Monday, 27 February 2012

Soko la Samaki

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Women in Unguja and Pemba Happily Making Money and Saving

Pemba — A popular Kiswahili proverb known by many Zanzibarians goes like this "Haba na haba hujaza kibaba" in other words drop by drop the vessel will get filled.

This wise saying has been vividly demonstrated by women in the rural areas of Unguja and Pemba and is calling on others to follow suit.

Women in Unguja South and Pemba North have for a long time never engaged themselves in income generating activities and they had little hope for any sort of economic improvement of their lives.

In 2008 Women Empowerment in Zanzibar (WEZA) initiative was introduced and their lives took a new turn bringing hope for the women.

Around 8742 women at their own individual pace saved between 200 and 1,000 shillings each week after receiving savings and financial training from the Tanzania Media Women's Association (TAMWA), Jozani Credit and Development Organisation (JOCDO) and Pemba Savings and Credit Association (PESACA). The project was co-financed by the European Union (EU), Government of Austria and Care Austria.

The training marked the beginning of a big take off and by 2011 the women collectively had saved a total of 693,790,000/=.

This was a big surprise not only to the Zanzibari population but to women themselves who could not believe they had the potential.

"How can we save 500 /- a week while at the same time we did not receive that amount of money for our family meals?" asked a section of women members in Kiungoni Shehia of Pemba North during the sensitisation meetings before the savings began.

Now the very same women save more than 2,500 shillings per week owing to the various business activities they are engaged in including the making of handicrafts and agro- business.

The general rule for acquiring a loan is that a member has to convince the group that she has something useful to do with the loan. Secondly she needs to have four sureties (wadhamini) from the group who sign contract which among others request them to take due responsibility in case the member fail to repay the loan.

In the case a member fails to repay the loan, her weekly shares are first taken away by the group in addition to that of her sureties. However, this has only appeared once at Jambiani in Unguja while Pemba it has never happened. Most of the members repay their loans in three months and if one fails giving reasonable grounds, the group gives her additional two weeks in which to settle the debt before further action is considered.

Mr. Omar Khamis, a Shehia leader of Kiungoni, Shehia in 2009 said WEZA changed the perception and status of his Shehia. Speaking to the project's representatives and the villagers, he said that before WEZA was established the women in his village were not involved in any business contrary and now every woman is struggling hard to earn an income and erase illiteracy.

Ms. Fatma Ali Haji (40) of the same Shehia narrated her experience while talking to Daily News recently. Fatma says her life has changed drastically from struggling to make ends meet to setting up business person while she save 15,000/= per week.

"WEZA taught us how to and utilise the resources around us. I now buy for basic items such as food and clothes for myself and my family," she said.

She sells coconuts and tailors clothes for women wiping out the old stereotyping of women staying indoors. She sells coconuts at Kiungoni and as far as Chake chake, Pemba South. An officer for Savings and Loans with Women Empowerment in Zanzibar (WEZA), Muhiddin Ramadan said on average members' savings stands between 1000/- and 5,000 each week. He said the saving shares were raised as a result of the increased income generating activities.

He says that the common business activities are locally made hand bags, spice based soaps, batik, rosella juice , liquid soaps and selling of fresh vegetables. As much as Zanzibar appreciates the achievement there are challenges which that need urgent redress. Mwanakhamis Mrisho, an officer from TAMWA mentioned the challenges as lack of reliable market of the finished products and low quality products to face stiff competition in the competitive market.

She attributed the challenges to financial constraints, lack of mobility and confidence calling for concerted efforts to improve the quality of women's products in order to be fully fledged entrepreneurs. She feels that the government in particular should put more emphasis in promoting women's products of these areas as well as introducing more women into the business world.

This will help the women fully utilise the Sunday market launched recently by the government at Mwembeshauri Grounds, Unguja Urban, which is albeit at its fragile stage. Most of the women currently do not have bank accounts as they consider still consider themselves poor. For the time being they are concentrating on expanding their businesses, building and or repairing their homes and taking their children to school.

