Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Have you seen my country?

I choose to open this entreat with a little tweak on the opening line of one of Thabo Mbeki’s most heart-rending speeches: “I am a Tanzanian”. This sense of glorified patriotism is common with every citizen of every country who has been taught to love the artificial creation of the nation state. However what does this statement really mean and how accurately does it represent our true sentiments and purpose in this so-called country?

In a globalized world distance decreases, that is certain, but what are the other characteristics of a truly global community? Does the concept of a globalized world demand the collectivization of culture? Does it force all people to unite in a single unified front barren of opposition? Or does it force as is the case in the present an adoption of a single ideal and repudiation of all others, which are innately who we are? Does it mean that we all must have congruent thought and live in a stagnant society? More bluntly, is globalization deindividuation?

The concept of globalization as it is practiced in its current form tends to conjure the world created in Orwell’s potent novel “1984”. The ideology we are forced to accept and the limitations that are put upon or inner conscious reminds me of the fictional “thought police”. The jargon that is regurgitated in every faction of civil society today; development, economic viability, sustainability, reform, etc; seem to very closely resemble the bland lexis of “Newspeak”. Is globalization really just an excuse to police our every move, thought, belief and ideal? Is globalization just a euphemism for “Big Brother”?

Personally I would not go as far to claim that globalization is the incarnation of a large policing watchdog body whose very aim is to destroy the concept of personal freedom. I will say however that globalization is not globalization at all. There is no way that the world can create this oneness within itself without the individual constituents first understanding their own identities. There is no need for this synecdoche of nations when in reality the unity we claim is just soothsay. It has not actually been achieved.

The arbitrariness of our country’s conception is an easy scapegoat for our lack of cohesive nationalism. It is easy to blame and even demonize the participants in the ridiculous event tagged “The Berlin Conference of 1884”. As atrocious or successful as those acts may have been, it is still quite amusing to think of the group of ignorant white men scrambling for a piece of Africa. It is not as amusing however, when the same Africans welcome the same group to scramble for the same land today. It may have been slightly satisfying if the invitations were given out of self-importance and arrogance but unfortunately they are just calls of desperation. From ‘structural reform’ to IMF demands to liberalization and privatization our country is losing the very essence of what it is. Many would be fine with that if it only referred to cultural heritage and national tradition, however to those whose live revolve around the sacred dollar sign, the theft is not only cultural and psychological but simply theft in every form of the word, including of wealth.

When one is asked to describe the fundamental tenets of Tanzanian culture, it is hard to find one area that has been spared incessant commercialization and exploitation for financial gains. It is funny how one can walk down the narrow alley-ways of Zanzibar Stone Town and find stall after stall of curio vendors trying to hawk off Makonde tribal carvings as elements of Zanzibari culture. This ridiculous prostitution of our cultural heritage is not limited to carvings; it applies to TingaTinga, traditional music, herbs, spices, and anything else vaguely resembling artistic or cultural representation of Tanzania. It embarrasses me to think of the ignorant tourist that will leave this country even more ignorant than he came. And yet we wonder why we are not understood.

Is our concept of who we are fading? Is there a reason why we have this obsession with being accepted by the west? If we were to diagnose our nation’s attitude as if it were a patient, any moderately competent practitioner would illuminate our acute lack of self-esteem. In psychological terms, our self image does not correlate with our self-portrayal. I used to think that it was a conscious choice to cut off all ties with our past traditions, that it was intentional to create a new era in our newly independent nation. However, recently I have been blessed with startling clarity and realized that it is not just our past that we are trying to escape, but we are also sabotaging our future.

Tanzania’s cultural and economic path is defined by a select elite. A group of individuals whose agendas are to sustain this ethos of confusion within the larger population. Our country is run by a minority whose decisions are determined by their own best interests. What is their interest? Simply put; wealth and power. How is this perpetuated? Again equally simple; poverty and ignorance.

Like all developing countries, the drift between the rich and the poor in this country is overwhelmingly large. The rich are slowly floating away from the larger population in their luxury liners filled with European books and American dollars, while the poor are stranded to drown in a sea of confusion and contend with issues of identity and cynicism of the future. Its funny how words that should have positive connotations are now feared by the masses; development is a monster, liberalization its secret weapon.

The institutions and infrastructure in Tanzania are selective venues. Their management reserves rights of admission, oddly, most of us are rarely admitted. What is it that we’re lacking? Why is our presence not allowed? Truthfully it is as much our fault then anyone else. We are passive or afraid. We are either victims of an era in which questioning citizens will be persecuted, or we are just not bothered. I personally blame the latter, because even a dog at least cries when kicked, needless to say bites. We just lay back and take the kicks.

We are a nation that has been dumbed down; we have been degraded and derogated, our minds have been affronted. Our leaders and icons have chosen, the rich and wealthy have chosen, the minority has chosen, but I have not chosen. Let us stop this vicious decay of society’s fabric. We must substantiate our past and validate our existence. We must shout in the face of control and say “we are not only Tanzanians, we are Tanzania”. We must use our voices to proclaim that our culture is not something to be ashamed of, that we all are educated.

Let us stop and speak. Let us be proud, not ashamed. Let us take back our identities, and put our destiny back into all our hands.

