Kiswahili blogosphere this week

Mwandani reports about the Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index (2005). While Tanzania comes 75th, African countries such as Benin, Namibia, Mauritius, and Mali are ahead of the US (44th), which fell more than 20 places this year.

Who are the Waswahilis? Does one become a Swahili by birth, geography, or by mastering the language? Trying to answer this question, Mwandani tells us, is a new Swahili institute in Mombasa, Kenya. The Research Institute of Swahili Studies in Eastern Africa is a joint venture between the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the National Museum of Kenya

Damija announces the results of Zanzibar presidential election where the ruling party’s candidate, Amani Abeid Karume, was re-elected. As it happened in the 2000 election, the main opposition party, the Civic United Front (CUF), has refused to recognize the new government citing election irregularities. CUF presidential candidate, Seif Hamad, has promised to carry out Ukraine-style public protests.

Miruko, reflecting on the election results, says that despite losing the race, CUF has shown to be a major political force in Zanzibar and that their fight to ensure free and fair election has reduced the level of election irregularities.

Martha does not understand why the Union general election in Tanzania has been postponed. The general election, which had been scheduled for October 30 has been postponed to December 14 following the death of Chadema vice presidential candidate Jumbe Rajabu Jumbe on October 26. She wonders what will happen if another candidate passes away. She informs us that The presidential candidate for Tanzania Labour Party is very sick.

Gaphiz, who is good at finding interesting websites, points his readers to a new website, Tanzania Government Notice Board, which is set to ensure that the government operates in an environment of transparency and accountability.

Harakati has sparked an intense debate about whether music by young people in Tanzania, commonly known as “Bongo Flava,” will ever be accepted globally. His main argument was that unless these young artists stop copying from American musicians, they will never succeed outside of Tanzania and neighboring countries. Commenting on his post, one reader from Finland explains why he thinks “Bongo Flava” is not goof music. He writes: There are three main pillars of music: rhythm, melody, and harmony (and sometimes lyrics). Bongo Flava is built only on rhythm and lyrics. And the rhythms are poorly created on keyboards…

I hope some of the artists in Tanzania will join in the conversation.


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