Although much attention was given in the global media to the Scottish runner Callum Hawkins who collapsed 2km out from the tape in the men’s race, what may have gone largely unnoticed was that two Tanzanian athletes were also overcome by the hot race conditions; Saidi Juma Makula collapsed a few metres from the finish and Stephano Huche Gwando was placed in a wheelchair after completing the race (BBC Sport website 15/4/18). TA wishes them both a speedy recovery.

At the time of going to press, there was little official comment or post­mortem into the underperformance or what lessons can be learned from participation.


edited by Donovan McGrath

Flooding in Tanzania city leaves at least 14 dead
News24 (South Africa) online: Fourteen people have died as a result of days of torrential rains and flooding in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s eco­nomic capital, police said … The number killed has been slowly rising as heavy rains have continued to hit the east African nation … Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda ordered primary schools closed for two days and advised families to leave inundated areas in a bid to limit the loss of life. (18 April 2018)

Tanzania: Diamond Platnumz Arrested for Sharing Indecent Content On Social Media (Washington DC) online: Popular Musicians Nasib Abdul alias Diamond Platinumz is under police custody for posting indecent video clips on social media … Minister of Information, Arts culture and Sports Dr Harrison Mwakyembe revealed this on Tuesday April 17. Dr Mwakyembe also instructed the authorities to arrest a female Musician, Nandi after posting indecent videos on social media … He was respond­ing to a supplementary question from Ulanga Member of Parliament, Goodluck Mlinga, who sought to know, what the government was doing against people, who are misusing social media platforms … (17 April 2018)

Tanzania launches early-age cervical cancer vaccine
BBC (UK) online: More than 600,000 girls in Tanzania have started receiving vaccines to prevent cervical cancer. Girls aged between nine and 14 are being targeted to protect them from developing the illness at an early age… Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Tanzania and kills more women than any other form … Tanzania is the seventh African country to introduce the human papilloma virus (HPV) vac­cine into its routine immunisation programme, after Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana, Mauritius, Seychelles and South Africa. The health minister says USD $15 will be spent treating each girl… Tanzania’s government hopes the early-stage vaccines will help to reduce the bill for cervical cancer treatment, which typically costs about USD $2,000 per patient…
(10 April 2018)

Tanzanian authors win Mabati-Cornell Prize
Daily Nation (Kenya) online: Two Tanzanian Kiswahili authors have won the 2017 Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature. Ali Hilal Ali won the fiction category for his novel, Mmeza Fupa. The poetry award went to Dotto Rangimoto for his collection, Mwanangu Rudi Nyumbani. They pocketed USD $5,000 each… The winners of the third edition of the prestigious literature prize were announced online on January 15, 2018 by chair of the Board of Trustees, Abdilatif Abdalla. The awards ceremony followed in February in Nairobi. In their jury, the judges described Mmeza Fupa as: “Rarely does one encounter a Kiswahili novel whose writer has exhibited the nuanced mastery of artistic language which naturally flows and without traces of artifi­ciality. In Mmeza Fupa, the various characters – main and otherwise – convey and represent the different social strata, with their attendant historical, political, psychological, cultural, rural and urban environ­ments and concomitant contradictions.” “Although set on an imaginary island, the political novel is clearly speaking to what ails the African continent. Mmeza Fupa has opened a new door in this particular genre in Kiswahili Literature,” they added. “In Mwanangu Rudi Nyumbani, one encounters seductive metaphors and imagery, effectively and successfully used in diverse Kiswahili poetic forms and styles while articulating concerns that have direct bearing to the human condition,” the judges noted. “Dotto discusses weighty and serious matters but in a manner that doesn’t burden the reader. Instead he encourages one to keep on reading. He is a master of the craft. The volume is a great contribution to contemporary Kiswahili poetry,” they added… Ali is a budding Kiswahili novelist and poet. He was born in Kalani, Pemba, in 1989, and grew up in Wete … Ali’s initial attempt in novel and poetry writing was in 2008. His first novel, Safari Yangu, was published in 2015 by Buluu Publishing, in Paris, France. He has also contributed several poems in an anthology by five poets, Diwani ya Kurasa Mpya. Rangimoto, one of the upcoming Kiswahili poets, was born in Morogoro, Tanzania, in 1986. He completed his secondary education in 2004 at Morogoro Secondary School. Thereafter, he has been involved in small enterprise business and farming. He is a great enthusiast of Kiswahili literature, especially novels and poetry. (14 April 2018)

