Thursday, May 3, 2018

Au Revoir But Maybe Not Adieu

Hey there. It has been a tradition on this blog to do a yearly check-in every April to mark the anniversary of this blog and maybe talk about how it could be improved.

That last bit was always my favorite  because it was dismally and laughably optimistic. Like a new years resolution- meant to fail. It became a fun inside joke.

But this year I did not check in. And I apologise because that is also canon for this blog.

Here is the thing: I was and I still am exhausted. Exhausted in the true sense of the term. As in used up and burned out. I did a thing last year, a project. Just about killed my writing spirit. Worth it. But. There you go. I only have enough low battery left to try and keep breathing, so if you are looking for me find me at home at The East African. And sometimes hanging out with my new friend Al Jazeera.

Also my country, the love of which is the foundation on which this blog has been built, has been going through some shit. Which means that I have been stressed beyond belief.

It is not an excuse for having abandoned what was conceived as a ten year project. It is an explanation.

Tanzania has passed laws and regulations this year requiring bloggers to register and pay a punitive fee in order to keep offering their content. The flimsy excuse is taxation. The real reason is standard restriction of free speech. The Tanzanian blogosphere is too minute to generate anything worth taxing , but it has punched above its weight lately.

So it is with a clean heart that I announce the icing of the Mikocheni Report. Reader, you already knew it was coming.

I say icing because in truth I have no idea what these regulations actually mean and I need time to see. Also...ten years. I am going to take a break. Maybe new opportunities will come along. Maybe there will be an evolution. There is a lot of maybe right now. Maybe the blog is just...on ice?

What I really want to say is thank you. For reading. It is hard for me to explain how essential writing is in my life. do you explain bone marrow? Since I was a child the world has been rendered in terms of the word. Word is life.

I actually get paid to write these days, if you can believe it. I have days when I don't believe it either. It is like being paid to eat ice cream.

But never on the Mikocheni Report.

Free speech is a philosophy and a value that one can live in real terms, not just a lefty indulgence. It has never been a chore to write here, it has been an honor and a privilege and a therapy and a haven,a wonderful opportunity for community. I never could bring myself to sully that with filthy lucre.

So, my dears. It is May 2018. I have loved offering you missives. I have loved hearing your thoughts in the comments and in person and via emails. I have loved the occasional opportunity to host. I have lived and loved meeting you.

I am grateful for the chances you have given me to travel and talk to you both at home and abroad because of this little space. I am grateful for the chances you have given me to collaborate. To work. To hear about and pass on beauty and culture and love for Tanzania and beyond.

Thank you seems a bit flimsy to offer in return. But it is the best this limited English language can do. So thanks Google you evil corporation for providing free platforms for communication. Thank you readers for not giving up on the written word in an era of multimedia.

I am going to miss you horribly. Au revoir, but perhaps not Adieu.  Stay well.

A little birdie told me...

Follow MikocheniReport on Twitter