Friday, 30 July 2010

Zanzibar votes to install unity government

Zanzibar, Tanzania - Tanzania's politically volatile Zanzibar island votes in a referendum Saturday to install a power-sharing government aimed at ending the archipelago's persistent election unrest.

The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM - Revolutionary party) and the main opposition Civic United Front (CUF) are backing the deal and have called on voters to endorse it.

A new form of government would see Zanzibar have a president with two deputies. The first vice president would be from the party which comes second in the polls and the second from the winning party.

Ministers are to be allocated on a proportional basis.

If passed, Zanzibar's constitution will then be amended to pave the way for a unity government in readiness for general elections on October 31.

"Vote 'yes' in the referendum so that we remain united. We need to work together and heal hatred caused by unnecessary political conflicts after every general election," Zanzibar President Amani Karume told a gathering this week.

"Zanzibaris should not allow a return to division," CUF leader Seif Sharif Hamad told AFP.

"We need to build our country which has been ruined by the prolonged conflicts. I hope that the majority people of Zanzibar will vote 'yes'."

A positive outcome of the July 31 referendum will propel Zanzibar to the league of African governments to have negotiated power-sharing accords in the aftermath of disputed elections.

It will however be set apart from Kenya and Zimbabwe by making the deal a constitutional provision ahead of its next elections.

The Indian Ocean archipelago comprises three islands of Unguja, Pemba and Mafia. Mafia is however administered by mainland Tanzania.

Zanzibar declared independence on January 12, 1964 after a bloody revolution that ended several centuries of rule by Arab sultans.

Three months later, it merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania, but maintained a semi-autonomous government with its own president, constitution, flag and national anthem.

Rivalry between the CCM and CUF has been bitter and at times bloody since the re-introduction of multi-party politics in 1992.

The CCM has won all subsequent elections in 1995, 2000 and 2005, sparking protests by the opposition, which repeatedly charged that results were rigged in favour of the ruling party.

At least 30 people were killed in January 2001 during clashes between police and supporters of CUF in Zanzibar and Pemba. Dozens of Pemba residents fled to Kenya.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete deplored the perennial enmity between the Zanzibar parties, which he said had also divided the society.

"People of the same island and even clan stopped talking to each other," he recently told parliament.

"CCM or CUF members failed to turn out at funerals of relatives who belonged to a different party. This is too bad. I am pleased that things are now changing for the better."

Some 400,000 voters have been registered to take part in Saturday's referendum, whose results are to be announced two days later. Observers from the European Union and the US will monitor the exercise.

Zanzibar, an idyllic travel destination with palm fringed beaches and historic sites, is home to around 1.2 million people.


Wednesday, 28 July 2010

FFU kupereka mzuka wa dansi FRANKFURT !

Bend maarufu ya mziki wa dansi barani ulaya "The Ngoma Africa Band" aka FFU
wanatarajiwa kutua kwa nguvu zote !katika onyesho kubwa la Afrika & Karibik Festival,
litakalofanyika katika Viwanja vya Robestock Park, Frankfurt,Ujerumani siku ya Jumamosi
07-08-2010 maelfu ya washabiki wa mziki nchini ujerumani wanaisubiri bendi hiyo kwa hamu kubwa...
kutokana na mdundo wake unaochezeka.

Habari zinatonya kuwa bendi hiyo pia itatingisha jukwaa katika onyesho lingine kubwa
la Festival mjini keiserslautern,Ujerumani siku ya Jumapili 8-08-2010 ambako katika kila
hali washabiki wapo tayari kwenda sambamba na gwaride la FFU wa Ngoma Africa band.
usikose kujipa raha mwenyewe kwa kuwasikiliza hapa

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Maduka kadhaa yateketea kwa Moto - Darajani

Maduka kadhaa katika mtaa wa Darajani yameteketea kwa moto. Habari zaidi na picha tembelea hapa

Monday, 26 July 2010

Tom & Jenny in Tanzania. Sasa kinapatikana Dar es Salaam

Kwa habari zaidi wasiliana na BASELINE AFRICA

Hamad Masauni aibukia Kikwajuni...

