by Ben Taylor

Joseph Moses Oleshangay – photo Mahsa Nejadfallah

Joseph Moses Oleshangay, a Tanzanian lawyer and activist campaigning for the rights of the Maasai people, has been awarded the 2023 Weimar Human Rights Prize. In accepting the award, he vowed to continue the fight, describing the award as a recognition for his work. Mr Oleshangay is an Arusha-based lawyer with the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), a leading human rights organisation in the country.

The Wiemar prize is awarded annually to people, groups or organisations committed to protecting and enforcing fundamental human rights worldwide. It is presented on December 10 yearly to coincide with the United Nations’ International Human Rights Day.

The prize recognises Mr Oleshangay’s fight to protect the fundamental rights of his Maasai people in Ngorongoro and Loliondo, where authorities have been trying to “relocate” them to other parts of the country.

Authorities say the human population in the areas has unprecedently shot up, putting both the lives of human beings and wildlife in jeopardy.
Despite calls for the government to stop its controversial exercise, the work has continued and the authorities are determined to “relocate” as many people as possible from Ngorongoro to designated areas of Msomera, Saunyi and Kitwai. Chief Government’s Spokesperson Mobhare Matinyi said in December that more houses are being constructed in the designated villages to receive more people expected to relocate from Ngorongoro.

“With all the challenges we have found ourselves in, I am still hopeful that though we do not know when this is going to end, I believe it’s going to crash one day,” said Oleshangay. “This repression will crash because it’s against the law, against human rights and known standards. It really defies logic in displacing thousands of people and replacing them with businesses like hotels.”

“It can’t be tolerated that 10,000 people get expelled from their lands,” said Michael Brand, a German politician who spoke at the award ceremony. He described Oleshangay as a “defender of human rights” with “impressive civility, experience and spirit.”


by Ben Taylor

Floods in Hanang

Deadly floods and landslides in Katesh
Early December 2023 saw extreme weather northern Tanzania that caused devastation in the small town of Katesh, in Hanang District, Manyara Region [see cover]. Heavy rains across the region had their worst impacts in Katesh and the nearby village of Gendabi, where a total 87 people were killed by floods and landslides. Around 100 more were injured, while homes, vehicles, livestock and agricultural land sustained extensive damage. An estimated 5,600 people have been left homeless.

Rescue efforts were coordinated by the government National Disaster Management Committee (NDMC) with the assistance of the military. Roads, bridges and communications infrastructure had also been badly damaged, hampering the work. A school in Katesh was used as an emergency refuge centre.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan cut short her attendance at the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai in order to visit the area. She described the disaster as “a wake-up call for the government to take the necessary measures to detect the signs and alert people in advance to avoid serious consequences like these.” She also expressed her dismay over people who continue to live in the flood prone lowlands and river valleys, especially in towns and cities.

President Hassan said new houses costing between TSh25 million to TSh30 million each would be constructed for the flood victims who lost their homes. “They will be resettled in entirely new areas and assisted to have their children back to school. These people lost everything including livestock and food stocks,” she said.

East Africa has been hit for weeks by torrential rains and floods linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon. Typically associated with rising temperatures, droughts in some parts of the world, and heavy rains in others, El Niño effects are expected to last until around April.

The disaster – and similar incidents elsewhere in East Africa – brought back memories of the rains and floods of 1997-1998, also an El Niño year, which left over 6,000 people dead across the region.

In this more recent case, the floods followed the worst drought in four decades. Scientists say extreme weather events such as flooding, storms, droughts and wildfires are being made longer, more intense and more frequent by human-induced climate change. (Al Jazeera, The Guardian, VoA, The Citizen)


by Ben Taylor

German President expresses shame over colonial atrocities
The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has expressed “shame” for the colonial atrocities his country inflicted on Tanzania.

German forces killed around 300,000 people during the Maji Maji rebellion in the early 1900s, one of the bloodiest anti-colonial uprisings.

“I would like to ask for forgiveness for what Germans did to your ancestors here,” he said, speaking at a museum in Songea. “What happened here is our shared history, the history of your ancestors and the history of our ancestors in Germany.”

President Steinmeier said he hoped the two countries could together work towards “communal processing” of the past. He promised those present that he would “take their stories with me to Germany, so that more people in my country will know about them.”

Professor Jürgen Zimmerer of the University of Hamburg said that Germany has, until recently, had “colonial amnesia” around the brutality and racism of their former empire.