Tanzania’s Information minister wants Air Tanzania to hire beauty contestants
Business Daily Africa (Kenya) online: Tanzania’s information minister Dr Harrison Mwakyembe … says women participating in the Miss Tanzania beauty pageant should be considered for employment at the State-run airline Air Tanzania… [He] argues that by recruiting them, the beauty competition will be seen as a bridge to success for Tanzania’s beautiful ladies. Dr Mwakyembe spoke … while officiating this year’s Miss Tanzania’s pageant… “All they need is to undergo a three-month­training at the National Institute of Transport before joining the ATCL team,” he said. (9 April 2018)

Magufuli’s 24km wall helps curb theft of Tanzania’s gemstones, rev­enue up
Africa News (Pointe Noire, Congo) online: The government of Tanzania says revenue from its rare gemstones, Tanzanite, has risen four-fold for the first quarter of this year as against same time last year. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told lawmakers … that Tanzania earned over USD $316,000 from the minerals and the government puts it down to having curbed theft. The president … inaugurated a 24km wall around mines in the country’s north as a part of efforts to curb the theft and attendant loss of revenue from the mineral… John Pombe Magufuli ordered the military in September 2017 to build the wall which is estimated to have cost the government $3.5m. The blue-violet tanzanite gemstone is found only in the East African nation. Smuggling of minerals is a headache that many countries are struggling with. The move comes months after the president ordered renegotiation of mining concessions with multi­national companies… (12 April 2018)

Tanzania takes historic step to save dwindling elephant population
CNN (USA) online: In Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve … [a]lmost 90% of the park’s elephants have been lost over the past 40 years. “Tanzania has been extremely hard hit by the latest elephant poaching crisis that has hit the African continent for 10 years,” Bas Huijbregts, WWF’s African species manager, told CNN. In an effort to get a grip on the situation, a new project launched by the Tanzanian government, with support from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is the country’s largest ever elephant collaring effort to protect the rapidly declining popula­tion… The project will span 12 months and around 60 elephants are expected to be tagged… The rangers will be able to track and identify Selous’ elephants, and respond in real-time when they are under threat. Satellite collaring is an established method of tracking wildlife and bolstering efforts to save species under threat, especially in such large areas… The majority of poaching of elephants is for ivory… In 40 years elephant numbers have plummeted from 110,000 to 15,200… Selous Game Reserve also hopes to boost the numbers of tourists. It’s a relatively underserved park compared to reserves in the north of the country… (11 April 2018)


Archiving material from nearly half a century of anthropological research on Mafia Island, Tanzania – Pat Caplan, Goldsmiths College London

I first went to Mafia Island as a Ph.D. student of social anthropology in 1965, and continued to visit it regularly for the next 45 years. During this time, I kept my own diaries and asked local people to keep diaries for me, filled many notebooks, made recordings, took photos, shot a film using a camcorder, and of course collected a great deal of secondary material, especially when in the country. In between visits I wrote and received many letters (later emails) and set up a website about Mafia in both Swahili and English (

My research covered kinship and descent, gender relations, health, food, relations between village and state, development and globalisa­tion, spirit possession and personal narratives/historical biography.

I used a wide variety of methods, including participant observation, interviewing, population surveys, and photography, recording and film. Although the focus of my work was the northern village of Kanga, I also lived and/or visited other parts of the island, including the villages of Bweni, Banja, Baleni, Chole Mjini and the district capital Kilindoni. Time was also spent in Dar es Salaam, including at the University, and in Zanzibar, as many Mafia migrants lived in these places.

Last year I decided to archive all of this material, and SOAS Library said they would be happy to take it. This meant a lot of sorting, labelling, weeding and finally listing everything in a way which would make sense for other users, including the archivists. This took quite a long time, but was an opportunity to-revisit, indeed re-live, some memorable times. In addition to the listings of folders and files, I also prepared a background document detailing the work done on each of my visits, and the publications which resulted.