Baada ya kulazimika kujiuzulu Uenyekiti wa Umoja wa Vijana(CCM) kutokana na kashfa ya kughushi umri wake, Hamad Masauni amechukua fomu ya kugombea ubunge katika jimbo la Kikwajuni...

Swali la kizushi, katika fomu hiyo atajaza umri gani?

Zaidi kama inayosomeka hapa

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Wapanda Baiskeli Wasaidia Mradi wa Hospitali Makunduchi

Dr Jon Rees, of Brockway Medical Centre in Nailsea, travelled to Zanzibar in June to take part in a bike ride around the tropical island, off the coast of Tanzania, East Africa.

The 38-year-old GP was among a 40-strong group on the sponsored cycle ride for the Makunduchi Project which in total raised a staggering £80,000.

The aim of the trip was to raise funds for a maternity services in a rural area which currently has almost no medical care for mothers during delivery.

Maternal mortality rates are currently 170 times higher than in the UK, with one in 180 mothers dying in childbirth.

Jon said: “The trip was a great success – the local bikes were slightly crude and you were very lucky to have working brakes or gears, the roads were rough, and the temperature high.

“Cycling between 60 – 80kms per day proved a great challenge, but was highly enjoyable also – it was the first time Zanzibar had seen a bike trip of this scale, so the reception in the villages was noisy to say the least.”

The fundraising will allow the Makunduchi hospital to begin maternity services later this year and hopefully lead to significant reductions in maternal and infant mortality, added Jon.

He said: “I had never done anything like this before but I enjoyed the challenge.”

The ride took etween seven-10 days along a route close to the equator.

Jon who is married to Seema, a GP in Portishead, said: “Although there is a sense of paradise on the Indian Ocean Spice Island with its white sandy beaches and coral reef lagoon the average life expectancy is 47 years

“One in 180 women die during delivery of their child and one in six children die under the age of seven with the majority dying when aged less than two years.”

Jon took his one-year-old son Krishan out a lot of the back of his bike is helping with his training.

The doctor, who also has seven-year-old twins Kamran and Jaya, also cycled back and forth from his Bristol home as part of his training.

He said: “My training regime was to cycle into work from Bristol and back is approximately a 21 mile round trip and going out on call on my bike whenever possible.”

Jon is a trustee of the charity with a slogan ‘Money raised is not just a drop in the ocean’.

He said: “We have complete control over the fund, so there can be no corruption.

“People can see exactly where their money is going and monitor progress. People can and will make a difference.

“I am involved with this charity having worked in Zanzibar's main hospital approximately seven years ago as a surgical trainee.

"I spent some time there learning some operative procedures that we rarely carry out in this country.

“I worked at Mnazi Moja Hospital in Stonetown, the capital of the island - the hospital is completely unable to cope with the huge numbers of patients coming in from rural areas, and a terrible lack of resources.

“This project aims to help manage the less sick patients in the community and allow the main hospital to concentrate on more major illness.

“I became involved in a twinning project between this hospital and Musgrove Park where I was working at the time.”

It was a consultant at the Taunton hospital who is the founder of the charity.

Backwell and Nailsea Medical Group practice manager Maggie Robins collected toys for Jon to take out and Backwell & Nailsea Rotary Club is supporting the project by raising funds for an anaesthetic machine for the maternity unit at the hospital.

Nailsea People

Friday, 23 July 2010

Umuhimu wa Kura ya NDIO hapo Julai 31, 2010

Sio siri tena kwamba siasa za umimi,chuki na utenganao hazina nafasi tena katika visiwa vya Zanzibar. Hii ni kutokana na muafaka wa kihistoria uliofikiwa na Rais anayemaliza muda wake hapo Zanzibar Mhe. A. Karume na Mhe. Maalim Seif, ambao kwa pamoja waliona uhumimu wa kuwa na Zanzibar moja yenye kuelewana licha ya tofauti za kisiasa.