As part of the three-day visit, the president met the descendants of one of the Maji Maji leaders, Chief Songea Mbano, who was among those executed in 1906. President Steinmeier told the family the German authorities would try to find his remains. Thousands of human remains were brought from German colonies – partly as “trophies” but also for racist research.

In a separate development, researchers in Berlin have successfully identified living relatives of people whose remains were stolen from Tanzania and taken to Germany for “scientific” experiments during the colonial era.

The Museum of Prehistory and Early History in Berlin has been carrying out research for several years on around 1,100 skulls taken from what was then known as German East Africa. In September the museum reported that DNA analysis had provided a clear link to living descendants in Tanzania, hailing the find as a “small miracle”.

“The relatives and the government of Tanzania will now be informed as soon as possible,” the museum said in a statement.


by Ben Taylor
In late 2022, the parliament of Tanzania enacted the Personal Data Protection Act – broadly an equivalent to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union and the UK Data Protection Act. The Act spells out the responsibilities for any organisation that handles personal data of private individuals in Tanzania and provides for the establishment of a Personal Data Protection Commission.

The law is yet to come into force, however, as it requires both Presidential assent and for the Minister of Information, Communication and Information Technology to publish notice in the official government gazette stating the date when the Act will take effect.

The new law means Tanzania joins her East Africa Community (EAC) peers, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, that already had Data Protection Acts in place. It will help the country participate in the global digital economy, as many countries have restrictions on doing business in jurisdictions that lack protections for data privacy.

Among other things, the law requires that all data processors and handlers must appoint a personal data protection officer, and outlines criminal sanctions and fines for those who breach the legislation.

The Personal Data Protection Commission established by the Act is tasked with registration of data collectors and processors, monitoring the compliance of data collectors and processors with the Act, handling complaints on the breach of data protection and the right to privacy, and researching and monitoring technological development in relation to data processing.

Any person or organisation that intends to collect or process data in Tanzania will need to be registered by the Commission. The Act also specifies that personal information may only be collected where necessary and for a legitimate purpose. To ensure accuracy of information, the Act places a duty on data collectors to take necessary steps to confirm that data collected is complete, correct and consistent with the purpose for which it was collected.

Disclosure of personal data without consent is punishable by a fine of up to TSh 5 billion (approx. USD $2.1m) for the institution responsible, and/or imprisonment for up to ten years for the individuals – including responsible officers within an institution.

The Act does not prohibit the transfer of personal data to jurisdictions outside the country, provided that such jurisdictions have a reliable legal system for the protection of personal data, and the transfer is necessary for a legitimate or public interest.

The Act also lays out the rights of individuals with respect to data held about them. This includes the right to be informed of data collection and processing as well as the purpose involved, the right to access the data collected and processed, the right to object the processing of personal data collected where such processing will lead to adverse impacts, the right to rectify personal data to ensure its accuracy, and the right not to be subject to automated decision making.

Stakeholders have given a cautious welcome to the new law. Maxence Melo, the founder of Jamii Forums, a popular Tanzanian online forum, said the law had been a long time coming, considering that the dream for the bill dates back to 2014. Melo added that it is important to foster data residency, meaning that personal data should be stored within the country, as a measure to ensure the data met regional and international data privacy standards.

However, others have expressed concerns that the law does not require the subjects of data security breaches to be notified, and that it imposes unnecessarily heavy restrictions on even small organisations handling small amounts of data about – for example – job applicants, beneficiaries of charitable work, or school students.


by Ben Taylor
Tanzanian citizen dies fighting in Ukraine
Nenes Tarimo, a Tanzanian citizen fighting for Russia in the Donbas region of Ukraine, has died at the age of 33. His family received official notification in December from the Tanzanian Embassy in Moscow.

According to family members, Tarimo had been serving a prison term for a drug related case. In return for a promise of his release from prison after six months of fighting in the battlefield, he was given the oppor­tunity to join the Wagner Group, variously described as a paramilitary organisation, private military contractors and Vladimir Putin’s de facto private army.

“He informed us that he was joining the war against Ukraine. We begged him not to join but he said you never know if I will get my free­dom so he joined, and the last time we contacted him was October 17 and he was no longer reachable,” a relative told The Citizen newspaper.

