Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If You Dish It, You Better Know How to Take It.

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.


  1. You didn't go? So what! No need for excuses.

  2. "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."

    Hmmm... this should be interesting. How far Right are we talking exactly? David Cameron or Margaret Thatcher? (Some might throw Tony Blair in there, and I won't even bring up W. - surely things could never get to that point?)

    Actually I just realized I couldn't even figure out who is on the Right in the Tanzanian context ... I guess in TZ anyone who isn't explicitly on the Left is by default a person of the Right.

  3. @SwahiliStreet: True that, my man. But I do believe in responding to queries, however untimely I might be about it. Still, I getcha and I concur. Motion passed.
    @Mugizi: there's a blogpost a-coming about that whole mess. More Cameron than Thatcher. Did GW even have an ideology? Can he spell ideology? Heh, just kidding. ahem. The Right in Tanzania is represented by Chadema which has formal ties to the Conservative Party in the UK. No, no, I do not jest.

  4. You forgot the rest of the quote "if there was a review in the New York Times about it I'm sure you would have gone running, linking and all"

  5. @hj: "But you are black!" said the kettle to the pot... Actually, that was a deliberate omission on my part because its not relevant to me. I can't speak for the others, but this blog is concerned with a very local niche- I don't even like the idea of political integration in the EAC! So no, not much NYT on these pages. There are only two non-TZ rags that I would pimp my soul to, and both are firmly African.

    That said, if I ever get that call from Vanity Fair, all bets are off.

  6. Has any Chadema pol ever hugged a hoodie?

  7. Never a dull moment on TMR comments section.

  8. @Steve: okay, I admit you lost me. Do you mean, has any Chadema politician ever hugged a hoodrat, right? In which case I would have to say: yes. It's not like Chadema is old money, some of them look hoodie to me if you know what I'm sayin... (dude. they own a nightclub. does it get any more gang-star?)
    @Anonymous: high five!


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