Utengano wa Zanzibar na hasa kijografia umesababisha kuwepo kwa mikwaruzo mingi kwa watu wa visiwa hivyo licha ya baadhi yao kuwa na maingiliano ya kifamilia. Tatizo la utengano huu lilitokana na Mapinduzi ambapo upande mmjoa wa visiwa hivyo kujiona kuwa unahusika zaidi na mapinduzi hayo kuliko upande mwingine wa visiwa hivyo. Hivyo basi utaona kuwa utengano huu ulijengeka zaidi kisiasa.

Imechukua zaidi ya miaka arobaini na sita kwa wanzazibari kuona kuwa kuna umuhimu wa kuelewana na hasa katika uwanja wa kisiasa, ambao umecheza nafasi kubwa katika mgogoro na mtafuruku wa utengano visiwani humu. Awali rais wa kwanza alikuwa akitamka hadharani nafasi ya wananchi wa kisiwa kingine katika uongozi wa juu visiwani hapa. Kauli zake hizo ni baadhi ya mizizi ya utengano visiwani.

Machafuko ya hali ya hewa mwanzoni mwa miaka ya themanini hayawezi kuwekwa kando katika mtafaruku huu. Kwani yalionyesha wazi ni kwa kiasi gani baadhi ya wanavisiwa wanavyochukuliwa katika hatima ya uongozi wa juu visiwani humu. Hii iliongeza mbolea katika utengano na chuki miongoni mwa wanavisiwa.

Kurudi kwa mfumo wa vyama vingi, ndio ilikuwa kilele cha utengano. Kwani kwa mara ya kwanza Watanzania wengi waliweza kujua nini kinaendelea katika visiwa hivi. Kauli nyingi za ajabu ajabu zilisikika katika kuona kuwa utengano wa kisiasa, itikadi na hadi kifamilia unaendelea visiwani hapa, hadi kusababisha kupoteza maisha ya baadhi ya wanavisiwa ambao walikuwa wamechoshwa na kadhia hizo.

Leo hii sio vyema kutupa lawama kwa upande wowote uliohusika na kujenga migogoro hii. Kwani pande zote kwa namna moja ama nyingine zimehusika kikamilifu katika kujenga utengano huu.

Hii ndio inafanya kuwa kila mpandae maelewano visiwani humu aone umuhimu wa kupiga kura ya NDIO. Kura hii ina umuhimu mkubwa sana katika maendeleao ya kijamii visiwani humu na kufuta kabisa historia chafu ya utengano na migogoro isiyokwisha ya kisiasa.

Matokeo ya kura ya NDIO yatawezesha wanavisiwa wote kufungua ukurusa mpya katika maisha yao ya kila siku. Ukurasa ambao utaweka historia miongoni mwetu na ulimwenguni kwa ujumla.

Napenda kusema kuwa hii ni nafasi adhimu iliyotukuta wanavisiwa, ya kuweza kujiamulia wenyewe hatima ya maisha yetu kisiasa kiuchumi na kujamii. Kumbuka kuwa hapo awali maamuzi yote makubwa juu ya maisha yetu yalikuwa yakitoka juu, kabla la hili la tarehe 31/07/2010.

Ni vema kwa kila mwananchi mwenye sifa ya kupiga kura siku hiyo kupiga kura ya NDIO, ili kuweza kuwa na visiwa venye umoja na kuelekea kwenye kuunda serikali ya umoja wa kitaifa mara baada ya Uchaguzi Mkuu.

Tatizo letu tunalijua na tiba yetu ni kura ya NDIO.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Swahili gift "Khanga" transgresses boundaries

It was just a cloth that came with the emergence of slave trade along the coastal line of East Africa, but its revolution and esteem put it on the map of Africa's lifestyle.