They say that Tarimo had originally travelled to Russia for postgraduate studies at the Russian Academy of Technology, MIREA.


by Ben Taylor
Rishi Sunak’s Tanzanian connections
The United Kingdom’s latest Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has roots in Tanzania. His maternal grandparents lived in Tanzania before moving to Britain in the 1960s, reportedly in response to post-independence rules that required non-citizens to either take citizenship or leave the country.

In his book, Going For Broke: The Rise of Rishi Sunak, published in 2020, Lord Michael Ashcroft described Sunak’s maternal grandmother, Sraksha, as someone with extraordinary courage and vision: “a remark­able woman who grew up in rural Africa and gambled everything she held dear to give her children a better life”.

Sraksha was born to Hindu Punjabi parents in Tanzania. She learned Swahili as a child and considered Africa her home, although her family retained close ties with India. At the age of 16, she entered an arranged marriage with Rishi’s grandfather, Raghubir Berry, a railway engineer from Punjab then working in Tanzania, according to the biography.

She persuaded her new husband to build a new life in Africa, and Raghubir found a job as a tax official in Tanzania, where they raised three children: Rishi’s mother, Usha, and her two younger brothers.

In 1966, Rishi’s grandmother sold all of her wedding jewellery and bought a one-way ticket to the UK, leaving her husband and three chil­dren behind in Tanzania in the hope that they would one day be able to join her. There were no family or friends to greet her, but Sraksha made her way to Leicester and rented a room as a paying guest of a distant acquaintance.

She found a job as a bookkeeper with an estate agent, where she started saving every penny, and a year later was finally able to pay for her husband and children, including Usha, then 15, to join her.

Usha went on to study pharmacology at Aston University, where she was introduced by mutual friends to Yashvir Sunak. Sunak was a medi­cal student who had recently graduated from Liverpool University and whose upper-middle-class Punjabi family had moved to Britain from Nairobi during his young adulthood.

When Sunak became Prime Minister, some citizens in Kenya and Tanzania, especially those of Indian descent were proud to see a man whose parents were born and raised in their territory take up the UK’s top political office. “It’s another Obama moment for us,” said one resi­dent of Kisumu, Kenya.

Patel Suri, a Tanzanian investor of Indian descent based in Dar es Salaam told Quartz online magazine, “Indians are smart people. You will find them playing the role of CEO in many big tech companies across the world. Rishi Sunak is no different. He is intelligent and the right choice for prime minister at this point of the country’s political and economic challenges.”


by Rolf D. Baldus

Stiegler in camp (Source: Günter Kraus / Rolf D. Baldus)

A Gorge in Africa’s oldest and largest protected Area
The Tanzanian Government is building a large hydroelectric dam at a place called “Stiegler’s Gorge” in Southern Tanzania, where the mighty Rufiji river thunders through a narrow 100m deep gorge and over several kilometres of rapids. To the north is the newly proclaimed Nyerere National Park, while to the south lies the famous Selous Game Reserve, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982 – a status that may be imperilled by the hydropower project. The man after whom the gorge was named – “Stiegler” – remained a mystery until recently.

Franz Stiegler goes to Africa
It was generally assumed that Stiegler had been a Swiss engineer who, at the beginning of the last century, examined the possibilities of constructing a bridge or a dam across the gorge and that he was killed by an elephant while hunting close to the gorge. Information from relatives of the man and some further research, however, has now shed light on this mysterious person and the events leading to his death.

Franz Stiegler was born in a village called Dießen on the Ammersee in Southern Germany around 1878. He became a civil engineer and emigrated to German East Africa in 1905 or in early 1906.

In 1905 the German colonial Government had started to construct the “Tanganyika Railway” (Central Line), which was to connect Dar es Salaam with Lake Tanganyika. Young Stiegler was employed as a surveyor starting in February 1907.

Map showing Franz Stiegler’s route in 1907/08 – Rolf D. Baldus

Later in that year he became the leader of the Rufiji Expedition. In July 1907 he camped at the Pangani Rapids on the Rufiji River – the place which now bears his name. On July 13th, 1907 he wrote in a card to his sister that a lion had attacked the camp and severely injured one of his African staff. Notwithstanding, he concludes: “It is a very nice trip.”

The expedition was to explore the river and the surrounding lands, conduct trigonometric and hydrological surveys, in particular take measurements of water flow and water levels. The colonial administration wanted to appraise the navigability of the Rufiji and the Kilombero (Ulanga) rivers. The viability of connecting Boma Ulanga (southern Kilombero Valley) by railway with the Central Line and with the lower Rufiji was another question.