I choose to close this entreat with nothing but honest devotion. “I am a Tanzanian”.

Hafiz M Juma


lapa said...

I would like to go and visit your Country.

Have you ever gone to Portugal?

Celular said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Celular, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

Anonymous said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

Noreen said...

Good for people to know.

Anonymous said...

i truthfully love your own posting way, very interesting,
don't give up as well as keep writing due to the fact it just simply worth to read it.
looking forward to view additional of your current posts, cheers :)

Anonymous said...

how are you ?, quality website
just how to create blog posts that smash in all:

Anonymous said...

I am reading this article second time today, you have to be more careful with content leakers. If I will fount it again I will send you a link

Anonymous said...

I every time used to read paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of
internet so from now I am using net for articles, thanks to web.
My web-site van nelle

Anonymous said...

Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
Is it tough to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I'm thinking about creating my own
but I'm not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? With thanks
Also visit my blog - drum tobacco review

Anonymous said...

Just desire to say your article is as astounding.
The clarity in your post is just great and i can assume you're an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.
Also visit my web blog - natural acne cure

Anonymous said...

Very shоrtly this web page will be famous amid all blogging and
site-building useгѕ, due to it's fastidious content
Look into my web-site loans for bad credit

Anonymous said...

Ӏ visіtеd vагіous blogs but the
audіο quality fοr audio ѕongs existing at this ωеb ρаge іs аctually mаrvelous.
Feel free to surf my web site : loans for bad credit

Anonymous said...

Your style is unique in comparison to other people I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you've got the
opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.
my webpage -

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

I'm planning to start my own site soon but I'm a little lost on everything.

Would you advise starting with a free platform like Wordpress or
go for a paid option? There are so many choices out
there that I'm totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Thanks a lot!
My web site > how to prevent acne marks

Anonymous said...

Hello, Neat post. There's an issue together with your web site in internet explorer, would test this? IE still is the market leader and a large section of people will omit your great writing due to this problem.

my web page

Anonymous said...

Hello there, I found your web site via Google while
looking for a related matter, your web site came up, it seems to be good.
I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

Hello there, just changed into aware of your blog thru Google, and found that it is truly informative.
I'm gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate in case you proceed this in future. Numerous other folks will probably be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

Here is my page - easy way to quit smoking

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for
you? Plz answer back as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. many thanks

Feel free to surf to my blog post -

Anonymous said...

I was excited to discover this website. I need to to thank you for
ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely savored every bit of
it and i also have you saved as a favorite to check out new information in your web site.

Feel free to surf to my site ...
My web page > travel deals

Anonymous said...

Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; many of us have developed some nice practices and we are looking to exchange techniques with others, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

Also visit my web blog featured products
my page:

Anonymous said...

I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

Here is my webpage ...

Anonymous said...

Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon
it ;) I am going to return yet again since I bookmarked it.
Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be
rich and continue to help others.

Here is my homepage ... therapy quit smoking

Anonymous said...

Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue on the topic of this piece of
writing here at this website, I have read
all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

Here is my homepage: insurance Business
my website - insurance traditional

Anonymous said...

Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it ;) I am going
to return once again since i have bookmarked it.

Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to
guide other people.

my page; Seeold.Com
Also see my page - coq10 benefits

Anonymous said...

My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web page and thought
I should check things out. I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

Feel free to surf to my web blog ::

Anonymous said...

I thіnk the admin оf this site is аctually working hard in ѕupport of his site,
since here every material is qualitу based stuff.

My web site; payday loan
Also see my web page > payday loan

Anonymous said...

Wow! Finally I got a website from where I be able to genuinely get helpful data
regarding my study and knowledge.

Also visit my page gourmet coffee beans

Anonymous said...

I simply could not leаve your websitе priоr to suggesting that Ι really lovеd the standard infοrmatiоn an individual supply for
your visitors? Is goіng to be agaіn ѕteadily to investigate cгosѕ-сhеck new posts

Feel free to visit my website short term loans bad credit -

Anonymous said...

Νice reѕponse in return of this queгy with гeal arguments and telling
the whole thing regarding that.

Revіew mу ωeblog Instant Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

I rarely leave comments, but i did some searching and wound up here "Have you seen my country?".

And I do have a few questions for you if you do not mind.
Is it only me or does it appear like a few of the responses look like
written by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are
posting at other places, I would like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post.
Could you list of the complete urls of all your social pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

Review my web-site Clicking Here

Anonymous said...

hello there and thanks on your information ? I hаve сertainly
ρicked uρ anything new from гight
herе. І ԁid on the othеr hand expertіse sеνеral techniсal рoints using this site, sinсe I expеrienced to rеload the site
lotѕ of timеs preѵious to I may ϳuѕt get it to lοаd coггectly.
I havе been pondering if your web hosting is OK?
Now not thаt I'm complaining, however sluggish loading cases occasions will often impact your placement in google and could harm your quality rating if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I am including this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Make sure you replace this once more very soon..

My page - Same Day Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

Gooԁ гesponse in return of thіs matter with fіrm
argumеnts anԁ telling еνеrуthing about that.

Here іs my ωeb pagе: diamondlinks review

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told used to be a entertainment account it.
Look advanced to more introduced agreeable from you! By the
way, how can we keep up a correspondence?

Here is my blog: