Monday, December 12, 2011

Tanzania at 50: Confessions of a Couch Sweet Potato

There was a call for the Dar es Salaam Bloggers' Circle and TZ blogosphere to put up a post on the celebrations of Tanganyika's 50th Independence day which I fully intended to answer. But I spent most of the weekend on the couch at home napping to recover from the first summer cold of the season, watching the independence celebration on TV or reading other people's work. It was glorious. For the rest of the year I plan on basking in the afterglow of the climactic long weekend. TZ50+ will be recurring as a theme often enough in the coming years.

Here's some of the good read I have gleaned off my Twitter stream, and the Circle:

1. Shurufu's piece on nationalism and identity at this point in our history is thoughtful, if ambivalent at the end. Which is not a bad reflection of the state in which many of us youthful Tanzanians find ourselves.

2. Less emotive perhaps, Ahmed offers this piece in VijanaFM which ends on more of a challenge for Tanzanians to think and act.

3. The Creatively Maladjusted's piece on social media in TZ was a very nice bit of of journalism indeed. Food for thought if you're a socmed practitioner in this market.

4. Swahili Street with his finger on the political pulse manages to ground a very serious topic in a lucid way: the growing frustration of the young majority. It might be brief, but it is the best bit of thinking I have read about this to date, and definitely worth more commentary from social scientists.

5. Some great fact-based perspective from Daraja about the water supply in Tanzania, and what 'development' actually means in this sector.

6. And finally this interview with Seko Tingitana who produced and directed the excellently executed Mkwawa documentary.

And for dessert, some nice pieces from outside TZ:

1. Although they hid it in the middle of their article on the growth of African prosperity, I did find the Economist's pseudo-apology: "Since The Economist regrettably labelled Africa “the hopeless continent” a decade ago, a profound change has taken hold." What was that? Sorry, I didn't quite catch it... could you PRINT THAT BIGGER? Okay, thanks.

2. Last but not least, I really enjoyed Charles' article about African gender roles and contemporary masculinity. It'll put a smile on your face.

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