On December 12th 1907 Stiegler camped at the Shuguli Falls, a very scenic spot where the Kilombero flows over a kilometre or so through a myriad of falls, ponds and ravines. He writes from there to his sister that he will continue from the falls up the Kilombero River to Boma Ulanga. Then he would unfortunately have to return to work on the railway again.

Stiegler was assisted by several local employees and at times by the German survey technician R. Pelz, who will later write in an obituary that Stiegler was “an example of a distinguished and fair-minded superior.”

Franz Stiegler came from a family of hunters, and he used the opportunities that the game-rich land offered, to hunt, not least to feed his party. He bought hunting licences, as his name can be found in the lists of licence-holders which were published every year in Official Gazette for German East Africa.

A deadly encounter with an elephant
On February 17, 1908, Stiegler camped 8 km away from Mberera Mountain. He was most probably on the way back to Morogoro. His local companions narrated later that he went hunting and wounded an elephant. The Deutsch Ostafrikanische Zeitung of April 11, 1908, gives this account: “The elephant … immediately attacked and flung a black man aside. Stiegler also jumped aside, but probably not fast enough, for he was seized by the elephant and hurled into the air. Death was instantaneous.” The body was taken to “Lugongeka’s village” the next morning and buried there. This village can be found on a German map of the time. From Shuguli it is 20 km up the Kilombero river on the south bank.

The place where Franz Stiegler met his fate is about 100 km direct distance south-west and upriver of the gorge which was later named after him.

The German and later the British colonial Governments continued to call the place Pangani Rapids. We find the term Stiegler’s Gorge first mentioned in the 1950´s. A tourist map of around 1970 uses the term too in connection with a lodge that seems to have existed on the high ground over the rapids. It remains a mystery who named the Gorge after Franz Stiegler and when.

The author wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Günter Kraus, a relative of Franz Stiegler, who provided indispensable information and to Mike Shand (University of Glasgow) for his assistance with the mapping.

Baldus, Rolf D. (Ed.): Wild Heart of Africa. The Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. Johannesburg 2009.
Baldus, Rolf D. (2021) The End of the Game, in: Sports Afield, No.1 and


Mr David Concar, the new High Commissioner (photo FCO)

A new British High Commissioner for the UK in Tanzania, Mr David Concar, took up his post in August.

Mr Concar previously served as Director of Protocol at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), as UK Ambassador in Mogadishu, Somalia between 2016 and 2019, and as the FCO head of international organisations department and commonwealth envoy between 2014 and 2016. He also worked as the FCO’s head of climate change and energy department between 2012 and 2014 and from 2006 to 2012 as the counsellor responsible for prosperity, climate change and energy, science and innovation in Beijing, China. Before joining the FCO he was a science journalist.

Mr Concar tweeted that he was “really excited to be returning to Africa, to start work with the UK’s wonderful team at the High Commission.” He replaces Sarah Cooke, who had served as UK High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam since 2016, during a time of sometimes strained relations between the diplomatic community and the government of Tanzania. Over this period, western diplomats in Tanzania have grown increasingly concerned about declining respect for democracy and the rule of law in the country, and have on occasion spoken out publicly with their criticism of the Tanzanian government.

Ms Cooke’s departure comes shortly after she attracted some controversy in Tanzania by meeting with opposition leader Zitto Kabwe of the ACT Wazalendo party. The Registrar of Political Parties wrote to Mr Kabwe demanding assurance that the meeting did not violate Section 6C(4) of the Political Parties Act, Cap 258. The Registrar’s office says the law prohibits non-citizens from holding meetings with leaders of Tanzanian political parties. ACT General Secretary Ado Shaibu responded by saying that “they held private talks, after all, he (Kabwe) is free to meet any person and talk about anything as provided under the country’s constitution.”


Network marketing in Tanzania turns billionaire dreams into night­mares · Global Voices

This story by GV Sub-Saharan Africa originally appeared on Global Voices on Jun 28, 2020 – see­tanzania-turns-billionaire-dreams-into-nightmares/

Everyone desires financial stability, but young people often want to quicken their path to a successful life — and this is exactly what network marketing companies promise.

Over the last five years in Tanzania, network marketing companies, also known as multi-level marketing, have mushroomed in the East African nation. These companies lure young people with “get-rich-quick” dreams that depend on person-to-person sales of products purchased upfront by the seller. Many schemes also rely on the seller’s aggressive recruitment of other independent sales associates.