The Leso or Khanga as it is commonly known (wrapper or shawl worn around the waist ), is no longer much of a fashion statement in Kenya today or any other East African country -- certainly not what it was in the 1980s, when our mothers would strut around elegantly wrapped in it, making very respectable fashion statements.

Nonetheless, even today, any African women strongly attached to her culture must wear a leso as respectable attire at some point, especially during important social festivals. So how did this legendary piece of clothing come to influence African fashion for so long?

Incredibly, the origin of the Khanga (leso) was in the nefarious slave trade. Female slaves in the 19th century had to be "adequately" clothed before being transported to the Middle East. Because of the local religious obligations, many considered the Khanga a cloth befitting the occasion.

Traders from Gujarat in the Indian sub-continent, who had been visiting the East African coast for centuries, cleverly noted this and responded to the market demand by supplying a black cloth called the Kaniki. Whack was worn by slaves and poorer women.

The Merikani, another expensive cloth worn by high-society ladies, was supplied from North America. A pure cloth, it was embellished using simple dots and lines. Later, red color was added to the initial white, as artists experimented with dyes.

Block printing was the next progression, as patterns chiseled into cassava and sweet potatoes were imprinted onto the cloth. These, therefore, became the hallmarks of the Khanga.

As women wearing the colorful fabric gathered in the groups and chattered in the evening breeze of the Zanzibar sea-shore, men likened them to East Africa's ubiquitous guinea fowl (black and white dots resembling a guinea fowl) -- "Khanga" in Swahili -- with its brightly coloured spotted plumage.

Emancipated female slaves from the East African coast and Zanzibar, together with other women in the region, demanded ever- changing designs, setting in motion the trends that would make the Khanga a high-fashion item in the 20th century.

After the socialist revolution in Zanzibar, there was a lull in the leso trade, but only briefly. Soon, entrepreneurs from India were manufacturing the garments and exporting them to Zanzibar and the whole of the East Africa.

Before India became the leader in the industry, most machine- made Khangas came from Europe and China. In Kenya , there is only one manufacturing plant, while there are five in Tanzania.

The general presentation of the Khanga has improved with time. Text messages and proverbs are among its most recent additions.

This development was pioneered by the famous Hajee Essak family, who originally came from Zanzibar but settled in Mombasa in 1910. Back then, the language used was Swahili and the script Arabic.

The sayings are not just decorative. They have profound meaning both to the wearer and viewer. A typical one goes" Mama ni mama hata hawe nani" (a mother is a mother whatever else she may be).

Historically, such inscriptions solved the communication barrier in a culture where women were not heard or seen publicly. They gave a voice to the voiceless.

Interestingly the cloth is not worn in India , where it is made, because of the enduring stigma of its close association with slave women.

Seyyid Barghash who ruled Zanzibar in the early 20th century, banned noble ladies in his court from wearing it, claiming that it reminded him of the "dirty stinking black woman at the slave market."

The Khanga has not entirely escaped the onslaught of modernization, both in its material and message. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester have been employed in its production and it is now common to see political, religious and social messages written on it.

Even portraits of powerful leaders have found their way onto its material. The hard face of Ernesto "Che" Guevara -- the famed Latin American communist revolutionary -- is seen on many fashionable Khangas in Nairobi.

Other notable faces include the felled South African liberation movement activist Steve Biko, Mau Mau war hero Dedan Kimaathi and Agustinho Neto, the Angolan poet and revolutionary.

Spreading far and wide from its heartland in Zanzibar, the versatile Khanga can now be found on the East African coast, in the hinterland, in Madagascar and the Comoro islands and throughout the Middle East.

As Christed De Wit, a leading researcher of early forms of fashion in East Africa, notes in her book Evolution of Fashion in East Africa: "The Khanga has transgressed all boundaries of culture, religion and language. It has become the Muslim Swahili gift for those who seek to embrace it."


Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Islanders’ mistaken reverence for Kenya

By Joe Ombuor

To many Zanzibaris of African origin, Kenya produced their most revered liberator from Arab yoke, Field Marshall John Okello.

