Recently, sudents at the University of Dar-Es-Salaam held public demonstrations to protest against their colleagues who were dropped from the Higher Learning Students Loan Board (HLSB) list of beneficiaries, delayed disbursement of their loans, and the poor state of key social amenities at the university.
Charahani is of the opinion that the new system of granting loans to higher learning students is discriminatory, therefore favoring the rich.
The story gets even bitter. While tuition keeps increasing, the government keeps reducing the amount of loan and therefore creating a huge financial burden to students, most of whom come from peasant and working class families.
Mjengwa views the new higher education loans system as a betrayal to the ideals that Tanzanians have held for the past forty-five years when access to education was a national priority. He cites a popular nationalistic song the protesting students were singing, “Kama si Juhudi Zako Nyerere” (Were it not for your efforts, Nyerere), to remind those in power of Nyerere's vision of education for all. The song pays tribute to the efforts of the first President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Nyerere, in building a nation based on his humanist vision of justice and equality, particularly for the poor.
He argues that if it were not for government's help, those in power today would not have entered college:
Today, those who were young people in the 1970s are holding important positions in the government. Most of the members of parliament and ministers including the current President, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, have college education. Although most of them are children of poor workers and peasants, it was because of efforts by Mwalimu Nyerere and the government at the time, that they were able to receive education.
I have a dream that one day Tanzanians will be able to receive education regardless of their family or financial background.
Dar es Salaam-based popular photoblogger, Muhidin Issa Michuzi, writes in English and Swahili about the violent murders of two Tanzanian students – Walter Mazula (28) and Vonetha Nkya (27) in Detroit , Michigan. He also posts their photo.
Reporting from New York about the incident, Michuzi writes: “Tanzania's Ambassador to Washington, Mr Andrew Mhando Daraja, confirming the reports here last night named the deceased as the late Walter Mazula and Vonetha Nkya. Mr Daraja said the two met their violent deaths in the East side of Detroit late Saturday afternoon.
Ndesanjo Macha reminds those who did not listen to Ted Turner's interview with Reuters (UN: Will they listen?) to read Rebecca's piece.
Swahili bloggers’ works are not immune from copyright infringement. Ndesanjo writes about a recent incident involving a food blog, MiRecipe, and a news and entertainment website in Tanzania, Dar Hotwire. Dar Hotwire published content (text and photos) from MiRecipe without her permission.
He discusses copyright laws, media ethics, the Berne Convention and emphasizes the need to respect bloggers’ works.
It is illegal and unethical to use literary works without permission even if those works are in a blog. It is possible that there is a general assumption that copyright laws and media ethics do not apply to blogs. This assumption might lead some to believe that bloggers’ works such as photos, poems, stories, and feature articles can be used by anyone without seeking permission or giving credit. We will not allow this to happen.
A Boston based Swahili blogger, Chemi Che Mponda writes about a Tanzanian model and author, Tausi Likokola. Tausi has modelled for famous brands like Gucci and Christian Dior. Chemi reckons that Tausi will be a positive role model for many young Tanzanian girl:
Apart from modelling, Tausi has been helping AIDS victims through her non-profit, Tausi AIDS Fund, which she started after many of her relatives and friends got infected.
Tausi plans on bringing together people and resources to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.