Monday, September 28, 2009

Silent Death of a Nation

pichani: John Mashaka (Kulia) na Nyota wa sinema Tanzania Steven Kanumba (Kushoto) hivi karibuni. Picha kutoka Michuzi Blog



By John Mashaka

While many nations are progressing towards positive economic and social changes, Tanzania is scampering towards self destruction. The stealthy negative drift of our country towards social-economic catastrophe, is rather worrying due to the very fact that, Tanzania’s demise is being orchestrated by Tanzanians themselves who are rapidly replacing the culture of hard work with the get rich quick mythology, accompanied by endless lavish and unsustainable lifestyles, on top of irresponsibility on the part of country’s leadership

Many people within our nation have been caught up in the middle of unorthodox lifestyles, which are impelling millions of us, to focus more on how to strike quick monetary deals, than being creative enough to think of sustainable life, many years after today. It is sad that many of our people have been swamped in this wave of unrealistic lifestyles, which has replaced discipline and hard work, with ”starehe”; and this is worrying.

While transiting from Mara region through Kenya, back to Dar es Salaam, I had a few minutes to process necessary paperwork needed to cross (drive through) the border. In the process, I was compelled to make a few phone calls, and had no sufficient credit, and had to purchase additional credit from a nearby shop cum-bar, and restaurant prior to my departure, and my experience was rather pessimistic, and sad indeed to say the least; all I saw was a silent death of our nation
At nine in the morning, men, women and teenagers, strong enough to work were in, for a full blown party. In a simple language, the bar was full of people, and tables within, were full beer bottles. It was party time; staggering men and women who were evidently unable to hold their balance took to the floor, forcibly trying to keep up with the rhythm of the Congolese music “Bolingo”, which controlled the tempo.

A day after arriving in Dar es Salaam, I had another trip to Morogoro with a group of volunteers. I was supposed to be picked up at a very popular spot, and on that day if I was to be a customer at this city spot, I would have been the first customer. A few minutes before ten in the morning, a small car pulled up with two young men, who were in their either mid twenties or early thirties. Less than ten minutes later, another vehicle pulled up with two more young men along with a lady, and both sat on the same table. They were well kept, and neatly dressed, with some of them holding expensive mobile phones.

No sooner did they take their seats than they were served with beer, and within no time, scary and heated soccer talk- fanaticism- ensued as some obviously were for the Manchester United, while the rest were Liverpool diehard fans. I was surprised when one of them identified me by name, even though we had never met before, and offered me a drink. I, however, Politely declined the offer, not only because I don’t use alcohol, but mainly because of the time –it was too early- These were young people, strong enough to be doing all kind of work to push the economic wheel, yet were emptying beer bottles, and ready to fight for European football teams. I was embarrassed and astonished

I was given an example of a young man in the neighborhood that is living large; driving some of the latest automobiles, yet has never owned a business or received employment check. I was simply told that, “Hayo ndo maisha ya dili mjini”. Coming from an environment in which seventeen hours of work a day is a routine, I could not believe or understand this culture in which young and able persons prefer idleness, and partying than working, and still drive Range Rovers. I decided to carry research to be certain before concluding otherwise. I visited the so called elite hanging spots, and my findings were not different from my previous ones.

High RANKING government officials goes to bars days in a row; I found many STK vehicles, Ministers Land Cruisers with their official’s numbers on them. Three days in a row, and simply said, no wonder we are so poor, A culture of shame. I wonder what in the world they tell their boss, Mr. President when they fail to deliver, more so their electorate when their many promises turns to be hot air? Don’t misquote me, nothing wrong with partying, however, should be done with moderation

Even though I left Tanzania in my late teenage years, my many years in foreign land never exposed me to such a culture, I have never witnessed anything of that nature, and can never jump into making conclusions, I am however, letting you the reader decide how a nation such a Tanzania can prosper, when her people are living to party instead of living to work. When her leaders and high ranking officials’ penchant for their own ambitions and interests supersede the country’s well being?