While technically legal, their interactions with potential customers raise concerns about how these companies prey on vulnerable youth and their billionaire dreams.

“I can assure you, the products are very expensive, which do not reflect the lives of third-world communities,” Traves Msangule, a former network marketer in Dar es Salaam, told Global Voices by phone.

Msangule was a university student in 2013 when a close friend convinced him to join Forever Living Products, a health and wellness company, to help him make some extra money to pay for his studies. Msangule did not have a government loan to cover his school fees, so he agreed to join.

To get started, Msangule had to buy a package of products worth about $320 United States dollars that he then had to re-sell in the hopes of doubling his profit.

The gospel of network marketing schemes is that recruiting new customers will increase earnings — but this is no easy task.

“Take an example: If a toothpaste from the package is sold at $12 USD, while [in reality] there is a toothpaste sold at $1.20 USD, who is going to buy yours? Though the products are of high quality, it’s very difficult to compete,” Msangule said.

Network marketers promote smart, fake lifestyles to persuade people of their success, while in reality, very few people are “eating the cake” of network marketing.

Msangule explained his stressful ordeal in a Twitter thread: “So, when I climbed to that rank, I had to complete points (product sales) for myself and the team. There we were put on a mindset to “push up” in every way until it was understood not to give up. So, I had to start calling to borrow money that night. The deadline was midnight.”

Msangule told Global Voices: “These guys, first of all, are trained to discourage formal employment and small business [self-employment]. They will keep [asking] you: When will you get enough money? The only alternative is this part-time job, which deals with chatting with people, and you can earn millions in just a few weeks and you will be financially stable.”

Unfortunately, in 2017, Msangule had to postpone his studies for a year because this “chatting with people” business consumed his time. With over $750 invested in these products, he had to make sure to earn his profit. When he realized this was not going to happen, he quit.

Network marketing takes off in Tanzania
Network marketing companies that thrive in Tanzania, such as AIM Global, Forever Living Products, Oriflame, QNet, Avon and Edmark, are part of a $200 billion USD global industry as of 2015.

In 2017, QNet, one of the largest direct-selling companies in the world based in Hong Kong, expanded its operations in East Africa, with an agency office in Dar es Salaam, the cultural capital of Tanzania. Thousands of Tanzanian citizens “have registered to market and promote QNet online products…” according to BusinessForHome, an industry website.
AIM Global, based in the Philippines, took hold in Tanzania in 2019 and just celebrated its one-year anniversary with over 4,000 independent distributors.

Many of the companies say they offer extensive professional training, coaching and education to ensure success, including conferences and reward point systems for top sellers.

Top-selling products in Tanzania include health and wellness products, household goods and luxury products.

Naivety, greed, peer pressure
On June 21, the famous actor and comedian, Idriss Sultan, took to Twitter with a video explaining the ills of network marketing in Tanzania, detailing how these companies exploit young people toiling hard with “sweat and blood” to improve their lives.

He opens with the phrase, “Good morning future billionaire, good morning business partner!” a famous network marketing line:

“This video I’ve done in one [single] take and I haven’t cut any part out. It will educate everyone and to those who may get offended by it, fine then, I have no issue, but to say: ‘Let the citizens who earn their money by their sweat benefit from the fruits of their money and not you and your children.’”

Without naming a specific company, Sultan says the mushrooming of the network marketing model in Tanzania – with their various colourful, flashy names – is a threat to young peoples’ lives.

Youth often fail to resist these ploys because they have respect for those who pressure them to join. These companies also use famous people to promote their brands who wield a lot of influence and power.

Sultan said in his video: “…Young people are working very hard, their money is a result of very, very hard work, so it is unacceptable to allow someone from nowhere to come with this system that exploits people.”

Other netizens wrote about their own experience with network marketing: “Certain women’s groups in Dar, — they were my friends — and they bothered me a lot to join these businesses, but I did not agree to join quickly, meaning, I was not able to understand what were they doing exactly? I was afraid to invest my money and also, I calculated what they really earned…”

A lack of information and a thirst for shortcuts can be a dangerous mix for young people who hustle and work hard to improve their lives in Tanzania, where the average monthly income is about $150-$215 USD. A 2017 study by Theobald Francis Kipilimba on the effect of pyramid schemes on the economy in Tanzania revealed:

“…most Tanzanians are very naïve when it comes to pyramid schemes, with very scant knowledge about these schemes. Many do not know if they have participated in these schemes but in those instances that they had, they suffered huge financial losses. …”

“As to the reasons as to why they participated in these schemes in the first place range from pure naivety, personal greed and peer pressure.”
The Tanzanian government has allotted 10% of total revenue toward interest-free loans for youth, women and people with disabilities but these groups remain vulnerable to predatory promises posed by network marketing companies.