Daily News


Ni miaka 23 sasa tangu umetutoka lakini sisi kama watoto wako pamoja na baba ulietuacha huku tunaona ni kama jana tu umeondoka maana umeenda kimwili lakini kiroho bado tupo nawe, na kamwe hatutaacha kukumbuka malezi yako bora!

Tukiwa kama familia (watoto wako pamoja na mumeo (baba)) daima hatuishi kukuombea DUA njema kila kukicha upate kupumzika kwa kwa amani huko uliko.

Ni matumaini yetu mungu anasikia dua zetu MAMA.

Ni sisi wanao wapendwa Mariam, Hussein, Salum, Mariam Hawa pamoja na Baba yetu (mumeo) Sheikh Suleiman hatuna la zaidi ila ni dua tunakuombea.


Salum Suleiman Lyeme (Sule Junior)
Entertainment writter (Freelance), Graphic Designer (Freelance) / Mwananchi Communication Ltd

Monday, 20 February 2012

A rare mind revelation from the Civic United Front

Interviewed by Mlimani TV station early this week about why his party recorded abysmal performance in the just ended by-election in Uzini constituency on Zanzibar island, Ismail Jussa Ladhu, deputy secretary general of the Civic United Front, declared that CUF didn’t win the seat because there are more Christians and churches in the area than Muslims and mosques.

It’s a rare mind revelation from one of the more highly trusted CUF officials, better educated than average and with considerable exposure locally and outside, becoming a symbol of what kind of leaders we have in this country.
It’s perhaps the clearest illustration of what some of the CUF leaders especially those who defected have been saying about this political party. They have accused CUF of being a Muslim-dominated party, saying it has a clear religious bias.

Though we don’t believe those allegations seriously because the Political Registration Act of 1992 has proper safeguards on such misdirected politicking, one cannot ignore even the more glaring signals, as in this case. The Act provides that any party that is statutorily identified with religious activities and faith partiality can’t be registered, but the revelation from Jussa confirms what its party dissidents, past and present, have all along critics have been saying.

Jussa simply wants us to believe that Christians are anti-CUF while Muslims are pro-his party. We thought and believed that those who have been voting for the party in the past elections in Tanzania did so because of being attracted by CUF’s policies.

But according to Jussa, it’s the opposite. He clearly believes that his party can win easily in those areas where there are Muslims in majority and Christians as a minority. Jussa might be right because being one of the members of the CUF’s inner circle; he has all the facility to understand why in some areas his party is popular while in others it registers abysmal performance.

What is appalling is that we still have leaders who believe in the politics of divisions along race, ethnicity and faith based issues, instead of advocating for a clear policy that will eradicate poverty as well as bringing prosperity economically, politically and socially.

From Jussa’s verdict, those who voted for CCM and Chadema are Christians because in Uzini constituency there are more churches and Christians than Muslims. While Jussa might have some details in the area’s demography or psychology which most other observers may not be aware, his comments can only be qualified, unavoidably, as totally unacceptable.

The point here is that if this is how politics is going to be managed in this country, then Tanzania is slowly descending into chaotic politics in future. It means that the CUF, when it has its back on the wall, is ready to abandon statutory rationality (policies), pluralism (non-racial and non-sectarian) attitude in favor of playing to the gallery of religion, to attract irrational fears and votes, with readiness for violence. All religious politics ends in violence, by definition.

That Jussa might statistically be right doesn’t count, but rather that his comments are unjustifiable if they represent the spirit of that political party, their line of action in the months to come – that is, in any future polls and in preparing for polls.

Those sentiments and the political orientation implied therein is what must be avoided at all costs and are consequently harmful to the political climate, to the peace and understanding constituting the reason both for the constitution and the formation of a Government of National Unity. He has simply shown how he treads in cheap politics of divide and rule.

In a country that has been battling and weathering serious allegations of religious division between Muslims and Christians in the history of the ruling party, Jussa’s comments serve to add petrol to the fire, worsening the situation.

Our leaders have to be careful about what they say to the public and what they shouldn’t, the sort of imagination they should keep to themselves, so that they don’t stir up the tiger of revolt that is part of politics, itching for a fight for whatever reason, so long as an important person has said it is right to burn and kill. They should be mature enough to distinguish between ‘pillow talk’ and public discussion.