The bulk of the collection was delivered just before Christmas 2017 and the last remnants of photos just after. The archivist with whom I had been working told me that it might be 2019 before the archive could be open to interested readers, as cataloguing takes a long time and there are of course never enough resources.

Archiving also raises ethical issues, as an archived document is placed in the public domain. For this reason, some files are embargoed for peri­ods of time to protect informants. Nonetheless, archives not only enable the viewing of historical documents but also of the attempts to make sense of information gathered and the creation of knowledge.

What is in the archive?
a. Field notes from research trips to Mafia Island and elsewhere in the coastal region: 1962, 1965-7, 1976, 1985, 1994, 2002, 2004, 2010.
b. Genealogies for 1965-7 Kanga village, Mafia Island
c. Notebooks for 1965-7, 1976, 2002, 2010
d. Sea charts of Mafia and Kilwa channels, showing Mafia Island
e. Photos
f. Copies of film (2003) Life on Mafia Island (English), Maisha ya Watu Kisiwani Mafia (Swahili)
g. Secondary and grey material about Mafia Island
h. Listing of field notes


by Ben Taylor

Esmond Martin with Abdulrazak Gurnah

When American conservationist Esmond Bradley Martin (1941-2018) was brutally murdered in his home in Lang’ata, Nairobi, on 4th February 2018, the world lost one of its most dedicated and fearless wildlife investigators, known for his meticulously researched reports on illegal trading in rhino horn and elephant ivory.

The East African coast also lost one of its best researchers. He began his career by writing about Malindi and the Lamu archipelago, before moving on to study the dhow trade. Cargoes of the East, written with his wife Chryssee, is now a classic, as is the keenly observed account of his research trips in the mid-1970s, Zanzibar: Tradition and Revolution, still one of the best introductions to the islands.

After an absence of 30 years, Martin returned to Zanzibar in 2006 to attend a conference on dhows and sailing in the Indian Ocean. With characteristic energy and enthusiasm, as well as looking up old friends and making new ones, he also found time to collect material for an article on the local trade in African civet skins.
He’ll be remembered most, though, for his undercover research into the global ivory and rhino horn trades. His tragic murder was widely covered in the international press, along with ample speculation on the reasons for it (a botched robbery? A contract killing?). The case remains unsolved.
Martin Walsh

Ophelia Mascarenhas

Born in Zanzibar, Ophelia Mascarenhas (1938-2017) completed her Cambridge School Certificate in 1953, was accepted at Makerere University College to read for an Honours Degree and graduated from University of London in 1962. She joined her husband Adolfo Mascarenhas at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she studied School Librarianship, awarded MLS (1965) and appointed as Librarian at the University of DSM in 1966. Later, Ophelia was the first woman in Tanzania to get a Fulbright Scholarship; and was selected to join a University of her choice, Clark University which had close con­nections to the University of Dar es Salaam. In 1986 she obtained a PhD in Geography.

Ophelia was a highly respected reference librarian, as well as a researcher/scholar on information and gender studies in her own right. She transformed the East Africana Collection to become the flagship for research and information in East and Central Africa and encouraged students, staff and other researchers to explore relevant information and not be stuck in their disciplinary bias.

Ophelia was promoted through ranks at the UDSM to become the first Tanzanian Professor of Library Studies. She served as Director of the UDSM Library from 1986 to 1991 where she significantly contributed to the improvement of library services in general. In 1995 in recognition of her hard work and dedication, she was declared the best UDSM worker from the University Library. She was not only an administrator but an innovator, pushing for the then new technology CD-ROM with a grant from Carnegie to help researchers and students, and also started an Environmental Data Bank with the support of DANIDA. Her services were widely sought and she served as an advisor to the Irish Embassy for their Development Work in Morogoro Region, advocating for self-reliance and participation. Ophelia was appointed by President Mwinyi to be the Chair of the Tanzania Library Services (TLS) and during her tenure TLS expanded beyond Dar es Salaam into every Region with the mandate that secondary school pupils be given full access. In 1996 she took a sabbatical and moved to Harare, as a Human Resource Director in the Centre for Southern Africa newly established by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Throughout her life, as a teacher in Zanzibar and later librarian/ researcher at UDSM, Ophelia fought all types of discrimination and infringement of the rights of workers, women, rights of people to infor­mation on resources, including land, and contributed to the advance­ment of women/gender studies. She and Marjorie Mbilinyi prepared
Women and Development in Tanzania: An Annotated Bibliography for UNECA (Addis Ababa, 1980), and a more detailed analysis of women’s resistances and struggles in 1983 with additional annotations, Women in Tanzania (Uppsala, Scandinavian Institute of African Studies). The Bibliography went through nine editions. As the value of her work gained ground beyond Tanzania there was no lack of support from international agencies (SIDA, NORAD, DANIDA, UNU, the Ford Foundation etc). Ophelia was also a resource person for numerous local institutions and an active participant in public fora organised by REPOA, Policy Forum, ESRF, Twaweza and TGNP Mtandao. Ophelia prepared Gender Profile of Tanzania: Enhancing Gender Equity for TGNP and SIDA in 2007 and the Gender Barometer for Tanzania (TGNP) in 2016.

