Last week #WhatWouldMagufuliDo was trending on twitter as people, inspired by the frugal and conscientious leadership of Tanzania’s new president, John Pompe Magufuli, created memes in which they forego expensive options for more economic ones.
“There is going to be blood this year if my party doesn’t win,” said the young man Tanzania, and his fellows cheered him on. For a country that is deemed to be a harbour of peace, it is especially scary to hear passionate young people throwing words like blood around in conversation, as if it were nothing. Yes we want change, but what price are we willing to pay for the change? Can this change also be peaceful?
While contemporary African visual art is on the rise, Tanzania, which is known worldwide for the Tinga Tinga style of paintings, seems to be left behind. Art education in primary and secondary schools is non-existent, and very few artists carry the Tanzanian flag in international arenas. Is fine art dead in Tanzania? If not, where can we find it?
To spectators, Tanzania’s preference for Swahili over English may seem like a sign of liberation from colonial influence. But is that how we feel? In the era of globalisation, is Swahili crucial to our identity or does it isolate us from the rest of the world?
While Tanzanian guys in their twenties worry about career advancement, women of the same age worry about getting married. Your parents, neighbours, friends, everyone expects it. And we’re eager, too, but for some odd reasons.