Swahili Blogosphere: Madonna, power rationing, and illiterate thieves

Chemi Che Mponda sums up her feelings about critics of Madonna's adoption of a Malawian baby, David Banda:

David Banda kazaliwa katika umaskini, lakini leo anaishi katika utajiri. Na lazima kuna watu wanamwonea wivu!

David Banda was born poor and became rich overnight. Some people must be jealous of him.

Little David has been in Madonna's family home in England since mid October. His adoption has sparked a debate about poverty, orphans and adoption in Africa. Human rights groups in Malawi are still protesting the legality of the process that paved the way for David's adoption and vowing to have the court order reversed.

Writing about the same issue, Simon Kitururu asks: Was it a publicity stunt? Is adoption to a wealthy entertainer better than living in an orphanage? What about David's ties to his family and culture?:

…tunavyodai watoto wa kiafrika wanapochukuliwa kwenda nchi za magharibi wanapoteza Uafrika wao, je ni nini kinachotunza Uafrika wamtoto wa kiafrika Afrika kitamaduni sasa hivi? Kwa maana ni ukweli asilimia kubwa za mambo yanayozidi kumzunguka mtoto wa kiafrika Afrika yanamizinguo ya kimagharibi. Yaonyeshwayo kwenye televisheni ya asilimia kubwa ni ya kimagharibi. Shule zetu zinashinikiza elimu ya kimagharibi. Dini zetu ndio hizo zakutoka nje.

…when we claim that African orphans who are raised in the West end up losing their identity, what is there in Africa to preserve their Africanness? African children are surrounded by Western culture: tv content, education system, religion.

He thinks that David Banda's adoption has brought attention to the plight of orphans in Africa. However, he challenges critics to stop complaining and do something about orphans in Africa. He finishes by asking:

Hivi unahisi Michael Jackson angetaka kuadapti mtoto angeadapti kutoka wapi?

If Michael Jackson were to adopt a baby, where do you think the baby would come from?

The electricity crisis in Tanzania is not over yet, despite the arrival of two generators in Dar Es Salaam recently. A crippling power crisis in the country has forced Tanzania to resort to severe power rationing. The two generators are said to be nothing but unserviceable old aircraft engines!

Charahani decries the Tanzanian government's tendency to contracting incompetent companies to run crucial national projects. The most recent example, he writes, is Richmond Development Company, which has admitted to not having sufficient funds to deliver two emergency generators to Tanzania.

Ninasema hivi kwa uchungu kwa sababu ya matukio kadhaa yaliyowahi kutokea huko nyuma, lakini kubwa likiwa ni hili lililotokea hivi karibuni la kuwapo kampuni ‘hewa’ iliyokaribishwa ili kutukodisha majenereta ya kusaidia kuboresha hali ya uzalishaji umeme.

I am saying this with deep sadness, because this is not the first time that a bogus company has been contracted by our government to solve energy crisis.

Another Swahili blogger and a popular columnist in Tanzania, Maggid Mjengwa, likens Tanzanian corrupt and incompetent leaders to illiterate thieves. Mjengwa tells a story of three illiterate messengers who stole some of the bananas that they were sent to deliver, not knowing that the letter they had to deliver along with the bananas mentions the amount of bananas. They were shocked to find out that they owner knew that a bunch was missing. Thinking that the letter must have eyes, when they were sent the second time, they decided to cover the letter with soil hoping it will not see them stealing!

He concludes:

Hata katika nchi zetu hizi, mahusiano kati ya baadhi ya waliokabidhiwa dhamana na wale wanaowaongoza yanafanana sana na kisa hiki.

Even in our countries, the relationship between leaders and their people is similar to the story of three illiterate thieves.

Jikomboe reminds African bloggers about the proposed African Bloggers Conference 2007. He wants them to join the google group and use the wiki for planning.

Funguajicho links to a column in a Ugandan paper, the New Vision, naming the former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa, as one of potential winners for a new prize to be given to a retired African head of state.

1 comment

  • luihamu

    Mimi ni mwanablogu kutoka Tanzania na nimejiunga nanyi ile tujadiliane kuhusu mkutano huu.Ningependa tushirikiane kwa pamija ili tufanikishe mkutano huu.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.