I was made to understand that the culture of deals is deeply entrenched not only in the streets, but also in major public organs, in which a handful or a few persons are truly committed to their work. Many have nothing more than brainstorming how to push bogus deals -payment claims- or simply get their customary 10% than defend the country. These poseur and obsequious officials are nothing but miniatures of EPA criminals, dragging the country into her death bed.
Tanzanians are pushing their country into total destruction.
Professionals entrusted with the power to protect the public, are the very people dishing licenses to businessmen and women setting up bars and nightclubs in residential areas without observing the guidelines and city buildings codes. A hall in Segerea CCM- Chama- is a typical example of the bars that plays music almost 14 hours a day in the middle of a residential area. Not only are they causing noise pollution, they are making it extremely tough for school children spending many hours scrambling to get home, particularly difficult to study, and the government is simply to powerless to act.

I cannot be persuaded to believe that, city of Dar es Salaam has no ordinances that prohibit times in which alcohol can be sold to the public. Neither can I believe that, there are no regulatory authorities that can enforce the ordinances that prohibit sound disturbance in residential areas. These are problems in poor areas of the city and not the likes of Masaki and Hoyster-bay where the elite bask.

In a country where a minister, can attend a bar, days in a row, go to sleep, get up the next day attend state duties with hangover. Believe me or not, such a man has nothing new for the country. All he has is time to sign anything that comes in front of him without looking in details the contents of that document, and that is why our country is getting poor and poorer, because there is no time to scrutinize shady contracts.
There is never going to be any economic progress as long as our top bottom leadership approach to finding our social, political and economic solutions lies in the hands of the people with more time to party and attend Ms. Tanzania pageantry than following up with the law enforcers on who kill Albinos. A culture of shame!

I wonder how logical and responsible people can describe a situation within a nation, in which young people are driving around without working. Top leaders are partying every day, young kids cannot study because they are exposed to bars with dirty language and uncontrolled music around the clock? And Laws established to protect the people are simply irrelevant to the poor majority, but too strong to protect the mighty and the powerful;

I see a negative progression, stealthy and fast demise of a nation. Our nation’s economic future outlook is grim, social and moral pillars are in shambles. Tanzanians who love their country must be realistic with these shameful social vices.
We must work swiftly, rapidly, and collectively to condemn these acts of social perversion in order to resuscitate life into our nation from her slow and stealthy economic, social and moral death. If we can’t be sacrificial and courageous enough to stand up to these vices tearing our country apart, by condemning them; instead spending our time discussing people’s personalities, and fighting individual’s progress, then we are in for a long night of affliction

Mungu Ibariki Tanzania John Mashaka


Anonymous said...

Thank you John Mashaka for speaking the truth! It is a shame what people do in Tanzania especially those in position of authority!

Anonymous said...

Nawe Da Chemi unavyompenda Kanumba! Unataka kuwa sugar mama wake nini?

Anonymous said...

Duh sijui hapo lugha gani ilikuwa inatumika manake Mashaka kiswahili yuko kushoto na Mzee Kanumba English yake ya ugoko,ze mimi is closing ramazan and open ze night.Hapo kazi haswaaaaa!

Anonymous said...

mh sasa those in position of authority mnawaonea,almost kila mtu ni mpenda starehe Bongo.Hao vijana anawazungumzia mashaka ni authority? mi nadhani ni wanafunzi labda wa sua au mzumbe.Bongo raha kwa kwenda mbele mtu ana hela ya kula lakini anataka akae baa anywe.aka

Anonymous said...

I like John Mashaka's school of thought!

Kaka Trio said...

Mashaka is nothing but a poet, that is who he is! He has nothing new to tell us, we all know what is going on in Tanzania, we want solution not Rhyme, certainly not poems,not ngonjera, not hadithi, none of that. We want practical solutions, we do not want any one to tell us they sow some one drinking during the day of the week between 7am and ryamba.

Giving homeless people or orphans a box of bar soap or a kilo of sugar is not a solution as a matter of fact it's a cheap photo op. So Mr. Mashaka my simple advice to you is take sometime and come up with practical solutions for Tanzania's problems, please do not exirt all of your energy on writing what every one already know on blog za jamii.