And I quote:
"I am very disappointed that I didn't see you or anyone else from the 'youth troop' at the Nyerere week fest at UDSM. You guys always talk about what's missing from Tanzanian discourse and here was an opportunity where there was the real deal in all its rawness..."
If you've ever doubted how interactive social media can get, you should try waking up to text messages like that one up there. To address the issue: where indeed were the young bloggers during Nyerere week? It's a damn shame there weren't more of us, I concur. I can only speak for myself here, and this is what I have to say about it:
Sorry, my bad. Timing was off. Every so often, I get a summons from somewhere: "Hey, there's this training/event/social media thingy and could you..." When the blog still qualified as a hobby, this was exhilarating. Freebies, networking, possibilities. Things have changed in the past month or two: a one-time source of creative pleasure has morphed into something that is pushing its way deeper and deeper into my life. It's basically taking on a life of its own and we're in negotiations about that.
Trouble is, I am fickle. Not by nature mind you, but this is new territory and I am still figuring out how to weigh my choices: which obligations laid against me must I honor? Which ones can I safely ignore? Should I just go full mercenary and charge for event coverage? Or half-mercenary and charge on more subjective criteria (perceived affluence of customer, annoyance tax, subsidies for youth, vegetarians, feminists and guitar-players).
Then there's the fact that it was Nyerere week. I'm having a bad break-up with my traditional Leftist leanings. Bad. And since I am in the process of defecting towards the Right, the last thing I need is to be guilted to death by a mob of Nyerere-ists. Besides which, my current interest is in the living politicians rather than those who have passed on. Yes, Mwalimu is important and he will always be. And I love a bit of Afro-nostalgia as much as the next patriot. But the man is stone-cold dead, and there's a couple of live ones I need to focus on now now. Heresy? Perhaps.
Tell you what- how about next year I promise to gird my loins and enter the lion's den? I'll come and fight clean and fair about pan-Africanism and it's discontents. I'll bring some fiery invective and denounce the current CCM for having "lost it's way." I won't even make fun of the Dashikis. Deal? Until then, here's a consolation prize: the always-excellent Jenerali Ulimwengu's ruminations on the relevance of Mwalimu in this day and age. You haven't lived, my friend, until you have been subjected to the word "hypothecated." Enjoy.