After retirement, Ophelia became the Coordinator and researcher of a large four country study on ICTs in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. This was followed by a related study supported by DFID through the Tanzanian Commission of Science & Technology (COSTECH), The Economic Impact of Telecommunications on Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction in Tanzania which documented how ICT increased the gender and income gap between rich and poor. In her presentation at the Harvard Forum in 2009 she remarked that the use of mobiles had increased from to 25%, but warned that mobiles would siphon off money from the poor without support and training. She got the assistance of Airtel to train 100 micro small operators to keep accounts, use mobiles for ideas communication and markets. Following the launch in Dar es Salaam of ICT Pathways To Poverty Reduction, Ophelia was surrounded by girls from secondary and post-secondary schools, full of admiration, pride and hope that girls and women had an important contribution in bringing change.

Marjorie Mbilinyi in consultation with family members

Veteran free-thinking politician, Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru (1930­-2018), was both a patriarch and a rebel. Hi rebellious streak was at its most evident in his 2015 decision to join Edward Lowassa in defecting from CCM to Chadema, despite holding very different views from Lowassa (and Chadema) on economic matters. He stuck with this change after his preferred candidate lost the 2015 presidential elec­tion, even while many of the others who shifted party at the same time returned to the ruling party fold.

But Kingunge’s 2015 act of rebellion was certainly not his first. He was no stranger to controversy, and loved political and philosophical debate. In the 1970s, as serving government representative he refused to support a government motion in parliament. The government lost the motion and he was fired. He found himself in disagreement – sometimes pub­lic – with Mwl. Nyerere on numerous other occasions when his Marxist worldview meant he tried to push the party and country further to the left than Nyerere was willing to do. At a time when Nyerere was held in awe by many around him, when the accepted practice was to clap hands and nod approvingly at whatever the leader said, Kingunge would speak up and present an alternative view.

As a teenager in the mid-1950s, Kingunge joined the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and worked in various capacities including secretary-general of the party’s youth league. In the 1960s, he went for university education to Liberia and Senegal, and spent some time at the Sorbonne in France. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was the chief ideologue of TANU and CCM, having taught at the party’s ideological institute at Kivukoni, Dar es Salaam. He became a key interpreter of the party’s ideology of Socialism and Self-Reliance, and was among the key figures on the process of joining TANU and the Afro Shiraz Party (ASP) of Zanzibar to found Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in 1977. At vari­ous times he held ministerial posts, served as an MP and as Regional Commissioner in four different regions, and as secretary of the CCM National Executive Committee.

“His passing marks the end of an era,” said fellow political veteran, Jenerali Ulimwengu. “He is probably the last of the young people who joined the ranks of independence campaigners and stayed on to serve his party, and country. His was an age of the politics of conviction and commitment; he has checked out in the age of the politics of expediency and convenience.”

“Kigunge has contributed a lot for this nation,” said President Magufuli in a statement. “We will never forget what he did for this country. We will remember his good deeds and most specifically his fight for the interests of the nation, particularly in maintaining peace and unity,” he said.

Socialite, model and “video queen”, Agnes “Masogange” Gerald (1989-2017), was a regular on the front pages of Tanzania’s celebrity obsessed Udaku tabloid newspapers. She made her name as an actress in Tanzanian music videos, and indeed quite literally took her stage name after featuring in one such video by Belle 9, called “Masogange”.

