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.