Hello! Sorry about the silence, total inspiration collapse in the past few days. I have a sneak preview for you, as a peace offering. Well, it is only kind of a sneak preview since I reheated some leftovers for The East African in an effort not to blow my deadline. Barely squeaked through. But since I did cross-post between the two platforms, here's a bit of what's coming for budget week:
"Every year during the pre-budget frenzy, the conversation is usually being held far above the civilian’s head. Civil society watchdogs want the government to do this or that particular thing, the donors suspect that something fishy is going on but are prevented by the rules of international relations from saying so directly, and the government is busy performing a very delicate and graceful balancing act to keep everybody happy- especially itself. The Tanzania Revenue Authority is the only institution that cares quite directly about the taxpayer, and that is the one institution that nobody wants anywhere near them."
The idea originally was to do a riff on the famous "death and taxes" statement and then somehow stuff other subjects into the article- donors and their role in our governance structures, what does it mean when civilians are treated as recipients and not really seen as healthy contributors to the national project, civil society's watchdogging, individual agency, and the fact that nobody willingly pays public officials- especially when you know that your government is corrupt...
But, you know, it's only 800 words. I had to get a grip on reality.
Truth be told, I find blogging much easier that columning. Blogging is relaxed, like throwing on a favorite pair of jeans and a crisp white t-shirt. Writing a column, on the other hand, is like constantly panicking about your business formal attire. This week, I caved in and reworked an old blogpost idea for the column, which I suppose is like wearing the white t-shirt under your jacket and pairing sneakers with your pinstripes. I'm sure it'll happen again, when the deadline is breathing down my neck. So that explains the title of the post: this is how a blogger can get away with feeding her column reheated leftovers.
Technically speaking, it is not exactly a cheat. People do it all the time- recycle the same content across various outlets. It has it's uses, but in principle I'm not a fan since I am obsessed by the idea of Original Content. One of the writers whom I admire tremendously offers OC across a mind-boggling number of platforms. And if I ever grow up, I want to be just like that.