In one sense, Masogange was a master of suggestion – hinting at affairs, pregnancies and more on her social media profiles. Editors loved it – this was exactly the kind of gossip and scandal that sold their papers. In another sense, she was far from subtle: a google search for her image shows a wide selection of photos drawing attention to one thing in particular – her curvaceous behind. This too sold papers. Her profile on Instagram, a photo-sharing social media platform read “I got ass, I’m beautiful, I know how to make money.”

She attracted headlines too for her alleged drug use. Two weeks prior to her death, she was sentenced to a fine of TSh 1.5m ($700) or a two-year jail term, having been found guilty of using heroin. She was among the first of the high-profile targets of the efforts of Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Paul Makonda, to clamp down on drug problems. This was not her first drug-related case: in 2013 she had been arrested at a South African airport in possession of suspicious chemicals.
Masogange died at the young age of 28, while receiving treatment for pneumonia at hospital in Dar es Salaam.


by Martin Walsh

TANZANIA’S INDUSTRIALIZATION JOURNEY, 2016-2056: FROM AN AGRARIAN TO A MODERN INDUSTRIALISED STATE IN 40 YEARS. Ali A. Mufuruki, Rahim Mawji, Gilman Kasiga and Moremi Marwa. Moran Publishers for CEO Roundtable of Tanzania, Nairobi, 2017. xx + 170 pp. (e-book). ISBN 978-9966-63-0124. Available online at https://ceo-roundtable.

This is the most original book about economic strategy in Tanzania for many years, but its deeper purpose is to give Tanzanians confidence that they can take control of their destinies and make their nation a better place, socially as well as economically. Its authors are three leading businessmen (two of whom trained as engineers, one an accountant) and a mathematician. It demonstrates how Tanzania might industrialise: a manifesto set out in simple, direct language, supported by well-produced tables, graphs and charts. But it also shows the self-belief, and the need for cultural revival and confidence to make this happen.

The authors draw on the conclusions of the Korean and Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang and Justin Lin, born in Taiwan, raised in the United States, Head of Economics at the World Bank, and now Professor of Economics at the University of Beijing. From Chang and their own experiences of the Asian tigers they have realised that comparative advantages can be changed by strategic investments engineered by a pro-active state. From Lin, and from their understanding of industrial strategy in Ethiopia, they have a vision of African states which can manufacture labour intensive items such as garments or leather goods as cheaply as anywhere else in the world, provided the supporting infrastructure is effective, including the ports and reliable electric power and water, and there are supplies of skilled and semi-skilled labour and engineers capable of maintaining the machinery. As they say on page 31, “In this scenario, globalisation is our ally”.

Their strategy is to use “strategic protectionism and an active industrial policy” (p. 7). They illustrate their arguments from Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, and even the motor industry in Uzbekistan, developed with Korean assistance to supply the Russian market. They propose to start with “light manufacturing”, including textiles and garments, footwear, electronics assembly, other consumer goods, and some of the steel, plastics and other intermediate goods which go into their manufacture. Many of these products will be for domestic markets, some exported to neighbouring African countries.

Their two key proposals for Tanzania are controversial but refreshing. In contrast to earlier proposals for developing garment manufacture which are largely based on increasing the value added of Tanzanian cotton to supply local and regional markets for clothing, theirs is to aim for a small portion of the US market for garments, to which Tanzania has tariff-free access, and to do so using a range of yarns and fabrics, most of them imported, and factories in export processing zones with reliable electricity and water supplies. Implicitly (though not stated as such in the book), if the cheapest way to clothe the Tanzanian population involves continuing to import mitumba, clothes donated to clothes banks in advanced countries, and therefore almost free other than the costs of transport, then so be it: the big prize is to be able to export almost limitless quantities of garments produced more cheaply than would be possible in China or Bangladesh.