Sunday, 19 February 2012


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Stone Town

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Zanzibar na Madawa ya Kulevya...

PALM Beach playboy and cigarette importer Mark Coulton has had drug conspiracy charges dropped after the case against him collapsed.

This is good news for his brother-in-law barrister Don Grieve, QC, and Grieve's wife, Dixie Coulton, who each put up $500,000 as caveats against their Paddington home.

Ms Coulton is a former Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney.

It comes as a the Sydney magistrate overseeing the case criticised the Australian Federal Police for "jumping the gun" against five men.

They had been accused with conspiring to import drugs from Zanzibar, Tanzania.

More New:

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Spice and Easy, a story of Zanzibar and Pemba - Rory Bremner

I've been very bad at arranging swanky holidays recently. That is, proper breaks, without the children. In fact, over the past 18 months, the sum total of Mr and Mrs Bremner's trips away have amounted to just four nights in the South of France and two nights in Harrogate. I'd highly recommend both, by the way, but they're hardly in the Hello! category.

When the chance did finally come for us to enjoy something more exotic, I faced an immediate problem - where, exactly, do you go for sunshine at this time of year? Political unrest in Egypt and the Maghreb, the bursting of Dubai's bubble and the likelihood of bumping into Michael Winner in the Caribbean have all conspired to narrow the choice.

Our criteria for a week's holiday were simple: less than ten hours' flying, preferably overnight; and a manageable time difference to somewhere offering both adventure and relaxation.

The beaches of India, the Maldives, Indonesia and the Far East were deemed too far, even though Burma looks tempting now that Aung San Suu Kyi's 15-year staycation has come to a welcome end.

Eschewing old favourites Cape Town and Morocco, we contacted Scott Dunn and plumped for Zanzibar off the East African coast. Great call.

Zanzibar - the original Spice Island. The very name conjures up exotic images in the mind's eye: tropical beaches, spice markets, dhow sails in the sunset. Well, what your mind sees is what you get.

In just under ten hours, good old British Airways had got us, comfortably and right on schedule, to Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, where the tourists divide - some heading for the safari reserves of Ruaha, Selous or the Serengeti to see the animals (and the minibuses) in the Ngorongoro crater or climb Kilimanjaro.

Others, ourselves included, were transported to await our local onward flight in the VIP terminal.

This is in fact a basic concrete waiting room with open sides where birds hop in and out, a handful of Africans doze and a couple of locals sit chatting at a cafe called The Art of Coffee - the 'art' apparently being to dispense coffee with as much nonchalance and lack of interest as it's possible to muster. Welcome to Africa.

After a longish wait, our pilot arrived to tell us (reassuringly) that rather than wait another hour for fuel, we'd pick up some in Zanzibar before flying to our final destination: Pemba Island.

Read more: Daily Mail

Monday, 13 February 2012

Zanzibar Music Festival Faces Financial, Cultural Challenges

The Sauti za Busara music festival kicks off in Zanzibar this weekend - an event meant to promote Swahili music to a younger generation of Tanzanians raised on Western Top 40 hits. But the Stone Town festival has had a hard time connecting with a local audience, and is now facing funding challenges.

This weekend the ancient buildings and narrow alleyways of Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, are awash in the sound of music. This is Sauti za Busara, an annual festival that draws crowd from around the world to Stone Town’s old stone fort for four days of music, dancing and cultural celebrations.

Although Sauti za Busara attracts acts from across the continent, the focus here is on East Africa’s own Swahili music. Around two thirds of the artists performing are from Tanzania, many from Zanzibar itself. The musical styles on display range from traditional drumming and taarab, to hip hop and jazz.

The festival’s director is Yusuf Mahmoud, an Englishman who has been living in Tanzania for the past 14 years. He says the idea behind Sauti za Busara was not just to attract tourists, but to help locals appreciate their own musical heritage.

“When we started doing Sauti za Busara, I remember being very surprised that a lot of the young local artists were not really appreciating the value of the local music here. They were listening a lot to foreign music from Europe or the U.S. I think this has helped local artists to understand that what they have here is very special, very unique and very valuable, and something that is attracting people from all over the world," he said.

