Ujamaa, a Swahili word meaning familyhood, was a political concept introduced by the once president of Tanzania, Julius Neyerere; an ideology inspired by the Israeli kibbutz. Continue reading Ujamaa
Masai women. Photo courtesy: gailhampshire from Cradley — Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes things of beauty aren’t what they appear. Take high heel shoes for example. They look great, but consider what they do to women’s backs as well as knees over the years.
This is how I classify Masai necklaces. They are eye catchers. The bright colours highlight African women’s glowing skin and there’s an allusion that the neck appears longer. Continue reading Masai Marvel
Photo courtesy: Moongateclimber — Wikimedia Commons
I was never a big fan of museums. I’ve woven my way through artifacts and paintings in most continents and only been excited by a few displays. Continue reading Dar es Salaam’s Vibrant Village Museum
Photo courtesy: Obsidian Soul — Wikimedia Commons
One of the luxuries of Tanzania was the variety of fruits seasonally available. I remember a mangosteen vendor, squatting on a corner with her big kipapu filled with the fresh aroma of the juicy fruit plucked from the tree. Continue reading Mangosteen Magic
Photo courtesy: Gary Rodgers — Wikimedia Commons
I walked home along a quiet Dar es Salaam street. Although it was about two a.m., the sound of grasshoppers filled the air. Around every streetlight were teams of green grasshoppers, their wings fluttering as if their lives depended on the buttery glow. Continue reading A Dar es Salaam Grasshopper Invasion
Photo courtesy: Fanny Scherzte — Wikimedia Commons
Khanga sounds like a children’s version of cricket played in Australia, kanga cricket, but I’m referring to fabric. Continue reading Tanzanian Khanga
Photo courtesy: twitter.com/aswalli
There was something stately about Mosque Street’s jamatkhana: the Islamic lattice-work on the lower balconies; the rhythm of the arches; and the clock tower overlooking the street. Continue reading The Majestic Mosque Street’s Wonder
Mafia Island Beach. Photo courtesy: Gill Penney — Wikimedia Commons
Once I flew from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island to visit my father-in-law’s coconut plantation. Continue reading Have you ever smelled the cashew nut fruit?
Photo courtesy: mwanasimba — Wikimedia Commons
Askari monument, in the middle of a roundabout in Dar es Salaam, was a statue I passed every day on the way to the General Post Office. In the days before the Internet, I traipsed by the statue, but couldn’t make a connection between this askari, who looked more like a soldier poised to attack, than the watchman who guarded our property at night. Continue reading Dar es Salaam’s Watchman
Photo courtesy: Idobi — Wikimedia Commons
I was annoyed when I arrived in Zanzibar and was given a three-day visa. In the end it was a blessing because I felt the ghosts of slaves hovering over the island during my brief visit.