Their second main proposal starts by recognising that gas and oil prices are not likely to rise substantially in the near future. Tanzania is not going to become a petrochemical state comparable with Nigeria or Angola. But the costs of generating power from the sun are falling rapidly, and Tanzania has plenty of sun, twelve-hour days, and no shortage of land that can be used for large solar power “farms”. The technologies to store this power during the dark hours of the night are also evolving rapidly. Different scales of solar power generation would mean that every village could be electrified, some just for lighting and the recharging of mobile phones and laptops, but many others with electricity for the operation of machines. Every Tanzanian would have 100-150 watts of solar power by 2025. The scale of the use of solar panels would make it possible to manufacture them in the country, and to export to regional and perhaps international markets. “Use of solar power will keep the environment safe. By embracing its benefits and crafting policies to encourage its use while making sure that extremely poor people are not left behind, Tanzania has the unique opportunity of becoming the world leader in the use of sustainable energy, environmental protection and growing its economy at fantastic rates” (p. 87). The proposals for developing light industries, and the coal deposits at Mchuchuma near Mbeya, and iron ore at nearby Liganga, to produce steel for the construction industry, for various light industry uses (and, presumably, for export to China), are less controversial.

There is a well written chapter on the needs to strengthen the education system, with more emphasis on the quality of the education not just the quantity, and on technical and manual skills. The chapter on finance argues for joint ventures with international companies, but with the state involved with key projects. The Tanzanian diaspora is mentioned as a possible source of finance for some projects. The final chapter, on “policy imperatives” argues for the very selective use of tax breaks and subsidies, “pioneer firms”, clusters of industries in geographically appropriate locations, special employment zones, and “experimental cities” – all with nods to China and Korea. Also for severe but sensitive regulation to coordinate investments from overseas and ensure that inappropriate behaviour is found out.

But for this reviewer the most interesting of the final chapters is on “national exceptionalism,” or developing Tanzanian culture. This includes Tanzanian national dress, local cuisine, preserving and studying the inherited local environment and its history (in which colonialism is but a passing phase), poetry, literature and art, and using the media to spread knowledge of history and national values. Ultimately, it is about “Embracing the African Identity” (p. 110), while getting Tanzanians “to feel psychologically empowered and personally invested, and to triple their efforts to drive the nation forward” (while also drawing inspiration from the rest of the world). Above all it means developing the Swahili language, with mass programmes of translation and the use of Swahili in all possible circumstances. This chapter goes far beyond a narrow technocratic tool box and bears comparison with the work of Walter Rodney. It is worth getting hold of this book for this alone.

Andrew Coulson
Andrew is the author of Tanzania: A Political Economy (second edition, 2013), and Chairman of the Britain-Tanzania Society.

TANZANIA: THE PATH TO PROSPERITY. Christopher S. Adam, Paul Collier and Benno Ndulu (editors). Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017. xxvi + 303 pp. (hardback). ISBN 978- 0-19-870481-2. £55.
This is the third volume in the ‘Africa: Policies for Prosperity Series’. The objective of the series is to provide information and analysis to assist informed debate on the challenges and choices that countries face. The contributors are international and domestic scholars who are required “to write with clarity avoiding economic jargon”.

This is very welcome: the contributions are serious studies that require some effort from the reader, but they will find that the effort is worthwhile and will be repaid with enhanced understanding. This volume has two opening chapters setting out the essentials of Tanzania’s economy and a brief history of economic and development policies since independence. Anyone working, or thinking of working, on any kind of development project in Tanzania will find that these chapters give an awareness of the national context in which they have to operate. There follow ten chapters on specific policy areas setting out both the problems and possible solutions. These may not be for the general reader but will be invaluable for those seeking up to date information on their special interest. They should be read by anyone who thinks that they have a new solution to a long-standing problem: they may find that it has been tried before.

The prefatory matter includes a five-page list of abbreviations that is itself almost worth the cost of the book. In the index, I found a reality check for old hands who might think they ‘know the country’: entries for sisal 2; for natural gas 18!

John Arnold
John was a (very junior) Administrative Officer in Tanganyika/Tanzania from 1959 to 1964. As a staff member of the Southampton University Department of Adult education he took four study tours to Tanzania between 1975 and 1990 to look at rural development. He edited Tanzanian Affairs for a short time in the 1980s.