This is the notion I walked straight into and basked in the high regard that Kenya commands in the archipelago while on a brief trip on the semi autonomous Island recently.

Yet Okello, the ex-policeman who led poorly armed unemployed youth of the defunct Afro Shirazi party in a bloody revolution against the reign of Sultan Jamshi bin Abdulla on the night of January 12, 1964, was an Acholi from Uganda, and not a Kenyan Luo as is widely believed on the Island.

Records at the archives in Zanzibar say the self-styled revolutionary entered Zanzibar from Kenya through the northern Island of Pemba in 1958, claiming to have been a field marshal during Kenya’s Mau Mau uprising.

The Revolution

Older Zanzibaris who spoke to The Standard on Saturday on condition of anonymity said it was Okello, and not first President Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume late father to the current president as is officially claimed, who planned and executed the revolution with the Afro Shirazi Youth League.

Records have it that the young revolutionaries overcame the largely Arab police, taking automatic rifles, submachine and bren guns, with which they swiftly armed themselves to take control of strategic buildings such as the Sultan’s palace and other installations.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Dr. Shein awasili Zenj

Picha kwa hisani ya Mapara

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Indian Ocean Sea Levels On The Rise

Newly detected rising sea levels in parts of the Indian Ocean, including the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka, Sumatra and Java, appear to be at least partly a result of human-induced increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases, says a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study, which combined sea surface measurements going back to the 1960s and satellite observations, indicates anthropogenic climate warming likely is amplifying regional sea rise changes in parts of the Indian Ocean, threatening inhabitants of some coastal areas and islands, said CU-Boulder Associate Professor Weiqing Han, lead study author. The sea level rise -- which may aggravate monsoon flooding in Bangladesh and India -- could have far-reaching impacts on both future regional and global climate.

The key player in the process is the Indo-Pacific warm pool, an enormous, bathtub-shaped area of the tropical oceans stretching from the east coast of Africa west to the International Date Line in the Pacific. The warm pool has heated by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, or 0.5 degrees Celsius, in the past 50 years, primarily caused by human-generated increases of greenhouse gases, said Han.

"Our results from this study imply that if future anthropogenic warming effects in the Indo-Pacific warm pool dominate natural variability, mid-ocean islands such as the Mascarenhas Archipelago, coasts of Indonesia, Sumatra and the north Indian Ocean may experience significantly more sea level rise than the global average," said Han of CU-Boulder's atmospheric and oceanic sciences department.

A paper on the subject was published in this week's issue of Nature Geoscience. Co-authors included Balaji Rajagopalan, Xiao-Wei Quan, Jih-wang Wang and Laurie Trenary of CU-Boulder, Gerald Meehl, John Fasullo, Aixue Hu, William Large and Stephen Yeager of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Jialin Lin of Ohio State University, and Alan Walcraft and Toshiaki Shinoda of the Naval Research Laboratory in Mississippi.

While a number of areas in the Indian Ocean region are showing sea level rise, the study also indicated the Seychelles Islands and Zanzibar off Tanzania's coastline show the largest sea level drop. Global sea level patterns are not geographically uniform, and sea rise in some areas correlate with sea level fall in other areas, said NCAR's Meehl.

The Indian Ocean is the world's third largest ocean and makes up about 20 percent of the water on Earth's surface. The ocean is bounded on the west by East Africa, on the north by India, on the east by Indochina and Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean off the coast of Antarctica.

The patterns of sea level change are driven by the combined enhancement of two primary atmospheric wind patterns known as the Hadley circulation and the Walker circulation. The Hadley circulation in the Indian Ocean is dominated by air currents rising above strongly heated tropical waters near the equator and flowing poleward, then sinking to the ocean in the subtropics and causing surface air to flow back toward the equator.

The Indian Ocean's Walker circulation causes air to rise and flow westward at upper levels, sink to the surface and then flow eastward back toward the Indo-Pacific warm pool. "The combined enhancement of the Hadley and Walker circulation form a distinct surface wind pattern that drives specific sea level patterns," said Han.