Now in its ninth year, the festival tries hard to attract local audiences. Tanzanian citizens pay less than $2 to get in, while foreigners are charged $26. Of the 4,000 people who attended Sauti za Busara last year, the majority were from Tanzania.

The festival is run by an NGO, Busara Promotions, which depends on private donations to keep ticket prices for locals low.

But lately, Sauti za Busara has been facing some serious financial challenges. This year the festival had to be cut from five days to four, and one of the events outside Stone Town had to be scrapped. Mahmoud blames these problems on the slowdown of the international economy.

“It’s been tougher and tougher, over the last couple of years particularly, to get financial support from international donors. It’s been also very tough to get financial support from local businesses. The global recession doesn’t just affect our festival here in Zanzibar, but all over the world people are struggling to raise money for cultural events," said Mahmoud.

But Amour Haji, director of a tour company in Zanzibar, thinks this is only part of the answer. Most Zanzibaris are Muslim, with a conservative culture at odds with the party-like atmosphere of an international music festival.

Haji says that despite Sauti za Busara’s efforts to reach out to local people, many still think of it as an event only for tourists. “The mass of the people of Zanzibar, they think it is not beneficial for them. It is a benefit for foreigners, not for the local people," he said.

Tourism to Zanzibar in February has grown by 400 percent since the festival was first held in 2004. Haji says that although local businesses do benefit from the added tourism revenue, few are willing to support the event financially.

“In economical [terms], we benefit. The event is a very major thing for the tourists. Many restaurants and many shops, they benefit, but they didn’t contribute anything," he said.

Still, some Zanzibaris say Sauti za Busara has succeeded in making people proud of their island’s music.

One local festival goer says it gives musicians a chance to show off their talents both to foreigners and to their own countrymen. “It benefits, because we are getting ways for participating in this festival and we show our skills for the whole people in Zanzibar," he said.

Despite Sauti za Busara’s financial problems, Mahmoud says the organizers will keep holding it for as long as possible, and do intend to maintain the festival’s local focus.

“We’re determined to carry on, and we’re also determined to carry on organizing a festival which is accessible for local people, which means we can never be fully sustainable through ticket revenue unless we make an event for tourists, which is not our primary intention," he said.

Around 30 groups are performing at Sauti za Busara this year. The festival runs through Sunday night.


Sunday, 12 February 2012


Friday, 10 February 2012

Ndivyo Tulivyo...?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Sauti za Busara, Leo Jioni Ngome Kongwe

Picha kwa hisani ya John Pius

Zanzibar celebrates annual Busara Festival.

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Zanzibar started on Thursday to celebrate Sauti za Busara, a cultural fiesta, aimed at promoting East African music and culture attended by dozens of international art troupes on the autonomous islands off Tanzanian coast.

This year's festival kicks off at 4:00 p.m. at Kisonge Park with the largest ever carnival street parade in the region destined for the Old Fort, Stone Town, where four nights of non- stop live music will be held.

Director of Busara festival Yusuf Mahmoud said seven groups will perform inside the Old Fort for the first night, including Mkota Spirit Dancers from Pemba, the sister Island of Zanzibar, and artists from Cape Verde, Norway and Tanzania mainland.

About 30 groups are to perform in the adjacent amphitheatre at the Old Fort while Zanzibar will take the chance to showcase its unique culture throughout the festival with shows in different venues around town.

Sauti za Busara, which was formed in 2003, has been promoted as one of the friendliest festivals and has grown in leaps and bounds and enjoys an international following.

The annual festival also has played a major role in boosting local tourism with statistics showing the number of visitors to Zanzibar has increased dramatically.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Sauti za Busara Kuanza Leo Usiku...

Tamasha la Sauti za Busara litaanza leo usiku katika kumbi mbalimbali za Mji Mkongwe na Ng'ambo.

Saa 1:00 Usiku: Bashraaf:- Mercury Restaurant.

Saa 2:00 Usiku: Black Root:- CCM Hall.

Saa 2:00 Usiku: Maulidi ya Homu:- Mtendeni Club House

Saa 3:30 Usiku: Kozman Ti Dalon:- Maru maru Hotel