FROM MILO AND SPECIAL TEA TO KALASHNIKOVS AND KIMPUMU: TEACHING ENGLISH IN BRUNEI AND TANZANIA. Paul Woods. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. iv + 182 pp. (paperback). ISBN 978-1542527880. £4.99.
The first thing my step-father did when he retired was write his memoirs; not for publishing, more for himself – to see whether he had it in him to write a compelling narrative, and to keep him busy when suddenly he had time on his hands. It was great for the rest of us in the family; we got to pore over old photographs, and re-live stories of days gone by. And we all enjoyed reading his manuscript when he was done. He gained confidence in his writing after that and went on to write a series of history books, in a retirement well spent. He self-published all of those subsequent books, thus fulfilling one of his life dreams: to see his words in print.

A bit like my step-father, Paul Woods has written his memoirs, presumably in his own retirement, and has also taken the self-publishing route with his intriguingly titled, From Milo and Special Tea to Kalashnikovs and Kimpumu. It tells the story of Woods’ time teaching English in the 1970s, first in Brunei, then later in Tanzania, in the days of Nyerere’s Education for Self-Reliance.

Whilst his time in Brunei is surely fascinating, it is his time in Tanzania that naturally attracts our attention more. Paul Woods arrived in Tanzania in 1977 and took up a post as a primary teacher trainer with the British Council, based in the Tabora College of National Education for two years, then with a further two-year stint at the Tukuyu College of National Education.

The book chronicles his day-to-day experiences, drawing on his old diary entries and letters. There are some interesting anecdotes and snippets of information in Woods’ text, which bring life to the little I knew about late 1970s Tanzania, and help build a picture of what it meant to be an expat in Tanzania in those days.

For example, Woods tells us that no driving was allowed from 2 pm on a Sunday until 6 am on a Monday, and no petrol was sold between Friday and Monday. He tells us about the constant food shortages in Tabora, even for basic supplies like cooking oil and sugar. He tells of the hunt for the one and only Chinese restaurant in Dar es Salaam. These tales and more paint a picture of a very different Tanzania from the one we know today.

But some things Woods describes still ring true. He writes of his ten-month struggle to get his imported car cleared at Dar port, and when it is, its spare wheel has been appropriated. He writes of the constant menace of robbery and thievery. Many expats will still tell you the same kind of woes today.

One anecdote which I found especially interesting was a short entry from April 1979, when Woods reports on the taking of Kampala by 5,000 Tanzanian troops and 3,000 Ugandan exiles who entered the Ugandan capital to overthrow Idi Amin. Around that same time, Woods was in Mwanza when a Libyan warplane, agitating for Amin, flew over and dropped five random bombs, four of which fell into Lake Victoria, but the fifth landed in Butimba. According to the Daily News at the time, one person suffered head and hand injuries, and six gazelles and several birds were killed at Saa Nane Island Animal Sanctuary. Well, I never knew that.

So, for Tanzaphiles like you and I, there are many interesting first-hand tidbits and insights into a country we love, from a generation gone by. And long live self-publishing, that’s what I say. For people like Paul Woods (and my step­father, of course), this has offered a route to get memories into print, fulfil lifelong dreams, and give us, the readers, access to stories and information that otherwise we would not have. I hope that there are other budding memoir writers out there, with stories to tell of lives led well in Tanzania of yore. I for one would like to read them.
Jimmy Innes

Jimmy lived in Tanzania for ten years in the period from 1998 to 2011 – in Zanzibar, Bukoba Rural District, Iringa, and latterly in Dar. He retains a strong affinity with the country and its people, speaks fluent Swahili, and visits at least once a year for work and/or pleasure. He is the Chief Executive of the NGO ADD International, which works for the rights and social inclusion of people living with disabilities in Africa and Asia.

TANGANYIKA TELLTALE. Arthur Loveridge (edited by John M. Loveridge). Brighton, 2015. 136 pp. (e-book). Available online at https://

Arthur Loveridge (1891-1980) was a British zoologist and curator of reptiles and amphibians at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology between 1924 and 1957. He was the world’s foremost authority on the herpetology of East Africa and published five books, some 230 articles, including 189 herpetological papers. He was part of four, year-long expeditions from Harvard University between 1924 and 1940 and discovered and named numerous species. Before this appointment, he was the first curator at the then new museum in Nairobi, Kenya, between 1914 and 1920, and was a mentor for the young Louis Leakey. In 1920, he took up a position as an Assistant Game Warden in the Tanganyika Game Department in Kilosa.