The international research team used several different sophisticated ocean and climate models for the study, including the Parallel Ocean Program -- the ocean component of NCAR's widely used Community Climate System Model. In addition, the team used a wind-driven, linear ocean model for the study.

"Our new results show that human-caused changes of atmospheric and oceanic circulation over the Indian Ocean region -- which have not been studied previously -- are the major cause for the regional variability of sea level change," wrote the authors in Nature Geoscience.

Han said that based on all-season data records, there is no significant sea level rise around the Maldives. But when the team looked at winter season data only, the Maldives show significant sea level rise, a cause for concern. The smallest Asian country, the Maldives is made up of more than 1,000 islands -- about 200 of which are inhabited by about 300,000 people -- and are on average only about five feet above sea level.

The complex circulation patterns in the Indian Ocean may also affect precipitation by forcing even more atmospheric air down to the surface in Indian Ocean subtropical regions than normal, Han speculated. "This may favor a weakening of atmospheric convection in the subtropics, which may increase rainfall in the eastern tropical regions of the Indian Ocean and increase drought in the western equatorial Indian Ocean region, including east Africa," Han said.

The new study indicates that in order to document sea level change on a global scale, researchers also need to know the specifics of regional sea level changes that will be important for coastal and island regions, said NCAR's Hu. Along the coasts of the northern Indian Ocean, seas have risen by an average of about 0.5 inches, or 13 millimeters, per decade.

"It is important for us to understand the regional changes of the sea level, which will have effects on coastal and island regions," said Hu.

The study was funded by a number of organizations, including NCAR, the National Science Foundation, NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Red Orbit

Friday, 9 July 2010

Je Huu ni Mwisho wa Siasa za Makundi hapo Zenj?

Wapenda muafaka katika mstakabala wa siasa za visiwani, watakuwa wamefarijika sana kwa Dr. Shein kuongoza katika matokeo ya wagombeaji wa urais visiwani Zanzibar. Ingawa hakuwa wazi juu ya muafaka kama mgombea mwingine wa urais huo Ali Karume, kupita kwa jina la Dr. Shein kunafungua ukurasa mpya katika utawala visiwani humo.

Cha msingi hapa ni kujua ni kwa namna gani anaweza kulinda na kusimamia hatua za awali za kuondoa mpasuko wa kijamii visiwani humo. Sifa kubwa ya nje ya Dr. Shein ni kutojulikana msimamo wake, zaidi ni kuwa amehusu kisiwa cha pili, hivyo kuwepo na uwezekano mkubwa kuweza kusimamia maendeleo ya kuwepo na serikali ya mseto.

Tofauti na Dr. Bilal na Waziri Kiongozi, Dr Shein anaonekana kutokuwa na makundi yenye lengo la kuzoretesha jitihada muhimu zilizofikiwa hivi karibuni juu ya utaifa wa Zanzibar. Hii ni silaha yake kubwa na inabidi aitumie vizuri ili kuweza kutibu gonjwa la muda mrefu la siasa za visiwani hapo.

Kwa kuchaguliwa kwake kwa kura nyingi, kunaondoa dhana iliyojengeka miaka mingi juu ya utawala wa ngazi za juu huko Visiwani, ambao ulitokana na mtazamo wa rais wa kwanza wa serikali ya Mapinduzi. Kuchaguliwa kwa Dr. Shein kutaboresha mambo mengi ambayo yalikuwa yanaidhoofisha Zanzibar,na atafanikiwa tu iwapo ataweza kuendesha serikali bila kujali makundi.

Kwa upande mwingine Dr. Bilal amekumbwa na laana ya ubaguzi ambayo ilianza kumwandama mapema baada ya Dr. Salmin kumaliza muda wake wa uongozi. Ukimya wake wa kutoweka msimamo wake wa wazi juu ya siasa za chuki kisiwani hapo, ndio huo ambao umeendelea kumwondoa katika nafasi hiyo ambayo amejaribu kuigombania mara kadhaa bila mafanikio.

