Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"Law and order men like Martians went to meet em,
Sprayed em with smelly liquid perfume, which also itched,
Fired smoke in their eyes so they could not see
Left couple of tires burning and run for their lives
poor boys and gals
To take shower and remove the perfume
Wash their eyes so they could see clear where to go
And then we heard the word chakachua
What? Again? But how can that be?
Same way they did for petrol, they said.
So let us jazz it up again!
All together now,
A one and two chakachua
A three and four chakachua
In the west chakachua
And in the east chakachua
In the south chakachua
And in the north chakachua
In the morning, chakachua
In the night, chakachua
Left and right, chakachua
You want to vote, chakachua
You got your money, chakachua
‘n good roads, chakachua
‘n Health centres, chakachua
‘n this time, chakachua
‘n next time, chakachua
In the church ,chakachua
In the mosque, chakachua
In the school, chakachua
All together, chakachua
Ali Mselem, chakachua
Ali mselem, chakachua
That's just the final part of this creative piece that runs through contemporary Tanzanian politics with power, agency and freedom as it's central themes. Who is the passionate young man behind the chant? Walter Bgoya. Want more? You're about to get more.
There is a Book Slam coming maybe-anytime-now to a yet-to-be-decided location near you, so watch this space. And please do ask Shurufu for more information, especially if you would like to participate and have a few pieces you want to share as well. And if you came to Sarah Markes' Street Level exhibition launch or visited anytime after, you rock. Support your local artists. The Street Level exhibition closes this Friday.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
"There are a few things Obama would be told if he had spoken to any president in Africa. He would have been told that first, he should have transported about two million Africans to vote for the Democrats (and worried about their refusal to return home after the vote later). That is what we do, we transport voters across constituency lines.
Secondly, as president of the world’s richest country (although its fortunes are in decline) he would have been told to break into the Federal Reserve, get all the dollars there, and buy votes. If there were no dollars, he would have been advised to print the money. What is a president for, if he can’t print money?
Thirdly, we didn’t hear any news that he transferred the officials in the Federal Electoral Commission, and appointed a Kenyan cousin to the job. Incredible. How can you go into an election without your man in charge of the electoral commission? (Maybe this a Kenyan problem, because I see President Kibaki is also now confused, and appointed some Somali, not a Kikuyu from Nyeri, to head the electoral commission. And we were told he stopped drinking. I think the Baks is sipping something strong under the covers, and it is messing his head)."
Friday, November 5, 2010
What a fantastic election to have experienced as a first-time voter. So rarely is the practice of Afro-optimism validated as in this, my beloved land. We watched, we weighed, we voted and waited. We were tense, we were young, we were challenging the status quo in the most peaceful manner we knew how. It wasn't always easy to keep our social contract- our angry youth lost patience in the cities, opportunists made hay while the sun was shining and even the normally invisible branches of the state security machinery felt the need to expose themselves in the light of day to quell anxieties. Neighboring states anticipated a little shadenfreude, some African politics 'experts' trotted out unimaginative comparative analysis. It was a close thing. But we've come through.
Hey, Tanzania: we've come through. We are, we can be, we should be the example of a finely integrated, self-aware, internally coherent, progressive, democracy-seeking, negotiated, complex African polity.
A few things:
1. I got this wrong and I must eat my share of crow. I admit: the Fourth Estate surprised me. And not even from the quarter I expected. Broadcast came into it's own in this election. Radio, sure. But let's talk television. Every single station brought their a-game. Some revamped their look, some launched their teams of new anchors, some even braved the English-language medium. But Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation took the cake. Thank you Tido, and Tido's team. What a beautiful thing you did.
2. Zanzibar. Zanzibar. Zanzibar.
3. There are a lot of hot young things on the political scene to watch. We will hold you to account.
Social media Tanzania na marafiki zetu majirani: bonge la collabo. High Ten. Mikocheni Reporter over and out.