This book covers his time there between 1920 and 1924. It was written sometime around 1960, but has only now been published online by his great nephew, John, who characterises him thus: “Arthur Loveridge was extremely methodical, rigorous and organized in his work; all of his activities were carefully planned and executed” (p. 5)” This obsessive concern with order and neatness earned Loveridge the nickname “The Demon Curator” at Harvard.

The author was inspired by a friend who complained that he always wrote about animals but not people. Hence, this book is about the people that he worked with and encountered during his time in the Game Department. In reading the book it helps to know a little about Loveridge’s obsessive personality. It is therefore not surprising that he maintains a tone of understated disapproval of the disorganised and sometimes dishonest behaviour of government officers. Another theme that recurs is his disappointment that the promised building of a natural history museum by the Department never materialised. The reader will quickly realise that the book is based on excerpts from the author’s detailed diaries, sewn together with a couple of sentences here and there. The book is divided into 19 short chapters about a variety of themes. Unfortunately, their chronological order is not always clear, and the narrative tends to get bogged down in highly detailed descriptions of complex stories about everything from the logistics of the Game Department’s frequent safaris to the unreliability of the African staff. The book begins with Loveridge arriving in Kilosa, which “was then a tiny township with a rather sinister reputation for malaria, being but 1,600 feet above sea level. On arrival at the station I was informed that the Game Department was not in the town but in the hills a couple of miles away. They had taken over some derelict buildings, ex-army property, situated in an extensive rubber plantation known as the Otto (later Kilosa) Estate” (p. 9).

A central figure in the book is “Bwana Nyama”, the Chief Game Warden of Tanganyika, whose volatile and erratic personality is the object of understated irritation by Loveridge, whose own personality was the exact opposite. Loveridge remarks that “As Game Warden the good man was handicapped not merely by his own quixotic temperament – resulting in his galloping off full tilt in diverse directions at short notice – but partly by the failure of the ill-assorted staff that he assembled, or had thrust upon him, to collaborate” (p. 8). But his feelings were ambivalent because he also writes that he liked and respected him for his enthusiasm and drive. Although not mentioned by name, this Bwana Nyama was probably Charles Swynnerton, the first game warden of Tanganyika who was a noted naturalist and expert on tsetse flies. However, Loveridge does not at all emphasise this aspect of his chief; but rather paints the picture of an eccentric and somewhat lunatic person who was always travelling, collecting flies and plants, and chasing poachers.

Another important theme is the contradictory duties of the game wardens. They were simultaneously supposed to enforce strict conservation laws while also performing animal control duties and regulating the illegal and legal trade in skins. One of the duties frequently described was animal control. The game wardens had to shoot animals that threatened the farmers’ lives and crops. Thus, the author writes on 5 May 1921, “Today I added up the rewards we have paid out during the past six months for ‘vermin’; they include 65 lions, 80 leopards, 28 wild pigs, 140 crocodile eggs; all of which were brought in by the natives”

(p. 30). These are rather disconcerting tallies in today’s world. Loveridge describes in great detail the logistics of caravans, the smuggling activities of British officials, as well as the complex interactions with African staff and farmers. Several chapters are concerned with describing the frequent safaris that the Bwana Nyama and Loveridge organised. In one chapter, he describes a foot safari to Mwanza near Lake Victoria, a distance of nearly 1,000 kilometres.

Fundamentally, the book is a collection of detailed observations of daily life in the Game Department. The author gives very little context in the form of the colonial administration’s role in Tanganyika, or an understanding of the cultural and institutional frameworks in which the events takes place. To make sense of the accounts the reader needs some knowledge of Tanganyika’s colonial history. The real value of the book is the detailed vignettes of daily life in an early colonial government department that it provides.
N. Thomas Håkansson

Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Adjunct Full Professor in Anthropology at the University of Kentucky. He specialises in economic anthropology and political ecology and has conducted research on the history of intensive agriculture and political economy in Tanzania during the last 20 years. He has been interested in herpetology throughout his life and has observed and photographed reptiles and amphibians in many parts of Tanzania and Kenya.