Waziri Kiongozi, kwa mtazamo wangu nae tayali alishaanza kujenga makundi katika safari yake ya kuelekea kuchukua urais visiwani humo. Misimamo yake katika masuala yenye kusumbua zaidi visiwa hivyo hakuweza kuyaweka bayana, hivyo kuashiria kusimamia baadhi ya makundi fulani. Ilikuwa ni njia nyepesi kwake kuweza kuchukua nafasi ya urais, kwani ameitumikia nafasi yake kwa miaka kumi hivyo kumwezesha kumrithi rais Karume.

Zanzibar International Film Festival to attract films from 43 countries

STONE TOWN, Tanzania, July (Xinhua) -- The Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania is expected to attract films from 43 countries to the annual event scheduled on July 10 to July 18.

With the theme of "Hopes in Harmony", the film festival provides one opportunity for all Zanzibaris to come and watch films for free on a big screen, and calls for peace and harmony in Zanzibar, the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Opening films includes "I Bring What I Love", which takes the audience behind the scenes and into the world of Africa's most famous musician Youssou N'dour.

Among the special highlights this year's festival is the world Cup final, which would scream the climax of this extraordinary African football extravaganza on late July 11 in the old fort.

Many of the films to be shown at the festival have highlighted every day life of women in the society, according to the press release. It also includes performing arts, which is a street theatre component and it shall work with the literary forum in showcasing the spoken word in an event and it will bring the local repertories to contact with other spoken word performances.

The film festival is seen by the government as a symbol of enhancing Zanzibar culture and acts as a factor of propagating Zanzibar tourism sector, and thus enabling more tourists to visit Zanzibar and boosting Zanzibar economy.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Zanzibar artists fight for tourist cash

Tourism is now Zanzibar's biggest industry - easily outstripping the trade in spices, traditionally the Tanzanian island's biggest foreign currency earner.

But local artists complain that they are not able to reap the rewards from the tourist boom.

They say that most of the art on sale is mass produced and has little relevance to the island's culture.

The so-called "tourist art" is ruining their livelihood, they claim.

'Commercial artist'

Saidi Omary, 24, paints up to 15 pieces of "tourist art" a week.

"I am a commercial artist, I paint what is marketable," he said.

"I do create original works but they don't sell quickly which is bad because I need the money."

Despite the thriving tourism industry, the island is still very poor.

The average wage is just 60 US cents a day and it is not surprising that artists are turning out effortless reproductions that they can sell for a few dollars.

But some artists working in Zanzibar deplore this commercial approach to art.

Artist Hamza Ausiy is dismissive of "tourist art" and says it is ruining his business.

"For me tourist art is boring and confusing, because if you are an artist, you have a dream and creativity but if you do this sort of work you are always looking for bread," he said.

He says his canvases - which cost $200 or more - are all original artworks and feature exclusively Zanzibari scenes.

Artists selling the original works have now got together to form an association to promote their work.

Musa Ramadhan is secretary of the Zanzibar Young Artists Association.

He says artists should be selling to the local market, even if their volumes are small.

"We need to create awareness among the local people to make them like our art and even hang our works in their homes," Mr Ramadhan said.

He says artists in Zanzibar need to change and create ideas from their culture.

"People on this island like religion we should put religion in our pictures," Mr Ramadhan recommends.

For the time being though, the art market in Zanzibar is driven by the hoards of artists selling mass-produced art.


Monday, 5 July 2010

Taste of Zanzibar

For authentic halal east African cuisine, the Taste of Zanzibar is the place to go. The dishes reflect the rich heritage found in this ancient part of Tanzania from the spices to the staples, namely chapatti and rice.

When we walked into this eating experience we had little knowledge of this culture's culinary facets, yet we left with a deeper understanding of the fusion of flavors and components that earmark this cuisine. We felt very comfortable in the casual setting and knew that we were in good hands.

More info visit here