Mangi Meli – Photo courtesy of Deutsche Fotothek

Traces of Chief Mangi Meli of the Chagga community in Old Moshi can still be found in songs, stories and archives. But his head is missing. As chief for a little under a decade, Mangi Meli fought the German colonial occupation of territory in Kilimanjaro. He was executed for his resistance on March 2, 1900, by hanging in a public square.

His head was then cut off and said to have been shipped to Berlin, Germany at the request of the Ethnological Museum’s Head of Africa and Oceania department Felix von Luschan. Von Luschan collected thousands of skulls from all over the world for scientific testing based on Rassenlehre – racial ideology.

For the past 50 years, Isaria Meli has been campaigning through the Meli Foundation, appealing to the Tanzanian and German governments to seek the return of his grandfather’s skull.

His efforts have finally paid off – in part. Chief Mangi Meli’s story has been brought to the attention of the German government through an exhibition in Berlin. This was centred around a video installation titled Mangi Meli Remains – an innovative short film animation in Kiswahili, German and English on the life, times and death of the chief, his links with other chiefs in the resistance to German colonial rule and the events leading to his death.

After the exhibition closed in Berlin, it moved temporarily to Dar es Salaam before reaching its permanent home in Old Moshi, where it opened in March 2019 at the Old Courthouse.

Along with the video, the exhibition includes documents and photographs of the Chagga people and chief Mangi Meli taken in the late 1800s to the early 1900s by colonial German army officers, and never previously displayed in Tanzania.

The exhibition is the work of German national Konradin Kunze and the Tanzanian Sarita Mamseri. Mamseri is a heritage educator with a Masters in History of Art & Archaeology, while Kunze, a German national, is a theatre producer with Flinn Works.

Mangi Meli (centre) with two Chagga officials – photo courtesy of Deutsche Fotothek

The idea for the exhibition started when Kunze started researching German colonial history in Tanzania. “When I first came to Tanzania eight years ago, I was shocked to learn about my country’s colonial history. I didn’t learn it in school back in Germany, which would have been the proper way, I think. We maybe had just about one hour of it because ‘Germany had some colonies but it was for a short period.’’’

“The objective of this project is definitely to educate the public. This story should not be forgotten and on the other hand, it is giving back to the community by permanently install something in Old Moshi, although it is not the chief’s skull, which we’re still trying to find. However, at least we can bring back the information that I have gathered back in Germany,” Kunze added.

Kunze thinks the photographs he found, as well the archived material in Germany (such as, should be readily available in Tanzania since it is a crucial part of the country’s history too.

Mamseri concurs, saying, “The atrocities, tragedies and theft, looting, and acquisition of personal items of significance and of human remains cannot be undone or indeed forgotten when still so much is to be acknowledged and then repatriated. It also continues to amaze me how much of Tanzania’s history can be found in foreign collections, both private and state. It just reinforces my opinion that efforts to counterbalance the role of colonial archives and collections in Europeans’ understanding of Africa must be readdressed through the collecting and presenting “It is clear that the Europeans saw us as savages and were trying to prove that we aren’t real human beings,” said Cloud Chatanda, an illustrator who worked on the project. “Mangi Meli’s father, Mangi Rindi sent his best soldiers to meet the Kaiser in Berlin and gave his two best soldiers ivory, minerals and leather to present to the Kaiser and in return asked for a few weapons. The Kaiser sent the soldiers back with a music box and a sewing machine.”

Currently, Germany holds over 5,000 skulls of its former colonial subjects, including 200 from Tanzania. Among the skulls, six were as being from Moshi, dating back to the time of Mangi Meli’s death. Some of them have the inscription Dschagga/Wadschagga.

Mangi Meli Remains is a collaborative project between Flinn Works (Germany), BSS Projects (Tanzania/UK), Old Moshi Cultural Tourism, ArtEver (Tanzania) supported by the Ethnological Museum Berlin and the Humboldt University Berlin. It was funded by the Goethe-Institut Tanzania, the Berlin Senate Department of Culture and Between Bridges (non-profit exhibition space organised by Wolfgang Tillmans).