Kiswahili Blogosphere This Week


Cows, human beings and camels – Indian Ocean, Tanzania by Michuzi

Official records in Tanzania and elsewhere state that in 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Did it really happen? Where is the original document of the Articles of the Union? Mwandani asks. Recently, 10 Zanzibaris went to court seeking the Articles of the Union from the Zanzibar Attorney General, Idd Pandu Hassan. To the shock of many Tanzanians, the Attorney General, in a counter-affidavit, said that he does not have the Articles of the Union. Neither does he know who has them.

Picking up on the Union controversy, Kasri la Mwanazuo has decided to publish a play on his blog, Safari ya Mashua, about the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. This is the first time a Kiswahili blogger is publishing a play. Poems and short stories are very common.

Does the new statute in Dodoma of the first President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Nyerere, look like him? Asks Miruko, a journalist based in Dodoma, Tanzania. One of his readers thinks that the statute, which was made in South Korea, looks like Kim II Sung!

Another Kenyan blogger, Dollars4U, has joined Mawazo na Mawaidha, who has hitherto been the only Kiswahili blogger in the ever expanding Kenyan blogosphere. However, Dollars4U, unlike Mawazo na Mawaidha, is a bilingual blogger. He writes both in English and in Kiswahili. Recently, he posted a short documentary featuring East African renowned scholars, Alamin Mazrui, Prof. Ali Mazrui, and Ngugi wa Thing’o talking about the significance of African languages.

The 7th International Language and Development Conference took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last October. Mwandani supports the argument made at the conference that education in European languages depresses school achievement in Sub Saharan Africa.

While Kiswahili bloggers consider their use of Kiswahili as a means to decolonize cyberspace, Father Privatus Karugendo, a Roman Catholic priest in Tanzania, writes a feature article in Pambazuko challenging Kiswahili bloggers to first “decolonize” the language itself from Arabic influence.

The Internet is crucial for survival of African languages, notes Mwandani after reading this article. Has the Internet helped Kiswahili to reach its defining moment? (thanks Mawazo and Mawaidha for the link)

Dira Yangu writes about a recent statement by the Tanzanian President, Benjamin Mkapa, attacking the western media.

Nyembo calls the the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni a “King.” Museveni has officially decided to run for re-election following the constitutional amendment earlier this year, which allowed him to run for the third term. Nyembo calls him a “King.” Other former African Presidents such as Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Frederick Chiluba of Zambia tried unsuccessfully to ammend their constitutions to run for the third term. Museveni's main challenger, Dr. Kiiza Besigye, has been detained and charged with treason and rape. He returned to Uganda from exile last October.

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